Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

MUSHROOM KETCHUP for your stockpile

Today, while cutting up tomatoes and onions, I had Mushroom Ketchup on the go as well....
Many thanks goes to J from Wales at the Down to Earth Forum for finding the recipe for me....
Here is what took place.

Mushroom ketchup (from Preserving, by Oded Schwartz)

2 kg / 4 lb large flat-cap mushrooms
60 g / 2 oz dried ceps (optional)  (I never used these)
150 g / 5 oz salt
300 g / 10 oz shallots, unpeeled, quartered
5 cm / 2 in piece of ginger root, bruised
125 ml / 4 fl oz port
1 Tbsp cloves
2 tsp crumbled mace blades ( I used roughly chopped nutmeg pieces)

Put the fresh mushrooms in the food processor and coarsely chop. Arrange in thin layers with the dried ceps (if using) in a casserole dish, sprinkling each layer with some of the salt. Cover and leave to stand for 24 hours.

this is after the 24 hours soaking

Bake in an oven preheated to 140 C / 275 F for 3 hours. 

 Cool and strain through a jelly bag, squeezing to extract all the liquid.
I used the but end of a milk carton,clean sterilised coke  bottle, but you could use a wooden spoon even.
Put the liquid in a preserving pan with the remaining ingredients.

 Bring to the boil, then simmer for 45 minutes or until the mixture has reduced by one third.
Strain again, then return the liquid to the pan and bring back to the boil.

Pour into hot sterilised bottles and seal.  I am to tired tonight to bring back to the boil, but I will do it first thing in the morning. For now, I will just refridgerate it overnight. I have some small brown glassed bottles, I think I will bottle this in.  That way I only have a small amount open at any one time.

Water bath for 20 minutes, then check the seals. The ketchup will be ready in one month, but improves with keeping.

Keeps for 2 years unopened. Refrigerate after opening. Use small amounts to flavour soups and stews.  I can't wait to try using this as a flavour...it already smell devine!


  1. Hey, that looks great! What sort of volume did you end up with?
    It is so long since I made it, but I do remember it smelling really good.

  2. Thanks J, I haven't measured it yet, but I'm thinking just on a litre. It smells soooo good...any ideas of when to use it once it matures?


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