Sunday, April 7, 2013

I'm In A Pickle.....And Loving It!

Homemade Sweet and Spicy Gherkins
I started bottling sweet and spicy gherkins in 2007, and it has been something that I have looked forward to every year since then.  We had quite a number of gherkins from the garden this year, so today I spent a good part of the day in my last step by step processing for the gherkins.  I have about 5 or 6 bottles now and that will do us well for the winter.  We won't be seeing any more gherkins from the garden until next summer now,but it has been great fun bottling them.  I have a recipe for bottling them which I found on the Internet several years back and it has seved us well.  I thought I would re-post the details from 2007 for those of you who will soon be in summer.  We are in autumn presently here in New Zealand.  So if you love sweet and spicy gherkins, get your garden plots ready to plant your gherkins.  The recipe for bottling them is very straightforward and you will be surprised how easy it is if you have never canned in your life.  Anyway here is my post again fro 2007 below.
Enjoy your Sweet and Spicies!
Three months or so ago, while visiting with my wonderful In-Laws, my husband's father was kind enough to give us a nice bag full of gherkins from his lavish garden. My antennas went up and all that I could envision was making some Sweet Gherkin Pickles from our prized gift. The only thing was.... that although I have been in plenty of pickles of my own in my life....I had never made any for eating. Now I must admit I am a great lover of recipes from the Internet, many of which have become household favorites. So off to the computer I fled to find a recipe for making my pickles. I came across the following recipe from a wonderful website called Recipe Source and did not have to look any further as it appeared that this recipe presented itself as being very straightforward, and in fact the pickles were extremely easy to make, and no fuss. I guess it must have been in April or May that I had made them, but decided to let them soak in all the lovely juices for a couple of months before tempting to try them. Well today was the day for the unveiling. I was so pleased with the outcome that I just had to share this recipe today. The pickles were crisp and crunchy and ever so sweet with a very spicy flavoring. The pickling spices certainly do the trick and this is one recipe that I will be making again and again. Have a go with it if you enjoy pickles.....very straightforward and luscious to boot!

Note: This recipe can be found at the Recipe Source.Com website below and is adapted for MasterCook.

For more information about the MasterCook Software visit the link above.
Recipe Source.Com
Serving Size : 6


7 lbs Cucumbers (1-1/2 inch or less)
1/2 c Canning or pickling salt
8 c Sugar
6 c Vinegar (5 percent)
3/4 tsp Turmeric
2 tsp Celery seeds
2 tsp Whole mixed pickling spice
2 Cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp Fennel (optional)
2 tsp Vanilla (optional)

Yield: 6 to 7 pints


Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch slice off blossom end and discard, but leave 1/4-inch of stem attached.
Place cucumbers in large container and cover with boiling water.
Six to 8 hours later, and on the second day, drain and cover with 6 quarts of fresh boiling water containing 1/4-cup salt.
On the third day, drain and prick cucumbers with a table fork.
Combine and bring to boil 3 cups vinegar, 3 cups sugar, turmeric, and spices. Pour over cucumbers.
Six to 8 hours later, drain and save the pickling syrup. Add another 2 cups each of sugar and vinegar and reheat to boil. Pour over pickles. On the fourth day, drain and save syrup. Add another 2 cups sugar and 1 cup vinegar. Heat to boiling and pour over pickles. Drain and save pickling syrup 6 to 8 hours later. Add 1 cup sugar and 2 tsp vanilla and heat to boiling. Fill sterile pint jars, with pickles and cover with hot syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. For more information on sterilizing jars see “Jars and Lids”. Adjust lids and process according to the recommendations in Table 1, or use the low-temperature pasteurization treatment.
(For more information see “Low-Temperature Pasteurization Treatment”.)
Table 1. Recommended process time for Sweet Gherkin Pickles in a boiling-water canner. Style of Pack: Raw. Jar Size: Pints. Process Time at Altitudes of 0 - 1,000 ft: 5 min. 1,001 - 6,000 ft: 10 min. Above 6,000 ft: 15 min.
This recipe can also be found at Recipe Source.Com right HERE.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Granny Smith Working Overtime

Hello Food Lovers
I have been try to organize my time more carefully so I can get back into Blogging regularly as it has been a while.
I live in New Zealand and Autumn is just around the corner here for us, which is a reminder that our apple trees will be reaping some rewards for us.  Each year I enjoy canning 'Apple Butter' which I make from the apples on our trees.  Actually Apple Butter does not have any butter in it, just so you know, in case your have never made it or eaten it before.  One of the reasons it is called Apple Butter because when it is all processed and ready to be put in canning bottles the Apple Butter is smooth and creamy just like butter.  It is amazingly good and tastes just wonderful on bread or toast as a spread and also is great on crackers with a slice of brie or camembert, or just by itself on the crackers.  Next to canning sweet and spicy gherkins I enjoy making the Apple Butter the most.  If you have not tried itm you are really missing out on somethng sensational.  Granny Smith apples make the best Apple Butter of all in my humble opinion, but you can use Royal Gala or even wild apples.
Approximately 6 years ago I shared the recipe for it on my Food Blog that I always use, however I have two or three techniques but the following one I love the best. Be warned though, that this is not something that can be made in 5 minutes.  It is a step by step process but it is worth every single minute and I know you will be pleasantly surprised for all of you that have never tried it.  The key though I feel is to plan to make several large jars of it so you will always have plenty on hand until the next apple season.  You can just keep the sealed jars on a shelf in your cupboard, but once you open a jar of it to use, be sure to refrigerate it.  Keep in mind also that it can last months in the refrigerator once it has been opened. 
I thought I would post the full recipe once again for newcomers to my Food Blog.
I hope you will enjoy this delightful recipe for canning Apple Butter.
Enjoy the recipe, and I would love to know how your apple butter turns out!


4 lbs of good cooking apples (we use Granny Smith or Gravenstein)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups water Sugar (about 4 cups, see cooking instructions)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
Equipment Needed
1 wide 8-quart pan (Stainless steel or copper with stainless steel lining)
A food mill or a chinois sieve
A large (8 cup) measuring cup pourer
6-8 8-ounce canning jars
Preparing the Fruit
1.  Cut the apples into quarters, without peeling or coring them (much of the pectin is in the cores and flavor in the peels), cut out damaged parts.

First Stage of Cooking
2. Put them into large pot, add the vinegar and water, cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cook until apples are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Measure out the purée and add the sugar and spices3 Ladle apple mixture into a chinois sieve (or foodmill) and using a pestle force pulp from the chinois into a large bowl below. Measure resulting puree. Add 1/2 cup of sugar for each cup of apple pulp. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add a dash of salt, and the cinnamon, ground cloves, allspice, lemon rind and juice. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

The above is a chinois sieve

 The above is a food mill
You can use either for this canning recipe

Second Stage of Cooking
4. Cook uncovered in a large, wide, thick-bottomed pot on medium low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Scrape the bottom of the pot while you stir to make sure a crust is not forming at the bottom. Cook until thick and smooth when a bit is spooned onto a cold plate and allowed to cool (1 to 2 hours). You can also cook the purée on low heat, stirring only occasionally, but this will take much longer as stirring encourages evaporation. (Note the wider the pan the better, as there is more surface for evaporation.)

5. There are several ways to sterilize your jars for canning. You can run them through a short cycle on your dishwasher. You can place them in a large pot (12 quart) of water on top of a steaming rack (so they don't touch the bottom of the pan), and bring the water to a boil for 10 minutes. Or you can rinse out the jars, dry them, and place them, without lids, in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes.

6. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal. If you plan to store the apple butter un-refrigerated, make sure to follow proper canning procedures. Before applying the lids, sterilize the lids by placing them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Wipe the rims of the jars clean before applying the lids. I use a hot water bath for 10 minutes to ensure a good seal.
As an alternative to stove cooking the puree you can cook uncovered in a microwave, on medium heat to simmer, for around 30 minutes.

Makes a little more than 3 pint jars.  You can adjust the recipe to make larger quantities.  I usually use large jars, and several of them for storing.

A Lovely Recipe Using Your Homemade Apple Butter

Baked Prosciutto and Brie with Apple Butter Recipe
Courtesy Tyler Florence
Show: Food 911 Episode: Texas Tea Party
1 loaf crusty French bread
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup apple butter
16 thin slices prosciutto
about 1/4 pound 2 pears or apples, thinly sliced
1 pound Brie, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut 16 (1/2-inch thick) slices out of the loaf. Butter each side of the slices and put them onto a baking sheet. Spread 1 tablespoon of apple butter onto each slice. Top this with 1 slice of prosciutto and 3 or 4 slices of pear or apple. Cover this with the Brie slices, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Hugs From Patricia


Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy New Year Friends

Avocado Crème Brûlée
I am putting this on the top of my list for my next taste test.  I love Avocados and pretty much just use them in guacamole dip only, but I will always be the first to try something new.  I found this recipe at Project Foodie recently and was delighted to add it to my Favorite Food Blogs.  I hope some of you will try it like to buy my avocados!
It has been such a long...very long time since I have posted, but one thing for certain is that I am so happy I did not delete my Blog pages all together, as I am about to start blogging again. I had some very serious health issues over the past couple of years which eventually resulted in a spinal fusion this past August. My recovery was relatively a slow one and one with too many restrictions. I was unable to sit comfortably for more than a few minutes at a time and spent many a day flat on my back staring at the ceiling. I am still in physiotherapy which will still go on for many more weeks. Soon I will be starting hydro therapy in our hospital's physio pool and I am looking forward to that for sure.
So much has happened since 2010 but I would like to begin afresh and it is good to be be back with everyone. Little by little I will be revamping my Blog as I think some new changes are evident, but for tonight I am just getting my feet wet once again and I will be into full swing soon. I see that there have been a huge number of people reading my existing Blog over the past two years....even in my absence and I truly thank you for that, and it is one of the main reasons I have to start blogging once again. I have missed it so much and I will endeavor to make my posts enjoyable and interesting.
In the something special for yourself!
Hugs From Patricia In New Zealand

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Cherry Rippled Vanilla Frozen Yogurt


Patricia Scarpin never ceases to amaze me with her absolutely delightful recipes on her
Technicolor Kitchen Food Blog.  I have been a fan of Patricia and her Food Blog for three years now.  What I love so much about her Blog is her finesse in photography, making everything she creates look like something to die for.  I have included one of her gorgeous photos above to give you an example of what I am talking about, and what you will have to look forward to when you visit her outstanding Blog.  The first taste that I ever had at Patricia's Blog was a recipe of hers for Lime and Macadamia Fudge.  When I first saw the photo I knew immediately that it was something I had to make immediately.  Be sure to check the recipe out when you have the time to have a look at Patricia's Blog.  Also you will find the recipe for the above on her Blog as well.



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Pavlova: A Slice Of New Zealand

I have decided to go ahead and post the recipe which I use for a Pavlova.  This particular one calls for using cherries as the topping, however you may find that you would like to choose your own topping.  I usually enjoy strawberries.  This recipe has been sourced from the Becks and Posh Food Blog.  You can find the URL below to visit their site and to enjoy other recipes available at this site. The following is the recipe for the pavlova.

Almond Cherry Pavlovas

Serves four

2 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 cup Bakers[US] or Castor[UK] sugar
1/4 cup Soft, Light Brown Sugar
1/8 cup Ground Almonds
1/2 teaspoon Distilled White Vinegar
1/2 pint of whipping or double cream
2 cups fresh cherries, stoned
1/2 cup flaked almonds
1 heaped tablespoon Bakers[US] or Castor[UK] sugar


- Preheat the oven to 250F
- Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks
- Slowly beat in the 1/2 cup brown/white sugar until the meringue is thick & glossy
- Gently fold in the ground almonds and the vinegar
- Spoon the meringue onto a silpat-lined baking sheet, forming four nest-like circles
- Pop the meringues into the oven for 35 minutes
- Turn the oven off, leaving the meringues there for at least 1.5 hours or overnight

Before Serving:

- Whip the cream until it thickens to the consistency of a soft, pillowy cloud
- Put the flaked almonds and 1 heaped tablespoon sugar into a small skillet
- Heat to medium whilst stirring constantly
- After a few minutes the sugar will start to caramelize
- Keep stirring to coat the nuts
- Once all the nuts are sticky and golden, remove from the heat to cool and crisp

- To serve, assemble meringue, then cream, cherries and finally almonds

This recipe is sourced from:
Becks and Posh Food Blog



Happy New Year Foodies

Well I just cannot believe it has been almost 2 years since I have posted anything to my Cooking Blog, and my other personal Blogs as well.  I have had numerous committments which have prevented me from staying in touch through my Cooking Blog "Platter Chatter With Patricia", and my fond hope is for me to start posting regularly now again with some exciting recipes, food articles, cookbook reviews, and other items to enhance your appetite.  I desperately need to tidy up  my right hand panel on this page with some refreshing new links for you to enjoy.  I will also be doing the same on my other Blogs so it may mean that my site will be somewhat be under a new construction phase, however there is still plenty to see nonetheless.  I have added some new cookbooks to my library so you may want to have a look at those.  They are ones that have been sitting in my collection for a while, but over the weekend I retrieved them to have a whole new look at them again with the hopes of inspiring some special new recipes.  Have a look through the right hand panel as there is still a lot to see and for you to enjoy.  Please make note that today I added a link about The History of The Pavlova.  Over the Christmas Holidays my husband made one and it was so scrumptious I had to have a hand in making one myself 2 weeks later.  It too was out of this world.  A Pavlova may not be known to some people outside New Zealand or Australia, so hop on over to the panel to the link where you will find the History of the Pavlova.  This week I will be posting my personal Pavlova recipe...I do think you will enjoy it very much.  Also I had been speaking to my dear sister in Michigan (I live in New Zealand by the way) over the holidays and we were having a good chat about Pavlovas.  Well Gayle had never made one before and I kept telling her that she just has to make one for her son-in-law who hails from New Zealand.  The Pavlova basically being a New Zealand recipe, I felt it would be a great Christmas Holiday surprise to spring on her daughter and her husband.  Anyway the upshot of it was that she wound up finding a pavlova recipe that was a chocolate one....virtually unheard of here in New Zealand.  She wound up making it for her family and it was loved by all, so now I will have to try the chocolate one myself.  Who knows I might be introducing a new version of the pavlova in New Zealand.  So I thought the perfect thing to start the New Year would be to post my first recipe for the New Year: The Pavlova.  I will plan on posting it tomorrow as I would like to spend several hours today in tidying up my Food Blog so you will have much more to enjoy when you pop on over for a visit.

In the meantime, keep those whisks shiny and may you have at least one chicken in the pot!



Monday, March 15, 2010

Edmonds Coobook Mustard Sauce

Mustard Sauce For Corned Beef and Cabbage

Now I know this is the spur of the close to St. Patrick's Day but I wanted to post this recipe for Mustard Sauce for those of you who would like a little something different than plain old mustard  from the jar on your Corned Beef and Cabbage for St. Patrick's Day.

I have been using this recipe each time I make a Corned Beef for almost 12 years now.  When I first moved to New Zealand  I came across the most wonderful cookbook called 'Edmonds Cookbook'.  It is a New Zealand icon, and it is chocked full of some of the most amazing recipes.  To be honest, and as some of you know my husband loves to cook too, and it is the only cookbook that he refers to.  I am more the cookbook collector in this household, and I have a huge collection which I have been collecting since I was a teenager.  Anyway the Edmonds Cookbook has the most fantastic recipe for mustard sauce and it is so nice for a change on your Corned Beed than just using plain old mustard.  You can also save yourself several dollars from not having to buy a bottle of mustard sauce in the grocery store.  A bottle of that is very pricey.  This is such a cinch to will take you five minutes at the very most.

So I am posting this recipe from the Edmonds Cookbook for you to enjoy, but just one more thing.  I put my own two cents worth into the recipe if interested.  Once you have made the recipe you can add 1-2 tablespoons of honey for another little different taste which is really great, so that will be up to you, but it tastes so lovely. You can't get it better than this.

Here is the recipe!


Hugs From Patricia


1 egg

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon flour

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 cup corned beef stock or ham stock (that corned beef or ham has been cooked in)

1/4 cup vinegar

salt & pepper


1. Beat egg and sugar together.

2. Add flour, mustard, pepper and salt.

3. Stir in liquids gradually.

4 .Cook in saucepan over medium heat until mixture thickens.

5. Serve over hot sliced corned beef or hot ham.