just a little bread and jam

lime marmalade || cityhippyfarmgirl

lime marmalade || cityhippyfarmgirl

sourdough || cityhippyfarmgirl

Jam in summer, marmalade in winter. That’s how it seems to roll around these parts. A steady supply of preserved seasons to go with the endless sourdough that seems to drift out of my oven. It’s a simple pleasure that never ever gets old.

What have you been preserving lately?


For something a little different, have a peak at ABC’s Organic Gardener magazine- feeling pretty happy to be squeezed in between the lovely likes of fermentation king Sandor Katz and Kate of Foxs Lane.


Orange and Passionfruit Jelly

I find making jams and marmalades really satisfying. If I don’t make any every couple of months it all begins to feel a little edgy.

Cook the fruit up, jar it, wipe them all down, and then line the jars up with all the others sitting in my darkened cupboard. A little contented sigh can be heard and life continues on.

Saves us a whole bag of money in doing so, and I get to preserve the season in a little jar. Summer is still tasted in midwinter, like with my Vanilla Plum Jam, and now winter can still be enjoyed (until I run out again) with this Orange and Passionfruit Jelly. Oranges from my dad’s backyard tree and passionfruit given to me, I needed something sweeter than marmalade as for the most part it this was going to be used on The Monkeys natural yogurt.

I used to get really impatient with making jellys. The whole drip, drip, drip…thing for hours. I wanted results quickly, not in 12 hours time. However now, I think I appreciate the whole process of it a bit better. I like being able to see that dripping bag get smaller and smaller, knowing that soon, a few more jars of golden goodness will be lining up with their counter parts and doing their preserves-in-the-pantry kind of thing.

Orange and Passionfruit Jelly


1 apple

2 passionfruit

2 limes

Oranges and apple peeled and quartered (a bit over a kilo). Into the pot with enough water to cover it. Cook for about an hour until all soft. Hang from some muslin (or jelly bag) and drain for about 10-12 hours or over night. Measure your orange juice, add juice of two limes and passionfruit, (I had about a litre of liquid) into a large pot and bring to a soft boil. Gradually add sugar, (I used a kilo- equal amounts juice to sugar.) Simmer until wrinkle stage or passes the saucer test.

* Don’t go and make a phone call while it’s cooking and leaving the stirring spoon in…. as it may boil over and burnt sugar and juice isn’t particularly fun to clean off.

lime and orange marmalade

If I could choose one thing to successfully grow I would have a lime tree.

A happy one that just insisted on giving and giving with lime after lime.

Yes, that’s what I’d have. No lime tree here, but I do have the occasional access to a short stumpy happy lime tree that gives up plump juicy limes just begging to be picked. Actually the limes didn’t have a choice, plucked from their leafy foliage, and slung into a box rather unceremoniously. I had marmalade on my mind as my stocks were low after last years batch of Cumquat and Lime Marmalade and I needed my citrus fix.

Lime and Orange Marmalade

limes thinly sliced

oranges peeled (I only used the flesh, not the skin)

chopped fruit in a bowl, (I used half orange, half lime) water just over the top, and soaked over night

weigh it all, and equal amount in sugar

cooked up, until marmalade passes the saucer test.

travels and tomato chutney

Maybe wait until I get home and we can book it together.

His words trailed behind him as he ran out the door. I stopped, frowned, and wondered why he wouldn’t have wanted me to go ahead and book the flights.  Hmm, I’m a big girl. Surely I could do this?

It didn’t take long for me to stop frowning.

Maybe it was because the last flights I had booked for his parents, had needed a little tweaking of their itinerary. It had been the parents-in-law once every 5 years break and they had asked me to sort out a weeks holiday for them. Sure. No problem, I’d love to. Three days in and I had it well and truly covered. Itinerary researched, places of interest taken down, accommodation scrutinized and everything just needing to be booked. I started with the flights, the logical first choice. With mother- in- law’s trusty credit card in hand, I paid. Confirmation email confirmed everything, along with the fact that I had just made a huge mistake. I had just flown them into the wrong city.

Excellent. Well there’s a good start. I swore, bit my nails, ranted to a friend, and then made a crazed phone call to Mr Chocolate to tell him what I had done. He laughed and said he couldn’t talk at the moment (he was at work).

So, I had two choices. One to try to change all the flights, or two change their holiday… rather a lot. I chose two, (and just between you and me, I think I actually gave them a better itinerary the second time around.) When we met up and I gave them their holiday details. I did toy with the idea of telling them some extraordinary story of how it was all booked out due to an alien space craft having just crashed into the area and all the local spok watchers were coming in from near and far to try and take a look at the big shiny aircraft. I wasn’t sure they would buy that one, so I… a little nervously, told them the truth. I had oops-ed the flight details, BUT had a lovely replacement holiday all booked for them now. They laughed, and said it didn’t matter. I laughed too, while carefully scrutinising their faces to see if it really DID matter… (I don’t think it really did.)

So it could have been for that reason that Mr Chocolate had asked for me to wait for him to book the flights…. OR it could have been referring to the time I booked some accommodation into the wrong town for ourselves and my mum coming back from a holiday. An innocent mistake that I had luckily picked up on just a few hours before we were supposed to arrive. How we all laughed and made funny jokes at my little mistake, (right after I had sworn, bit my nails and ranted to anyone that would stand still.) Thanks to a well organised international booking system, this little problem too was again righted.

As neither (minor) incidents had happened a long time ago, Mr Chocolate was clearly thinking of one or both of them and obviously thought the booking process should be monitored by someone other than myself.

Fair call I say. So I waited.

Flicking through my CWA Preserves book I did think vaguely about waiting until I had all the ingredients to one of these recipes. However, seeing as though there wasn’t a lot riding on the chutney. No flights needed to be caught, no accommodation needed to be checked in to and the chutney wouldn’t be going anywhere except the table. I didn’t. I had a bag of tomatoes waiting to be used and I had chutney on my mind. I just couldn’t decide what flavours to play with. Which recipe would I like? Actually none of them were grabbing me. They all sounded good, but they weren’t quite the flavours I had in mind. They weren’t my flavours. So with a close of the book, a little pause and a think, I got cracking.

Tomato Chutney

5 cloves garlic

2 onions quartered

2 apples quartered

1 inch peeled fresh ginger

all in the blender and give a quick wizz. Then all into a pot, also adding

3 tps cumin

3 tps coriander

and cook off for a few minutes. Back to the blender add

1 kilo of firm ripe tomatoes

pop that in the pot as well, and bring to a simmer, then add

2 1/2 cups brown sugar (loose, not firmly packed)

2 cups white vinegar

zest of 1 lime*

Cook at a simmer for about 35 minutes or until darker in colour and thicker. Then bottle.

* Don’t forget that lime. It was definitely the clincher.

Cumquat and Lime Marmalade- Adults Only

I am an adult and I like marmalade.

I am an adult and I also like dark chocolate and espresso coffee.

I am an adult and can stay up late at night, (I can… but, I dont.)

I am an adult and I can say no thanks to steamed fresh beetroot, purple cabbage and offal…and I like that I can say no.

I every time I take a bit of this delicious marmalade, it screams to me I am an adult. Why? As The Monkeys don’t like it and it’s all for me.

Me, me, me.

Last time my dad came to visit, he brought a bag full of fresh cumquats. This was a fruit that I hadn’t tried before but knew it was frequently used in marmalades. Did a little reading, researching and then tasting (souRRR!) There wasn’t enough to do only cumquat marmalade but lucky for me my dad had also brought a whole lot of huge limes from his tree. So Cumquat and Lime it was.

Finely slicing up all the fruit and reserving all seeds from the cumquats. Seeds were soaked in 1 cup of water overnight and sliced fruit covered in water and also soaked over night. The next day looking at my little bowl of seeds and water I was absolutely thrilled to see all the pectin had oozed out. A clear gelatinous little bowl full that gets cooked up in the marmalade, (ditching the seeds of course.) Sugar added. Cook it up and ready when a small saucer has been placed in the freezer, and a spoonful of the marmalade sets when placed on the cold saucer.

Result, one adults only marmalade. (Although its kind of worth it to get the kids to try it, just to watch their faces screw up…or is that the evil me?)