Starting the Olive Harvest

I don’t know how many olives we will be able to harvest this year.  Time is not something we seem to have enough of at the moment and other things are just more important.  It’s a shame seeing olives going to waste but such a low price commodity often rots on the floor I guess. We will do some though not the 150+ trees that we should.  The main olive oil crop won’t even be our trees.  Instead we will pick the Mother-in-law’s who lives on flat ground with great trees that produce fine olive oil.  Most importantly they are […]

Schug Chili Paste Recipe

This year in the Self Sufficient garden, we have had an extremely successful chili crop.  So successful in fact, that even my desire for all things Hot ‘n’ Spicy has been complete satiated. But I had never before made a Chili Paste preserve. I had nearly run out of things to do with them all.  We have a fair few ripe chillies, both large and small drying outside, and many (too many) jars of Pickled Chilies in the larder.  I felt like doing something different and found a truly Hot Chili Paste called Schug.  With a name like that how […]

Making the Most of the Harvest – Herb Infused Oil

Today it’s all about making the most of the herb harvest, with basil infused oil so you always have summer to hand on the kitchen shelf. Okay, so we’re not technically self sufficient in basil.  But, thankfully we know someone who is.  And, better still (for us, not them), they’re spending summer in sunny Blighty.  This means we get to carry out a weekly ‘huerto’ check.  We see that their rather splendid automated watering system is working correctly and that the local bunny population hasn’t stolen all their vegetables. On our last visit, we noticed their basil patch was looking […]

Preserving the Harvest Peppers and Chillis

Making the most of the vegetable garden, involves stocking up on those things in glut.  At the moment it’s chillies and peppers.  And, it looks like it may well stay this way for some time.  That’s okay though, as I’m a lover of the humble pepper.  Mild ones, sweet ones, spicy ones, super hot killer ones, I’m happy with them all.  Preserving the harvest is a great way to extend the seasons and help your vegetable patch keep you self sufficient in certain foods for as long as possible. This year we have a few different sorts of chillies and […]

Brine Cured Dill Cucumber Recipe

The cucumber plants in the vegetable garden look terrible at the moment.  The leaves keep being shredded by the wind.  But, regardless, they’re fruiting like crazy. So we’re enjoying cucumber soups, raitas and many salads.  But, we’re also ‘putting some by’ to enjoy in the winter months, as gherkins, dill pickles, pickled cucumbers or whatever you like to call them. For me, they’re brine cured pickled cucumbers and here’s how I make them… Brine Cured Dill Pickles Ingredients First of all, we’re talking knobbly ridge cucumbers, not shiny smooth greenhouse grown varieties.  But, that is the only rule I abide […]

Brine Recipe for Brine Cured Pickles

With some things growing full tilt in the vegetable garden at the moment, I am on regular pickling duty.  It’s not yet time for lots of chutneys, but every week a few batches of dill pickled cucumbers, pickled chillies and peppers are being made up. These types of pickles really are the easiest to create.  It’s just a matter of picking things, cleaning them up, packing into sterilised canning jars, topping with brine vinegar and waiting for them to be ready. To keep things really convenient, I make up one large batch of brine vinegar.  Then I can quickly preserve […]

Tasty Apricot Jam Recipe

We just love free stuff here at A Self Sufficient Life.  Last week it was a carrier bag full of tiny sweet apricots. The wonderful lady who gifted them to us suggested I make some Apricot Jam, to which I responded I had too much Cherry Jam to do at the moment.  But as the apricots sat, wafting their wonderful scent about the kitchen I gave in.  I am very glad I did.  I do believe this may now be my favorite homemade jam recipe!  Well until I try another I suppose. Tasty Apricot Jam Recipe Apricot Jam Ingredients 1.3 […]