Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category


I’d been inspired lately to try my hand at making preserves. There’s something magical about it and to a non-domestic goddess such as myself, the task seemed about as achievable as a trip to the moon. Two weeks ago, I finally did it. I made tomato relish. It resembles tomato relish. It smells like tomato relish and oh boy was it good on our roast lamb sandwiches.

When I was finished I ran around the house like a crazy woman. Only my husband knows what an achievement this was…after all it was only a few short years ago that I was banished from the kitchen altogether.

Here it is. Trust me…if I can do it. You can too!


4 kg ripe tomatoes
1½ kg onions
1½ handfuls of salt
1⅓ kg sugar
3 level tablespoons curry powder
4½ level tablespoons mustard powder
¾ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1.7 L white vinegar
1 tablespoon cornflour


  • Peel and slice tomatoes and onions.
  • Sprinkle salt over the tomatoes and onions and leave overnight.
  • The next morning, pour off the liquid.
  • Place tomatoes and onions in a large pot and cover with vinegar.
  • Add the sugar and bring the mixture to the boil. Boil rapidly for five minutes.
  • Combine all the spices and stir into the relish mixture.
  • Boil gently for one hour, removing scum progressively and stirring frequently.
  • To thicken the relish, add the corn flour to a little water and mix to a smooth paste.
  • Add a little of the hot liquid from the relish mixture until the paste is the consistency of thin cream.
  • Add the paste to the relish mixture and stir continuously for around 5 minutes until it thickens.
  • Bottle into hot, sterilised jars and seal when cold. Makes approximately 12 medium sized jars.
  • Recipe notes

    Tomatoes are much easier to peel if you drop them into boiling water for a minute or two. If relish mixture appears to be too watery during cooking reduce it down by leaving the lid off the pot. This relish will keep for up to 12 months in a cool cupboard.

    Thanks to Best Recipes for this one.

    Photo by: Sifu Renka


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    Home made Cough Syrup


    Both my husband an I have been sick over the last few weeks. I managed to get rid of my sore throat within two days with this excellent home remedy for a sore throat. My husband had a long lasting dry cough which was driving us all mad. Neither of us could get any sleep as he lay awake coughing all night. After trying all manner of over the counter drugs, and with him not prepared to go to the doctor, I made up the following homemade cough syrup recipe. It really works. The ingredients are a combination of spices and nutrients with no unpleasant medicinal side effects.

    The recipe is from Herbally Yours by Penny C. Royal, 3rd Edition, June 1982. It soothes an irritated throat and relieves chest congestion and phlegm. We had been warned that it tasted terrible, but to be honest we both like the taste of it. Perhaps we were sicker than we knew. 

    Homemade Cough Syrup

    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 Tablespoon honey
    • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    • 2 Tablespoons water
      Mix and take by the teaspoon.

    Hubby took 3 teaspoons the first time because he had a bad dry cough for about two weeks. It worked and we both got a good night’s sleep. If you do try this, please leave me a comment and left me know how it goes. 

    CAUTION: I am not a medical practitioner, so please don’t take this as medical advice.

    Photo by: Jess and Colin

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    Two days ago I woke up with the worst sore throat. I couldn’t swallow without wincing. I didn’t want to talk and I couldn’t even move my head without causing sharp, stabbing pains through my tonsils. This is not unusual for me. I get tonsillitis quite regularly. When I was a kid it was every month, now it’s down to about three times per year. 


    In recent months, my husband and I have started moving towards a simpler life. There are many facets to this which I’ll discuss in a separate post one day, but for us that means trying home remedies for illnesses instead of automatically reaching for drugs. I’m trying to be kind to my body and reduce the number of toxins I put into it.

    This decision led me to the internet in search of the perfect home remedy for a sore throat. I came across this great site called Earth Clinic. The overwhelmingly popular remedy was Cayenne Pepper. I admit, I was skeptical, but my throat was so bad I had to give it a shot.

    1. My first concoction was 1 cup of hot water with 1/2 teaspoon of Vegemite (great source of Vitamin B) and a 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. I wouldn’t say it was tasty, but it wasn’t too unpleasant. The cayenne pepper left a slight warming of my mouth and lips, but it definitely reduced the pain in my throat by about 50%.

    2. Later that evening I tried 1 cup of hot water with some freshly squeezed orange juice from our backyard tree. I added 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and then honey to taste. This was a lot more pleasant to drink, but equally effective. 

    By the time I went to bed, the pain had reduced about 50%. The next morning however, the pain was almost completely gone. To me, this is amazing. Usually a sore throat like this hangs around for weeks and even antibiotics don’t do a great job.

    I am so thankful to have started along this path to a simpler life. I’m learning all types of new things and fell so much more self-sufficient.

    Photo By: Shutr

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