Surprising just how often I come back to the basic principles set out in the Edmonds Cook Book.
One of the great things about getting properly engaged on the back page of the Herald when I was a young man was that somewhere in amongst the ensuing flood of cards and suit hire ads and so forth, there was nearly always a copy of the Edmonds Cook Book, so there was no possibility of the new groom going short of good New Zealand food.
(I happened to marry one of the best cooks in the country, but that's beside the point. Shelley, if you're reading this, accept your proper due.)
When I set about tracking recipes for Gran's plum sauce, Gran's plum jam, Gran's fruit cake, etc through the family archives they nearly all proved to derive from the Edmonds book.
So, forget the plum jam recipes and so forth. Most of those are still right there in the stained and torn and sticky pages of the Edmonds book. What I've put here are a few that are my own invention, or my adaptation of something I've found elsewhere.
As easy as. This is a slightly cloudy, intensely fruity marmalade that will taste better than anything you've ever bought. It may not have the crystal clarity or the cellophane top that wins A&P Show competitions, or gets you points at the WDFF, but it's a pretty good way to start the day all the same.
Dave's Gringo-Killer Sweet Chilli Sauce
One of the boys' favourites. I still make more than we need back here because there's always some goes back to Wellington with them. Heat can be adjusted to suit. This last year, lacking manzanos, I used Hungarian chillies, but used somewhat more of them as they are relatively benign.
Fun with Feijoas:
When they arrive, they're thick on the ground and most of the neighbours have plenty. What to do? Jam, marmalade (mixed with citrus), chutney, or just frozen for later thawing as a dessert or breakfast with yoghurt and muesli. Lots of possibilities.
Not too different from standard marmalade, but a few extra things to remember.
Rangpur Lime Marmalade A somewhat austere, sharpish and quite bitter marmalade, in the fine tradition of Seville oranges.
Dave's Tomato Jam
A good one for using the straggler tomatoes that are still there when the vines are pulled up, or for taking advantage of the sauce tomato bargains to be had at the vege stands up our way. If you're familiar with cape gooseberry jam you'll recognise a family likeness. This one has lots of fans.
Peter's Indian Chutney Recipe
Peter is an inveterate collector of newspaper clippings - in fact he is an inveterate collector of almost anything of interest - and he arrived last visit with a page from the W(h)anganui C(h)ronicle from last December, featuring "home-made" recipes suitable for gifts; and in amongst the coconut ice and the apricot and orange balls and such was a recipe called "Indian Chutney", which, if you know anything at all about Indian food, gives absolutely no clue at all as to what you are going to get.
It's excellent - for cold meats, bread and cheese, or accompanying hummus or baba ghanoush
Dave's Six Plums Chutney
A fruity and sharp chutney that will go well with cold cuts of roast lamb or pork or roast rolled-brisket, or for that matter, bread and cheese. You'll be unlikely to get this particular combination of plums together again, but try variations on red and yellow flesh fruit. I'll probably do a later batch with damsons. Based very loosely on an internet recipe. I was looking for a fruity and moderately spicy but not too vinegary result and this seemed the most likely place to start.