Time of bounty

By CJ | New Zealand

Jan 05

It is summer here in New Zealand.  This is also a time of plentiful growth in the garden and plenty of supplies at the local market.  Our garden has been blooming, and after a day of weeding and planting seedlings it now looks like this.

garden 1

lettuce new tomatoes


Our garden is riddled with oxalis which is the bane of my life, every time I tidy a patch of garden – poof – it reappears!  All tips on how to remove this weed gratefully received.  Anyway, back to the point of this post, Summer is a time of plenty.  We are clearly going to have a bumper crop of tomatoes.  Yesterday we picked four lettuces, a cabbage and a giant zucchini.  Quite a lot of produce given there are only two of us in the house.  So, friends and family will be receiving loads of fresh fruit and veg.


A and I also like to make sauces and preserve our goodies (or goodies we buy).  A returned from the market today with loads of plums.  So, out came the big pot and on went a batch of plum sauce.  We have a tried and true recipe.  I think I first made this recipe 15 years ago (crikey).  A made today’s batch – and it is mighty fine.  I am not sure where I cut this recipe from but it is easy to make and really tasty.  We have adapted it a bit so here goes:

Plum Sauce

3kg plums

250g onions

1.5 litres malt vinegar

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons ground ginger

2 tablespoons ground cloves

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)

We bung the whole plums into a large pot (we use our soup stockpot).  Peel and slice the onions.  Put in the pot with the vinegar and seasonings.  Cook until plums are soft.  Add the sugar and cook until pulpy.  Pass through a sieve (this will enable removal of the stones).  Return to pot and whiz up with a hand blender.  At this stage we simmer until it reduces and thickens to a nice gloopy texture.  When it cools, pour into sterilised bottles.  And there you have it – lovely plum sauce that can be used on a variety of dishes.  One of our favs is with delicious corn fritters.

We ended up with 4.5 bottles of plum goodness.  Take a peek…

Plum sauce

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