Aussies Living Simply


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    Nick Carroll


    I would like to hear about what you are preserving and/or how you are using your preserved food. so I (we) can be inspired to preserve more food and hopefully see what people are bottling etc through out the year.

    In the last month I have made lemon cordial, lemon chello, apple skin liquor, beer, lilly pilly cordial (great, the kids and I went for walk with the kids and found Lilly pillys tree loaded with fruit and they loved the cordial, dam!) tamarillo ice cream (recipe from this forum, its great), tamarillo chutney, finished my first attempt at preverving olives i need more practice! I poured very hot salt solution over the olives and now they are soft, yogurt most weeks and a friends has given me a sour dough starter.

    Love to hear what you are all doing?


    Not really much at the moment but I recently made a lovely indian lime pickle from some limes I scored from a crop swap. I love the spicy/ sour combination of it.

    I recently had to reinforce the shelves in my preserves cupboard as the shelf holders had broken under the weight of all the jars!

    Nick Carroll

    Could you post the recipe for the lime pickle?

    Hope the reinforced shelves work.


    I have a Fowlers Vacola preserving unit that I love! I do oodles of diced tomatoes over summer which I use for pasta sauces, casseroles, soups etc over winter. I don’t bother with peeling them – I just wiz them in the blender if I want something more like a passata and the skins get pulverised. I also preserve peaches and apricots over summer.

    I have a Fowlers dehydrator too. I make the kids lots of fruit leathers and also dry excess fruit and veg in pieces for use through the winter.

    I also freeze a lot of excess fruit when it’s cheap at the market, like mango cheeks, strawberries etc.

    And then there’s the jams/chutneys that find a place on my shelves….


    wargh…i want to stop working so i have time to do this,its snot fair

    Nick Carroll

    Thanks for the recipe girl Friday. I wonder if lemons could be used? As I only got 2 limes off my tree this year.

    I made my first sourdough loaf from the start I was given and it tasted excellent and was eaten within the day!

    Yep time can be a challenge getting this stuff done, I have a leg of beer that has need bottling for 3 weeks! I’m working on the theory it will be a clear beer once I bottle it!


    This year has been very fruitful for me. Sone did a lot of work on a few vechiles for a

    market gardener and he loaded up his ute with fruit and veggies.

    His wife brought them all down for me to preserve and make into sauces cordial etc.

    Sons friends mother has given up preserving living on her own so I ended up with all her

    jars and an extra Fowlers preserver.

    I did tomatoes in whole, pieces, sauces, paste

    sauces from tomatoes, plums chillies, and fruit

    jams from peaches apricots plums necterine, lilly pillys,etc.

    I did vegetables of all kinds. you must redo these with in 28 hours to kill of the bugs.

    We made cordials wines, beers [which son has drunk most]

    made fruit mice for Christmas, fruit in brandy as presents,

    I also dried a lot as I have a fowlers and another brand I got as a Christmas present,

    I have dried fruit, onions, egg whites, pumpkins flour tomato flour I add these to bread,

    I also did fruit leathers for the grandchildren

    I had a go at garlic it took a couple of days to dry the 4 trays of cloves

    but they were able to grind down so I could make garlic salt and this one doesn’t go hard.

    All of this is shared with my sons families so it saves all around.

    Storing is my hardest thing as my kitchen is dreadfully small, so most are in boxes wrapped in paper under the spare bed

    Lady Bee

    Robyne post=358084 wrote:

    made fruit mice for Christmas

    My god, I hope that’s a typo!


    lol Lady B, I didn’t even notice that!

    I was sure I replied to this topic, but it never appeared so we’ll give it another go!

    I love preserving! I think maybe I was a squirrel or chipmunk in a past life! I made lemon cordial and pink grapefruit cordial in the last couple of weeks. I’ve been dehydrating lemon slices to whizz into powder too. Last summer we dehydrated tons of nectarine, mango, pineapple, and peach. I had to hide them as one of my boys was eating them as fast as they were coming off the trays. I’ve also made fruit syrups from pomegranates, cherries, peaches, mangoes, grapes and strawberries.

    I’m coming to the end of my bottled tomatoes sadly but will be able to buy boxes of them again soon. When I make passata I like to drain off as much of the watery tomato liquid as possible and I preserved that this year too. Wow – it really packs a flavour punch when added into soups and stews! I was totally not expecting that.

    I’ve started making yoghurt again using culture I bought online and it is amazing – so lovely and creamy. My son had to convince classmates at school that that’s what REAL yoghurt looks like. He’s been taking it with a handful of frozen blueberries at the bottom and topped with the peach and mango sauce.

    I am still amazed at how much flavour is added to things with my mushroom powder – dehydrated mushrooms blended into a fine powder.

    I haven’t reached the point of making beer or wine but make flavoured liqueurs from pomegranates, cherries, quinces and tried some limoncello this winter too, but still have to strain it and add the sugar syrup.

    This week I am finally going to be making lemon butter / curd with the last of the lemons that were gifted to me, and will hopefully have time to de-seed and juice the last of the pomegranates waiting patiently in the fridge.


    Your my hero 🙂

    Nick Carroll

    Great post Mudhen and Robyne. It’s all interesting and inspiring.

    Robyne. How do you make wine cordial?

    Mudhen, ruby grapefruit cordial I will try that out. Yep we bottled around 20kg of tomatoes and they run out about 3 months later, dam. Tasted so good as a tomato based paste sauce with onions, carrots, zucchini, basil etc I’ve just brought 50 x no 27 bottles so next autumn I hope to bottle 60 kg or so. I then hope this will last the 5 of us till the next summer.

    Does the yogurt taste different by adding the yogurt culture,as opposed to adding another batch of yogurt? where online did you buy the starter? Great story about your kids at school? My kids won’t eat my yogurt, well the 2 year old love it, but not the 10 and 4 year old, ‘that doesn’t look like normal yogurt!’ I do live in hope that they will see me making yogurt and/or help me then be interested in trying it in the future.

    I have a section of lazer light at the back of our house, face north. It large around 8 meters by 1 meter. I’ve put up ply under this to create a shade for the house during summer and to dry fruit. I dried a few trays of our plums which the kids and I liked. But they turned out a little hard, which I think maybe caused by it being a little to hot. Next summer/autumn i maybe able to channel the hot air from this section to shaded section above. I will try both methods and see what we like. I’ve also been considering making a small lazer light hot house, to raise tomatoes etc in during winter and then use that as a drying space during summer/autumn. It may need some shade cloth to not let it get to hot during summer.

    I keep meaning to dry some orange slices and dip then in melted chocolate. Yum. Real jaffer.

    I’m making some lemonade at the moment just waiting for 14 days till its ready. Have made this once before but didn’t use cider vinegar and it never got bubbly. Will be interested to see how this turns out.

    I’ve made 4 loafs of sourdough in the last week, I know this isn’t really preserving but it taste so good.

    Lady Bee

    I bought yoghurt culture from Mad Millie, but there are a number of places that sell it. If you’ve got a decent home-brew shop near you, a lot of those are branching out into cheese making, so you could always ask there too.

    My latest ‘innovation’ has been damson gin. It’s so yummy! I had a pile of damsons last year and we don’t eat much jam so I was trying to work out what to do with them. Had already made about 25 litres of damson wine when I came across a recipe for damson gin. Super easy to make. Freeze the damsons for a couple of days, plonk them in a big jar with screw top lid, put in sugar and cover with gin. (find the cheapest gin you can) Shake it every day for 3-4 months then strain and enjoy. It’s a lovely liqueur, sweet and sticky. I’m going to try a batch without the sugar to see what it turns out like. Might even try vodka too.

    Nick Carroll

    Mudhen thanks I’ll drop into the home brew shop and give that a go at some stage. The plum gin sounds good.

    I made some tamarillo jam last night. We have 4 tamarillo trees a mix of red and orange fruit. I planted these as a temporary screen along the back fence until the citrus trees get bigger to form that screen. I planted some more trees in the front garden this week, such a good fruit to grow down here, very few pests, grow fast and fruit a lot. Though it will be interesting to see how they cope with the wind in the front garden.

    I haven’t made much jam still feeling my way, but I did notice that the texture and shine changed towards the end and I assumed that meant it was ready, then bottled it. And it worked. I’ll wait a week or so before opening some.

    Nick Carroll

    Made some lemon cordial with Epsom salts, it tastes great. I only made 1 1/2 bottles, but will make more soon to keep for summer.

    Also made some vegetable sock in a pressure cooker and the we canned it in a pressure canner. We have had this canner for a few months but this is the first time I’ve used it. I toke the advise from this site of collecting peelings and off cuts of carrots, onions, celery etc and kept them in the freezer till I had enough to make stock. It made 7 x pint jars. I will use fowler jars either 31 or 27 next time as we are a family of 5 so would need several pint jars to make soup etc.

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