Savoury Cabbage

Serves 4

2 tablespoons oil

125g bacon, diced

I onion, diced

1 small apple – cored and diced (use a cooking apple such as Granny Smith if possible)

½ medium cabbage, shredded

3 to 4 teaspoons cider vinegar

Heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the bacon until it begins to crisp.

Add the onion and apple and sauté for 3 minutes more.

Add the cabbage and stir to combine.

Cover with a lid and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, then remove lid and stir in the vinegar.

Increase heat and cook without the lid until the liquid has evaporated.


 For mashed potato component

1kg potatoes, peeled and cut into 10cm chunks

50g butter, diced

1 teaspoon salt, approximately

½ cup milk, approximately

For the cabbage component

30g butter

1 onion

2 cups shredded cabbage

Place the potatoes in a saucepan and barely cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook until tender. Drain well and mash until smooth.

Add the butter and salt (to taste) and then whisk in enough milk to make a creamy, delicious mash. (Add a little white pepper if liked).

To make the cabbage component, heat the butter in a frying pan and sauté the onion and cabbage for about 5 minutes, until the cabbage has wilted. Be sure that any excess liquid is evaporated off.

Mix the cabbage into the hot mashed potatoes and serve.


  • sauté 90g chopped bacon with the onion and cabbage
  • Just before serving time, mix through one or two finely chopped spring onions or. 1 to 2 tablespoons snipped chives

Easy Chow Mein

 1 tablespoon oil

500g beef mince

1 onion, finely diced

1 teaspoons curry powder

2 tablespoons medium or long grain rice

1 packet chicken noodle soup

2 cups shredded cabbage

1 cups sliced beans (fresh or frozen)

1 cup water

Heat the oil in a saucepan and cook the mince, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until it changes colour, then add the onion and cook for two minutes more.

Stir in the curry powder, rice and chicken noodle soup mix and cook for 1 minute, stirring, then add the cabbage, beans and water.

Bring to the boil, stirring, then put lid on the saucepan and reduce heat to low.

Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the water is absorbed.



Brining solution

200g cooking salt

2 litres water (3 cups boiling and 5 cups cold)

1.5 to 2kg pickling onions

Spiced vinegar

7½ cups vinegar

20g allspice berries

20g peppercorns

A few cloves

1 bay leaf

¾ cup sugar

To make brining solution, combine salt and boiling water and stir until the salt is dissolved, then stir in the cold water. Allow to cool, add onions and weigh down with a plate or similar and set aside for 24 hours.

Next day make the spiced vinegar. Combine vinegar, spices and sugar in a saucepan and bring to just below boiling point. Cover saucepan with a lid, then leave to infuse for at least 3 hours. Strain through a sieve. Set aside to cool completely.

Drain onions from brining solution, rinse well and pat dry with a paper towel. Pack onions into sterilised jars to within 2.5cm of top of each jar. Each jar should contain 650g onions approximately. It’s important to keep the proportions right so that there is enough vinegar in each jar to preserve the onions effectively.

Pour cooled spiced vinegar over onions, ensuring that onions are completely covered. Each jar should contain about 3 cups of the spiced vinegar.

If onions float to the surface, place a crumpled piece of baking paper in top of each jar and press into the vinegar, making sure there are no air pockets underneath. After a few days this can be removed as onions will have absorbed the vinegar and should stay submerged.

Seal immediately and store in a cool, dry and dark place for 2 months before opening.


(Recipe from “A Year on the Farm” by Sally Wise, ABC Books/HarperCollins Publishers)

This delightful concoction is an Indian style chilli oil pickle. You will notice that the finished product has some oil floating on top. Please do not be tempted to remove it, as it is an essential ingredient for the preserving.

Once the jar is emptied of pickle, this residual oil can be used to flavour dressings, or to sauté meats, chicken, fish or vegetables.

My personal favourite is to dip little pieces of fresh baked crusty bread into the flavoursome oil, a simple feast but absolutely delicious.

1½ cups white or cider vinegar

20 cloves garlic

2.5cm piece of green ginger

250g long red or green chillies, stalk end removed and each cut into 3 pieces

2kg ripe tomatoes, chopped

1½ tablespoons of mustard seeds

1 ½ cups oil such as mild flavoured olive, peanut or sunflower

One and a half tablespoons of turmeric

4 tablespoons cumin powder

1¼ cups sugar

1 tablespoon salt

Peel the garlic and ginger, then place in a food processor with the chillies.

Blend well on high speed until well pureed.

Place in a large saucepan or jam pan with the rest of the ingredients. Bring to the boil, stirring, then simmer for approximately two hours or until desired consistency is reached.

Pour into warm sterilized jars and seal immediately.

(Any) Herb Jelly

(Recipe from “A Year in a Botlte” and “Complete Preserves” by Sally Wise, ABC Books)

 1kg cooking apples (such as Granny Smith)

5½ cups water

325ml white vinegar

1 cup finely chopped mint or other herb

Cut the apples (no need to core or peel) into 1cm pieces and place in a large saucepan with the water and vinegar. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the apples are soft. Strain through a fine sieve.

For every 600ml of the resulting liquid, add 500g sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring, and then boil briskly until setting point is reached (about 30 minutes).

Remove from heat and lift off any scum form the surface with a slotted spoon. Stir in the chopped mint and then pour into small warm sterilized jars and seal immediately with a screw top lid.

Every 15 to 30 minutes, turn the jar upside down so that the mint is evenly distributed as the jelly sets.

Pineapple Relish

1kg chopped fresh pineapple flesh (or equal weight in tinned)
2 small onions, peeled and chopped
250g chopped red capsicum
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh green ginger root
Juice of one lime
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups sugar
2 cups vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mustard

1 teaspoon turmeric¼ cup vinegar (extra)
3 teaspoons cornflour

Place all ingredients (except the extra vinegar and cornflour) in a large pot.

Bring to the boil, stirring frequently, then reduce heat to medium and cook for one hour, stirring occasionally.

Mix together the extra vinegar and cornflour and stir some or all into the simmering relish if needed.  Cook for a further three minutes, stirring constantly.

Pour into sterilised bottles and seal immediately.

Plum sauce

3kg plums (any sort)

1.5kg sugar

6 cups cider vinegar

500g onions, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

3 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon grated green ginger

3 teaspoons ground allspice

2 teaspoons ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon chilli flakes

1 teaspoon mustard powder

Juice 1 lemon

1 tablespoon maize cornflour mixed to a paste with 2 tablespoon extra vinegar, optional

Place all ingredients in a large saucepan or jam pan and stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is boiling. Continue to boil 1 ½ to 2 hours or until the mixture is thick, stirring often.

Press through a colander. Bring the sauce thus produced back to the boil, especially if thickening is needed. Stir in until desired consistency is reached, then pour into warm sterilised bottles and seal immediately.

Preserved Olives – the one I have used often

 5kg olives

500g cooking salt

5 litres water

Place the olives and salt in a food safe container   Mix well and then cover with cool water. Mix well until the salt is dissolved.

Place lid on the container and leave for 1 to 6 months until ready.

Note: – make sure the olives are entirely covered with the salt solution. If they tend to float, crumple a piece of baking paper and press into the jar, making sure there are no air bubbles.

Preserved Olives recipe (Pat Carnevale)

1kg olives

70g marine salt

3 cloves

¼ stick cinnamon

2 pieces lemon peel

2 bay leaves

Place all in a food-safe container. Cover with water, cover container.

Turn every day. Leave 3 months. Strain off and then repeat the process as above.

Leave three months in the brine before using.


Air Fryer Banana Honey Spice Cake

125g butter, softened

50g soft brown sugar

70g honey

1½ teaspoons finely grated lemon rind

1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind

1 egg

150g self raising flour

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon mixed spice

125g mashed banana

Grease an 18cm round tin and line base with baking paper, grease again.

Whisk together (with an electric beater) the butter, brown sugar and honey until thick and creamy. Add the egg and beat again.

Fold in the combined, sifted dry ingredients and lastly the mashed banana.

Spoon into the tin and smooth out the top.

Place the tin in the air fryer and bake at 160 degrees for 25 minutes.

Orange Butter Bars

3 eggs

1½ cups sugar

Grated rind 3 oranges

3 cups self raising flour

1 tablespoon custard powder

1 cup milk

½ cup orange juice

125g butter, melted

Orange Icing

3 cups icing sugar

Grated rind 1 large orange

2 teaspoons melted butter

Juice 1 orange (approximately)

To Make the Cake

Heat oven to 160 degrees C (fan forced). Grease a baking tin 25cm x 35cm.

Whisk the eggs, sugar and orange rind together until light and fluffy.

Add the flour, custard powder, milk and orange juice (do NOT stir until all of these are in the bowl) and then whisk together until the batter is smooth.

Pour into the prepared tin and level out. Bake for approximately 40 minutes until a metal skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Leave the cake to cool in the tin.

 To make the icing

Sift the icing sugar and add softened butter.

GRADUALLY add the orange juice until a spreadable consistency is reached. Spread over cake.

If wishing to have a feather and fan effect on the icing, hold back ½ cup of the orange icing. Mix into this 1 tablespoon cocoa and enough boiling water to make the same consistency as the batch of orange icing.

Spread orange icing over cake and then, using a piping bag with small nozzle, pipe parallel lines at 1cm intervals across the cake then drag a skewer through to give the desired effect).

Anne’s Gin Sponge

 Anne rang in this recipe, which has been handed down through three generations in her family.

¼ lb (125g) butter

1 cup sugar

2 or 3 eggs, (depending on size), well beaten

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 teaspoons ginger powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ cup milk

Grease a lamington tin 9” x 11” and 1” deep. (18 x 28cm and 2.5cm deep).

Beat the butter and sugar together until light in colour.

Mix in the eggs and then fold in the combined and sifted dry ingredients alternatively with the milk.

(The mixture may well look curdled but it will cook fine).

Bake for approximately 25 minutes in a moderate oven.

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. When cold, split in half and fill with whipped cream. If liked, spread with ginger icing.

Pumpkin Fruit Cake

Serves 8 to 10

250g butter

1 cup sugar

Half a teaspoon natural lemon essence or 2 to 3 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind

2 eggs

1 cup cold mashed pumpkin

1 cup plain flour

1 cup self raising flour

375g to 500g mixed dried fruit

Heat oven to 150°C. Grease a 20 to 23cm deep round cake tin and line base with baking paper.

Cream the butter, sugar and lemon essence (or rind) together, then whisk in the eggs. Mix in the pumpkin, then the combined flours and mix with a metal spoon until the cake batter is smooth. Fold in the dried fruit. Spoon batter into tin, making sure that there are no air pockets.

Bake for 1 to 1½ hours or until a metal skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in tin, and afterwards store in an airtight container or wrapped in foil. If possible, leave the cake a few days before eating.


Mini Quiches

2 sheets ready rolled puff pastry

125g grated tasty cheese

125g bacon, finely chopped

3 tablespoons cream (or creamed corn)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 egg, lightly beaten

1½ tablespoons chopped parsley

1 small onion, grated (optional)

 Turn the oven to 200 degrees C. Grease 24 scoop patty tins (or coat lightly with cooking spray)

Leave pastry sheets on bench to thaw. Cut circles from the pastry sheets and press into patty pans. With careful cutting you should get 12 from each sheet.

Mix all the other ingredients together. Place two teaspoonfuls of mixture into each pastry case and bake for 12 to 15 minutes till well puffed and golden.

Pumpkin Cheese Pie

This will make 24 smaller tarts or 12 larger – or the filling mixture can be poured into a 23cm round deep pie dish that has been lined with pastry.

You can fold in a handful of baby spinach leaves and half a cup of diced feta – do this last, just before pouring onto the pastry in the pie dish.

½ cup milk

250g grated tasty cheese

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 rounded tablespoons self raising flour

1 cup cooked mashed pumpkin (cooled)

1 dessertspoon sweet chilli sauce, optional

Place milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil.

Remove from heat and mix in cheese. Cool for 5 minutes.

Whisk in eggs, then flour and pumpkin and stir in sweet chilli sauce. If using.

Grease 24 x ¼ cup capacity muffin tins or 12 x ½ cup capacity and line with circles of pastry cut from pastry sheets. Make sure the circles allow for lining right up the sides of each tin.

Three quarters fill each case with pumpkin/chilli mixture.

Bake at 200°C for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 150°C and bake until the filling is set.


Hot Potato Salad

As with the recipe above, this dish is absolutely delicious, but again if you wish to reduce fat levels, use Lite cream, low fat mayonnaise, reduced fat cheese and lean bacon.

It is not something you would eat every day, but is an extremely tasty accompaniment to a meal.

1 kg potatoes

1 onion, finely chopped

125g bacon pieces

¾ cup mayonnaise

½ cup cream

½ cup grated cheese

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Grease a 20cm casserole dish.

Peel the potatoes and cut into 2.5cm cubes. Cook (steaming or microwaving for a few minutes in a covered dish is best for this recipe) until just tender.

Turn oven to 180°C. Grease a casserole or lasagna dish.

Place the onion and bacon in a small pot and sauté until the onion is tender.

Mix with the mayonnaise and cream.

Place the cooked potatoes in casserole dish and pour the cream mixture over. Mix carefully.

Sprinkle grated cheese over the top and bake for 15 minutes or until heated through.

At serving time, sprinkle with chopped parsley.





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