It was supposed to be the bow belt this week and yes I have made it, but I wanted to add a tutorial for those interested in making them too, so I’ve postponed that one to next week as I need to make a second belt to show you step by step!!!
So what did I make this week for the 52 project? Well I made something edible this time using some of the frozen plums I had in my freezer. These were earmarked for more of my home made wine but I thought I would try something different as I’m a little over plum wine to be honest! Most people I know instantly think of jam and although that did cross my mind I thought I’d be a little different (Helps that I’m not really a jam eater too!) so I made some spicy Plum sauce to use as a marinade, dipping sauce and general all round accompaniment to all sorts of dishes! I’ve also included the recipe for those of you interested in making it as well
Spicy Plum Sauce
- 1 cup of cider vinegar, I used an active one I got from the health food store.
- 2.5 kg of plums, or round about 9-10 cups sliced, pitted plums
- 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 cup honey I used manuka
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 small jalapeno peppers, finely minced (about 2 tbsp); make sure you wear gloves!
- 2 tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp ginger root, finely minced, or 1 and 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- Add 1/2 cup of cider vinegar to a large bowl. Rinse, pit and chop plums. As you go, measure and keep track of how many cups of chopped plums you have (in case you need to adjust the amount of low-acid ingredients in the recipe). Add chopped plums to the vinegar and mix, as you chop, in order to prevent browning of the fruit.
- Blend the plums in a food processor then add remaining 1/2 cup vinegar, sugar, honey, onion, garlic, jalapeno, mustard seed, salt, cayenne and ginger to a large stockpot (make sure to use your largest pot, as the plum sauce will foam up to double or triple it’s volume) and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, over high heat. Add plums, stir, and bring to a boil once more, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick & syrupy, about 2 hours. Make sure to scrape the bottom and corners of the pan as you stir and to periodically skim off any foam. You may need to lower the heat towards the end of the cooking time in order to prevent sticking and scorching. As the sauce thickens, it will begin to spit as you stir it; a long-handled spoon and/or oven mitt are very helpful in preventing burns.
- In the meantime, sterilise your jars and lids.
- Once sauce is thick enough (to your liking – remember that it will thicken some on cooling), spoon the hot sauce into hot, sterilised jars, leaving 2cm of headspace.
As you can see from my photo I finished my jars off with a nice material cap and a vintage style label. It will make nice gifts as well as look pretty in the cupboard.
My café this week was The Establishment in Hood St, CBD Hamilton. I actually go to this one regularly as a good friend likes to go there and I was meeting up with her. They always make great coffee and bend over backwards with service so I cant help but rate them a 10/10. I like the private booths but also the whole place is well spaced and has a lot of choice for seating regardless. This time we sat outside instead of our usual booth as it was such a lovely day! My Americano is always just right so no complaints this week!