It was our first trip to the Eumundi markets, and the children and I were trailing our way through the stalls checking our the wares. I was most interested in food products, and found a little stall selling all sorts of delicious looking condiments.
'Pork Jam' caught my eye. A sweet relish/jam type of condiment to accompany pork dishes. Good thing for us, as we'd recently butchered a 200kg+ sow and so had a freezer full of pork at home! And Rick loves sauces/condiments.
So we bought a jar to take home to Rick. Now, it was delicious and all the family loved it. But normally $13.50 for such a little jar of something isn't justified in our large family. So the most economical step to take in order for us to continue to enjoy this jam, was to try an make it ourselves.
We searched the internet, but kept coming up with either 'bacon jam' recipes, which actually contain bacon, or with links to buy the exact same product we already had.
Plan B. Read the ingredient list on the label and try and replicate it, with a few tweaks.
The main ingredients were pineapple and apple. Easy. We found some pineapple jam recipes to loosely follow and went from there. Here's what we created, and it tastes very much like the pork jam we bought, but with more 'zing'.
Pineapple Jam for Pork
1 Pineapple, peeled/skinned and finely chopped
3 large apples, skinned, cored and finely chopped
2 1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
1 1/2 c filtered water
1 c lemon juice
2 tsp allspice, ground
1 Tbsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cardamom, ground
2 c sugar
1 sachet pectin (I used Mad Millie pectin, though noticed after buying it that ingredient #1 in it is sugar!)
Directions: Place the first 9 ingredients in a large pot and bring to the boil.
Add sugar and pectin and keep at a rolling boil until desired consistency is reached.
Pour into sterilized jars and store in the pantry until opened...then it'll need the fridge :-)
Don't eat/have pork? You can use this jam on toast etc, as a spiced jam.
Mallow (pictured above), great in salads...and abundantly unintentionally growing in our paddock!
Pliny the Elder claimed that "whosoever shall take a spoonful of the mallows shall that day be free from all maladies"
The children have loved using this book, full of illustrations, to identify food in our yard. Actually, they're far more knowledgeable about it than I am! We'll often be driving and they'll identify edible weeds we drive past on the side of the road!
Recipes are also included...where else would you find directions for an egg and nasturtium sandwich? Or a prickly pear pizza?
Plantain (pictured above), also known as ribwort. Studies have supported that traditional uses of plantain, such as treatment of diarrhea, giardia, ulcers and cancerous tumours are actually effective.
Plantain also does a wonderful job stopping the bleeding of wounds. Earlier this year my son and his friend were playing by a dam and his friend gashed his foot on a stick. My son quickly found some plantain and used it as a compress and yes, the bleeding stopped quickly.
Wild cabbage (pictured above), is most famed medicinally for it's anti-cancer properties. It's also able to assist in prevention and reducing the symptoms of diabetes. Unless very soft and young, the leaves are best cooked. You can also eat the little yellow flowers.
There's much more detailed info in the book of course, but you get the idea. Free food, free medicine...right in your backyard. I think this little book is a great reference book to have on the shelf if you're wanting to expand your culinary horizons :-) It's available both online and in bookstores, for about $20
Many of you will be perusing this blog because you're interested in DIY skills and simplifying your life. We're not the only ones with this interest.
In Kathmandu, Nepal, a group called Educate Nepal are imparting skills such as sewing, carving and jewellery making to women and girls who have been born into a life of poverty and sexual exploitation, but recently rescued and seeking to find a way to support themselves ethically.
I won't go into the atrocities these women have faced in their lives, but it's been no small task for people like Raju Sundas, a Nepali pastor, and his team to win these women's trust, get them out of the abuse and poverty they were trapped in and then train them to financially support themselves. For the younger ladies and girls, schooling is also offered.
I'm amazed at how beautifully this ministry has been working in these ladies lives. One woman in particular, who we saw the before and after photos of, almost couldn't be recognised as the same woman in both pictures. Before she looked utterly hopeless and distant, and after several months of love, friendship and purpose in her life she looked life a new woman. There was light in her face.
So, what I want to share with you, is the fruit of their labour. Educate Nepal has contacts in Australia and are shipping over some of the beautiful work these ladies have created for sale via their internet store. Last year we bought a handcrafted doll that was exquisite, as a Christmas gift for my sister. The face had even been hand painted!
With Christmas coming up again, it's great to be aware of places like Educate Nepal's store where you can find some of the gifts you need to buy, and be supporting the transformation of lives at the same time.
Here's the store http://transformthenations.org/store-categories/
Hi, my name is Racheal and I write the blog for Simple Living Toowoomba. Thanks for joining us on this journey to living a simpler life and encouraging others to do the same.