Saturday, March 11, 2017

GETTING PICKLED...AND NOT A DROP TO DRINK!
















Soon it will be that way if we don’t get rain - rain that lasts more than just a few minutes.  Summer here on the hill has been quite dry.  The “wet season” didn’t wet us this season, which was very unfortunate because the few little drops we received whetted my appetite for more.

If this keeps up I’ll be forced to drink my stock of wine I’ve got stored away. I might just have to get pickled.  

It’ll be either that or use the liquid contents for pickling because I’m sure some of them, by now, have turned to vinegar. That’s good and not so good, depending on which way you choose to look at it.  I might seriously consider the latter option because hangovers are a waste of time, and are not at all enjoyable.  I prefer leftovers, instead.

There would be no point pretending I’m Cleopatra and bathe in red wine (rather than milk).  Firstly, I don’t have a bathtub here in the cabin, only a shower recess. Secondly, if I bathed in red wine I’d emerge from the non-existent bathtub looking like pickled beetroot!

The bathing in milk has reminded me of an incident that occurred years ago – in the early Seventies. At the time I lived in Toowong, a Brisbane suburb.  I was living alone…nothing much new about that.  I did have my two furry mates with me – nothing new about that, either. My ginger beauty and Lord of the Manor, Sasha, and my blue-steel stunner, Smocka were my housemates.

One Saturday afternoon I decided I’d give myself a cleansing face mask. I think it probably is the only one I’ve ever given myself.  Some probably would be tempted to suggest I should always wear a mask, but that’s their opinion; one I choose to ignore!

Not one to use face creams or lotions, I’ve always relied upon the benefits of drinking lots of water; and ever since I was a child I’ve continued the practice of splashing my face with cold water after I’ve finished showering. A piece of sage advice handed down to me by my grandmother and my mother.

I’d found an interesting mask recipe in a magazine. On the Saturday afternoon to which I refer, having nothing better (or more productive) to do, I decided to spend a couple of hours “spoiling” myself.

Using full cream powdered milk and a dash of olive oil, I followed the instructions given in the article, and mixed the two ingredients together to form a paste.

Once I spread the concoction over my face, the mask quickly set solid like concrete.

Not to be deterred, I followed the instructions to the letter, leaving the mask on for the allotted time, even though I couldn’t move even the tiniest muscle in my face.

Finally, the moment arrived to remove the powdered milk mask – it was time for the long-awaited unveiling.

It has been said often – “Curiosity killed the cat”.  Well, curiosity didn’t kill Sasha that afternoon, but he certainly did succumb to its unignorable power.

Much to his delight and interest, Sasha decided to join me. He perched himself on the side of the bathroom sink.  Never before had he seen such a sight.  It was one too good to miss!

Unexpectedly, to my surprise, Sasha then proceeded to try to lick and chew the mask off my face!

Much to his dismay and disappointment I shoo’ed him away. I was having enough trouble trying to remove the immovable, glued-on-forever mask without his keen interference.  

I never did try a face mask of any description ever again.***  

It hadn’t made any difference to my appearance. Sasha had a fun time, though!

*** A fib has been told.  One Halloween when we were living at Sunshine Beach in the early to mid 80s, my ex and I were invited to a Halloween Party being hosted by good friends who lived in Tewantin.  Through a fancy-dress costume outlet in Brisbane I bought a fabulously, horrific, rubber witch’s mask for myself and a truly gross-looking mask for my husband. I made (sewed) suitable attire to match.  When the masks arrived I immediately put mine on, thinking Ruska, our the ginger cat (Sasha had became Ruska’s mentor) would get a fright.  My mean attempt at humour backfired.  Ruska didn’t twitch a whisker – not even the slightest movement! My ego was deflated in a mere second! Poof!”

Forget all of that…let’s get pickled!

Giardiniera (Pickled Vegetables): Bring 2-1/2 cups white vinegar, 3 cups water, ¾c sugar, 5tbl sea salt, 1tsp mustard seeds and 1/2tsp dried hot chilli flakes to a boil over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Transfer to a 4-quart bowl and cool for 30mins. Then bring about 6 quarts unsalted water to a boil in a large pot. Have at the ready a large bowl of ice and cold water. Add 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and broken into florets to the pot of boiling water; boil until crisp-tender, transfer using slotted spoon to iced water. Then cook these remaining vegetables in the same manner, allowing 4mins each and 2mins for the celery; 1 red and 1 yellow capsicum, cut into 1-inch pieces, 4 carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2inch thick slices, 4 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch slices, 1c large brine-cured green olives and ½c oil-cured black olives. Drain vegetables in a colander and spread out on 2 large kitchen towels to dry. Add vegetables to pickling liquid. Weight down with a plate to keep them submerged. Chill, covered at least 1 day; the pickled vegetables will keep, chilled and covered for one week.
 
Pickled Garlicky Red Capsicums: Roast 10 capsicums,( mixed colours, if you like), in a pre-heated 205C oven. Line capsicums on a large baking sheet; roast them for 45mins, turning them once or until they’re soft. Once roasted, while they’re hot, throw them into a large bowl, cover with lid or plate, trapping the steam inside. When they have cooled a bit, their skins will be easy to remove. Once the skins are removed, remove the core and seeds and tear the capsicums into strips. Meanwhile you’ve prepared a pickling mix of 3c water, 2/3-3/4c sugar and 1/4c table salt, which you’ve brought to a boil over moderate heat and cooled.  Pour this liquid over the capsicums; add 4 large cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped. Place into a non-reactive container. Chill; covered for one day. These also will keep a week.

Pumpkin Pickles: Peel and cube pumpkin, making 6 cups. Place in colander; set over boiling water. Don’t let water touch pumpkin. Steam until just tender; drain. Simmer 2 cups each vinegar and sugar and 2 large sticks cinnamon for 15min. Add pumpkin; simmer 3mins. Set aside 24hrs. Heat and simmer 5mins more. Remove cinnamon. Pack boiling hot in hot jars then process in boiling-water bath for 10mins.

Beet Relish: Combine 12 cooked beetroot, 1 red onion, 2 cups finely chopped red cabbage, 1 red capsicum (all put through a food processor with large blade), with 1-1/2tsp salt, 3/4c sugar,1-1/2c vinegar and 2tbls prepared horseradish; bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmering for 15mins, stirring often. Ladle hot relish into hot jars; process in boiling-water bath for 10mins.  
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24 comments:

  1. ok, I have never hear of pumpkin pickles, I have been watching a cooking show on the TV and I have noticed they tend to pickle quickly red onions, that is my next adventure. I do love pickled beets, okra, and lots of other ingredients that are pickled. some places here call pickled vegetables - chow chow. hum

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    1. Hey Linda ...I love home-made pickled onions, in particular. And I love beets.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  2. My mum used to make green tomato pickles and some sort of chutney. She also made many jars of preserved peaches, apricot jam, and many bottles of tomato sauce.
    I don't remember any of these from when I was little, but when I went to live with her aged 16, the pantry there was full of these things. I remember helping one summer with the apricot jam and hearing the marbles bouncing around in the bottom of the pan of boiling fruit.

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    1. Hi River, I was making pickles, chutneys, pickled onions and jams by the truckload a few years ago and selling the on Sundays on a stand at the front of this property. They sold well, too...but it all became much like the old "tiger by the tail syndrome". Once I grabbed hold, I couldn't let go. It just grew and grew. I had jars everywhere; sterilizing, cooling, bottling...on and on...and I finally gave up making them. Those days, too, are now gone.

      Nana used to do all that when we were kids. Homemade really is the best, when it's all boiled down (no pun intended)! lol

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  3. Yum. Pickled vegies are a treat.
    Rain? It would be very, very welcome. We have had it predicted, but when they tell us 80% chance of less than a millimetre I don't get excited. Just as well because it hasn't happened.

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    1. Same here, EC. I think I'll have to go outside and let the hose run on the roof and pretend!!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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    2. My tank ran dry this afternoon. :-(

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    3. My think tank ran dry this morning, Cosmo! Thanks for popping by again! :)

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  4. This evening I saw on Twitter a gif of Lucy, from I love Lucy. You have reminded me of when Lucy put on a face mask. I think I may have once tried one and my face was left feeling very dry. The recipes are good, except for the pickled capsicum. Capsicum and me do not get along. Earlier today was the first time I learnt that Queensland is in a drought situation. You can help by drinking the wine and not water.

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    1. It doesn't mean that the pickled capsicums are not good, Andrew...they're just not good for you! :)

      She was a very funny lady, Lucille Ball. I still love the old movie - "The Long, Long Trailer".

      I'm going to follow your advice! Save the water! Drink the wine!! Thanks for coming by and your suggestion! :)

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  5. Just use Ponds cleansing cream every night. My grandma taught me that. It might not help my face that much but it brings me memories of my precious grandmother:-) I can't believe you made that mask. Hysterical!

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    1. Hi there, Annie. The old Ponds...that sure has been around for a long time. My Nana used to use it, too.

      The things one does on a lazy Saturday afternoon! lol

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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    2. Is the Ponds cleansing cream still around? I haven't seen any for ages. I'm using Sorbolene cream instead.

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  6. I beg your pardon! Who are you calling "Poof!"?

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    1. Don't beg, Yorkie. I can't stand begging. It's like hinting...I ignore both!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  7. Sorry you're having a bit of a drought there. No pickles here thanks, but I did have a good laugh over over your mask episode.

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    1. I take it you don't like pickles, Delores. I've always liked pickled goodies from when I was a kid. I adore pickled onions and particularly if they've got some hot chillies in with them.

      That mask was one way to keep my cat entertained! ;)


      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  8. Rain??????? I'd say what's that because it's very lacking at our home too but I'm away from home at the moment and I've seen way too much of it. Im in the blue mountains NSW and there's supposed to be a massive storm here this arvo with golfball sized hail. There's goes the car. There is nowhere to put it under cover. I might just have to go and get pickled too.

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    1. Hey, Charlie! I hope the car didn't get damaged...tell that mother of yours that she should buy an old, king-size doona and some bungee cord straps; and keep them in the car for such times when hail is predicted and no cover for the car is available. Cover the car with the doona...secure it with the bungee straps.

      We've had a some rain up here on the hill this morning that has been very welcome. It's stopped now, but I'm hoping it returns...and return soon...like within a few moments, and lasts longer than a few moments.

      I hope you're enjoying your trip...thanks for coming by. :)

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  9. No rain up your way by what you wrote!
    None here either, but we don't have a 'wet' as you do.
    Gosh, never had a face mask, and think I don't want one either :) especially after your experience.
    Have a good week :)

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    1. We had a few light showers yesterday, Margaret and we might get a few more to day. Parts of New South Wales are getting quite a bit and some cenrtal to south-western area of Queensland, too. 87% of Qld was declared drought a couple of days ago. It happens...in the words of Dorothea Mackellar....

      "I love a sunburnt country,
      A land of sweeping plains,
      Of ragged mountain ranges,
      Of droughts and flooding rains.
      I love her far horizons,
      I love her jewel-sea,
      Her beauty and her terror
      The wide brown land for me!"

      It was the only face mask I've ever tried. I gave up after that effort! lol Thanks for coming by. :)

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  10. I learned from another blogger that NZ got lots of rain recently --- I hope some of it went your way. We've all done crazy things in the pursuit of beauty!Thanks for the laugh.I agree that laughter and water are the best treatment...

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    1. Hi Molly...parts of New South Wales are getting heavy falls. We've received a little over the past day and into early this morning.

      Sasha, my cat enjoyed the face mask more than I did!! It always makes me smile when I think of that incident.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  11. That's so funny about your cat and the mask! Hee hee.

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