Sunshine in my shadows

Welcome to sunshine in my shadows. This blog is my space to share all the stuff that makes up my every day life. Family, friends, crafts, recipes, books and all the little things that add 'sunshine to my shadows'. We all have a sprinkling of sunshine and an equal sprinkling of shadows in our lives. Hopefully you will find more sunshine than shadows to read about here and on the days when shadows fall, know that the sunshine is peeking just around the corner!


Monday, May 9, 2011

Tis the season...

OOps no not THAT season but it's never too early to sneak a little Christmas cheer in hehehe!  It seems to be the season for cooking up seasonal produce around here this week. I decided to make soup again to use up some of the carrots and potatos I had here. When I make vegetable soup I often don't use a recipe. I just use whatever is on hand. This week I cheated a little and had Mr B buy some celery to add to the flavour.
This pot consisted of 2 large potatos, 2 large carrots, 2 medium onions, 1/3 of a sweet potato and half a bunch of celery all finely chopped. I also added a small spanish (red) onion chopped and as you may be able to see I chopped the celery leaves and added those too! All good fibre and vitamins for you.
I was actually concerned that I had overdone the celery a bit but in the end the soup was delicious. I simply covered the vegetables with vegetable stock (we have a vegetarian in the house but you can use whatever stock you like) and simmered on the stove for a good hour or more. Add salt and pepper to taste and there you have it, good old fashioned vegetable soup. If you are feeding meat eaters you can add some chicken to the pot as well. It tastes better the next day after the flavours have melded but you can eat straight away if you want.

Now for JAM I DO use a recipe! I am only new to this jam making caper so can't be guessing when things are just right. We have two feijoa trees in the garden which are producing fruit madly right now and whilst my daughter loves eating them there are way too many for her to eat them all on her own. The rest of us whilst enjoying the odd feijoa are not as fond of the fruit. Feijoas are sometimes called Pineapple guavas even though they are not a guava at all. They are a member of the myrtle family and are native to South America. The fruit are small and green skinned with creamy coloured flesh and small seeds. The flesh can be scooped out with a small spoon, the skin is not eaten.
Scooping this lot for the jam was very fiddly!
Here are the skins after the flesh has been scooped out. I think they look all the world like tiny baby avocados! The jam recipe I used came from here. It uses the skins in the recipe but they are discarded later.
Here is the flesh waiting to have other ingredients added before making into jam. The fruit discolours slightly on standing.
TADA! Four lovely pots of Feijoa jam. We managed to boil over the pot during cooking but fortunately only burnt what went on the stove, not what was in the pot! Mr B did get a burn on his hand but he assures me it is ok. We made pancakes yesterday and I am pleased to say the jam was totally delicious. It was a bit fiddly for just 4 pots but I think wothwhile. I should add that we tripled the recipe from the link above.
All this homegrown goodness brings sunshine to my days.
wishing you sunshine in your shadows


  1. Could almost smell the soup Helen and the jam sounds divine. I too often don't use recipes for soup - and never make jam. I had a total disaster with apricot jam many years ago and I then vowed jam making was not for me. I don't feel guilty not making it because I don't eat it very often either.

    Well done on all counts - I am sure your vegetarian would have enjoyed the soup as would have my two.

    Love and hugs,

  2. We have 2 Feijoa trees/shrubs that never seem to bare fruit. I also thought they originated in NZ? The jam looks lovely, Tam x

  3. Thanks Linda I am not supposed to eat jam and don't very often but will occasionally treat myself to a small spoonful on toast. Hugs xx

    Tam apparently they grow very well in NZ but the research I did on them didn't name NZ as their native home. Our shrubs did not fruit well during the drought. I must thank you too Tam as I seem to have a few visitors that have popped on over from your blog :)

  4. Sorry, I got very side tracked at the Santa, Christmas, couldn't get past Christmas! Perhaps some jam as gifts for Christmas?