It’s been a very good season for home gardeners this summer and we have been lucky enough for friends and family to give us veggies from their gardens, plus we have our own small veggie patch.  I have made broccoli soup, frozen beans, added spring onions to salads and soups, made lots of lettuce salads, preserved cherries, added snow peas to salads and cooked them, etc.  We have just been given some little onions and I have pickled them.  It is my first attempt so we will have to wait a couple of weeks to try them.  Yesterday I also made some Chilli Jelly.  The way Nigella Lawson talked about it on her DVD and how pretty it looked (I know… a strange reason to want to attempt to make it) inspired me to “have a go” at making some myself.

Here are the recipes I used (I varied them a bit).

Traditional English Pickled Onions (from – Aussiemum1)

  • 1 kg small pickling onions
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 750 ml malt vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 packet of pickling spices (I finally found these at a local fruit shop – not the supermarkets)
  • 2 bay leaves (I didn’t add these as the “pickling spices” had bay leaves included)
  • 2 dried or fresh chillies (I added some flakes instead)
  • 2 garlic cloves (omitted these).
  1. Place the peeled onions in a glass or ceramic bowl and cover with cold water.  Drain the water into a saucepan stir in the salt.  Bring just to a boil so that the salt dissolves, then cool slightly and pour over the onions. Cover the bowl with a heavy plate so all the onions stay submerged.  Leave onions to stand for 24 hours.
  2. Measure the vinegar into a saucepan. Tie the pickling spice into a cloth (I just put then in the vinegar) and add to the vinegar along with the bay leaves (no I didn’t).  Bring to a boil then simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Rinse the onions and pat them dry.  Add to the saucepan with the vinegar.  Simmer for 2 – 3 minutes.  Pack the onions into sterile jars and ladle the brine over them until they are covered.  Add a chilli to each jar (flakes for me).  Seal and store in a cool dark place for at least 6 weeks (will we be able to wait that long?) before opening.

Nigella’s Chilli Jam/Jelly – Nigella on-line (and DVD)

  • 150 g long fresh red chillies, each deseeded and cut into about 4 pieces (I used a few less and added some more capsicum)
  • 150 g red peppers (capsicum in Australia), deseeded and cut into rough chunks
  • 1 kg jam sugar (I found it in Coles and Safeway  in the “sugary” section – I hadn’t noticed it before)
  • 600 ml cider vinegar
  1. Sterilize your jars and leave to cool (I washed them in the dishwasher)
  2. Put the cut-up chillies into a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped.  Add the red pepper and pulse again until you have a vibrantly red-flecked processor bowl.
  3. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a wide, medium-sized pan over a low heat without stirring.
  4. Scrape the chilli-pepper mixture out of the bowl and add to the pan.  Bring the pan to boil, then leave it at a rollicking boil for 10 minutes.
  5. Take the pan off the heat and allow it to cool.  The liquid will become more syrupy, then from syrup to viscous and from viscous to jelly-like as it cools.
  6. After about 40 minutes, or once the red flecks are more or less evenly dispersed in the jelly, ladle into jars.  If you want to stir gently at this stage, it will do no harm.  Seal tightly.

Now we just have to be patient before trying the Pickled Onions, but DH will probably try the Chilli Jam tonight with cold meat and cheese.

Bye for now,