Preserving Springtime

Written by Lisa Baggio — October 8, 2015

"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." 

- Francois De La Rochefoucauld  

 

~ Preserving ideas ~

Springtime evokes the desire to preserve the sweet fruit and vegetables that have been in abundance such as strawberries, pineapple, melons, mandarins, rhubarb, blood oranges, beetroot, spinach and artichokes. Preserving our favourite foods means we can keep enjoying the goodness of these fruits and vegetables long after the harvest is over. Traditional preserving methods include canning and dehydrating. But the quickest and simplest way to preserve fruits and vegetables is freezing.  

I found this wonderful blog by The Kitchn, that features simple tips for preserving. One is as simple as freezing fresh herbs in olive oil. How good do these look! TIPS FROM THE KITCHN

 

If you're feeling inspired, check out The Kitchn's blog 10 Ways to Preserve Summer Fruits & Vegetables without Canning. There's some great tips on making pesto, fruit vinegar, freezing Summer fruits and roasting tomato sauce and garlic.

If you do want to try your hand at dehydrating your favourite fruits and vegetables, take a look at our range of dehydrators online and in store. The range includes the EZIDRI Classic Everyday, EZIDRI Snackmaker and the EZIDRI Ultra FD1000.

                    

Vacuum sealers are also a great way to extend the lifespan of your preserved fruit and vegetables, especially when using the freezing or dehydrating method. Vacuum sealers preserve food 3-5 times longer than food stored in plastic bags or containers. Preserved fruit and vegetables once vacuum sealed and frozen will last for 2 to 3 years. Vacuum sealing your preserved foods also eliminates the unpleasant taste of 'freezer burn'. 

For the highest quality domestic Vacuum Sealing Machine, take a look at our Italian Made SICO Vacuum Sealing Machines. We have a large range that caters for every purpose and budget.  

  

 

~ Australian Cider Festival 2015 ~

Don't miss out on all the festivities at this year's Australian Cider Festival. It's all happening this Saturday 10th October from 12noon - 8pm at the beautiful Ormond Hall, The Village Melbourne. There will be numerous styles of ciders to sample, tasty cider and food pairings to relish, cider master classes to participate in, all whilst enjoying the live entertainment and more.

Visit our display stand at the festival this Saturday at 2pm as Home Make It teams up with cider judge and author Claude Jolicoeur during his tour in Australia. Come by to meet Claude and grab yourself a signed copy of his latest book The New Cider Makers Handbook, which is an invaluable and comprehensive resource for home cider makers.

 

To help celebrate the Cider Festival, we are squeezing in one more Cider Making Course for 2015 at our Clayton Store on Wednesday 18th November, 6-7.30pm. If you are keen on cider; then book in your spot online now to learn first hand about setting up your own backyard cider making equipment and be on your way to producing fresh homemade cider in time for Summer! More Cider Making Course dates for 2016 to be released soon.

 

~ Home Make It presents the Melbourne Salami Festa ~

Not long now until the Melbourne Salami Festa! Block out the entire weekend in your diary! Friday 16th October to Sunday 18th October, 2015. Check out the full program guide. It's going to be massive. And if you have entered your prized homemade salami into the competition, we wish you all the best! See you at the Festa :) 

 

~ Beer & Bangers Classes ~

Learn to make home brew and sausages from the experts! Join Steve Lamberto and Cade Butler from Home Make It with James Mele from The Meat Room and enjoy a fulfilled day making home brew and fresh sausages at these brilliant Brew & Bangers classes. These are full day classes and you will get to take home the freshly made home brew and sausages. There will be pizza from the wood fired oven for lunch, morning tea provided, unlimited tea/coffee and home brew tastings are included as well. All equipment and ingredients will be supplied.

Bookings are still available for the following class;

Duration: 9:00am to 4:00pm 
Location: 26 O'Gradys Rd, Kilmore East
Cost: $240.00 per person

Bookings and payment can be made by phoning Kathy on 0419 242 815 or emailing info@themeatroom.com.au to reserve your spot today!

 

~ Cade's Home Brew News ~ 

Hi Brewers, 

This weather is making me thirsty! Fortunately, the same weather is also perfect for brewing and fermenting. So in honor of this we are taking 10% off our entire Grain range, Online and in-store

To follow on with your brew we have a great range of WyeastWhite Labs, Brew Cellar yeasts  and approximately 20 hop varieties all in our fridges, waiting for your recipe. 

Some nice fittings recently landed to help you along on your brew days. We have just got in some malt mills, high temperature pumps, high temperature silicon hose and matching 13mm barb fittings to connect all your brewing equipment. 

Happy Brewing  :) 

 

~ Food & Beverage Courses ~ 

Preserving Vegetable Courses - Pickled & Marinated Eggplants

We are thrilled to be releasing details and dates for the newest of our in store workshops! Join us for a hands-on workshop in Pickled & Marinated Eggplants with Dario from L'Arrosticino Stick on Grill at our Clayton store on 9th November, 2015 and Reservoir store on 10th November, 2015. Book ONLINE to secure your place.  

Sausage Making Courses

We have now released new dates for our Sausage Making Courses at both our Reservoir on 21st October, 2015 and Clayton store on the 28th October, 2015. James Mele will teach you everything you need to know to make fresh, tasty, healthy sausages all year round. Book ONLINE now to secure your place.   

Intro to All Grain Home Brewing Course

Join us for an introduction to  All Grain Home Brewing Course in October at both the Reservoir and Clayton stores. Learn all about equipment needed, grains, hops, yeast, how to mill, mash and all maturation/fermentation and bottling techniques to make your favourite styles of grain beers. Book ONLINE.

 

 

~ Eltham & District Winemakers Guild - 46th Eltham Wine Show ~

If you love a good drop of red or white wine, and have an interest in homemade wine, then don't miss Eltham and District Winemakers Guild's 46th Annual Eltham Wine Show. Due to the huge success, the show will again be held at the Veneto Club in Bulleen on Sunday 15th November, 2015 from 10.30am for the Wine Show Public Tasting, concluding at 2.30pm with the Awards Presentation at 12pm. Home Make It will also be there facilitating a Sausage Making Demonstration. If you are planning on entering your homemade wine into the competition, the closing date for entries is the 10th October, 2015. You can pick up an entry form from either our Reservoir or Clayton stores or you can enter ONLINE.

Click link below to check out this week's Specials.     

Check out our new look Gift Vouchers and Course Gift Vouchers also available in store or ONLINE

Don't forget, you can keep up to date with all the daily news from the team, recipes and events by following us on Twitter or Facebook

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend :)

 

 

 

The SALAMI season is here!

Written by Lisa Baggio — June 18, 2015

"In my family, there’s Christmas, Easter, tomato sauce day and then salami making, which you simply can’t miss.”

- Carlo Mazzarella, Director, Melbourne Salami Festa. 

Ever wanted to be a fly on the wall at someone's salami day? Well here's your chance :). Check out the YouTube clip from the winner's of the inaugural 2012 Melbourne Salami Festa, BGS Group (Bloody Good Salami) for their "best homemade salami". The BGS Group are a group of cousins from the North Eastern suburbs. Their salami day helpers comprises of three generations and it's all hands on deck, commencing just before sunrise and finishing well after sunset. Pot belly stoves are lit, coffee is made in the traditional caffettiera and bacon and egg rolls are cooked on the grill. They feast on a lunch from off cuts of the pigs which is transformed into a slow cooked pork pasta ragu`. The long trestle tables are be adorned with cheese, last years salumi, red wine, salads and crunchy bread.

The mincer machine is drowned out by the sounds of children's laughter and cheeky antics as they come in and out to offer small bouts of assistance. The uncles are quick to criticise the next generation and make comparisons of their own traditional methods of making salumi. Fortunately, this is mostly done in jest so the mood of the day is light and jovial.

18 hours later, there is enough salami and fresh sausages to last a year for all the families present. Notes are taken, ingredients measured and processes documented, in the event that they win or place again in the Melbourne Salami Festa competition, so that it can be replicated the next year. This group like so many families around Melbourne absolutely love their annual salami day! It's not just about creating homemade salami and fresh sausages, it's also about enjoying time together as a family, preserving traditions and creating life long memories for their children.  

~ Frank's Hot Italian Salami Recipe ~ 

For those that have already joined the "salami army", and been to one of our food & beverage courses, then now's the time to transform your suburban garage into a salami and sausage making factory! Try out Frank Bovezza's hot Italian salami recipe below, he's not shy in proclaiming it to be "the best"!  

Ingredients

- 1 kilo pork

- 28g - 30g fine sea salt (if using a curing compound, reduce salt to 18-20g)

- 5g sweet paprika

- 3g chilli flakes

- 1g cracked black pepper

- 20ml hot pepper sauce

- 30-50ml sweet pepper sauce (depending on dryness of the meat)

- 30-50ml red wine (depending on dryness of the meat)

- intestine or casing

If this all sounds nice and the image above has your mouth watering, but you have no idea how to do it, then you haven't been to one of our Salami Making Courses! Don't be fooled, there's nothing "simple" about making salami! Curing and storing your salami safely requires the correct knowledge, and we can teach you how! Join us for a fun, hands on and social workshop where you will learn all the tricks of the trade and everything you need to know to make awesome salami for your friends and family to enjoy all year around.  

Even Nonna Paola is getting in on the action in a recent YouTube clip

~ Getting started on your salami & sausage venture ~

Equipment required

Here's a list of all the equipment you will need to make great salami;

  • Meat Mincer (manual or motorised) - ensure it is suitable according to kilos of meat being processed
  • Salami/Sausage Filler - ensure it is suitable according to kilos of meat being processed
  • Salami pricker
  • Tubs with lids for holding cold meat
  • Boning knife
  • Sharp knife
  • Gloves
  • Cutting boards
  • Scales
  • String
  • Netting tube
  • Vacuum Sealing Machine (optional).  

You can view our equipment and supplies ONLINE. Our shelves are fully stocked! All of our equipment is of the highest quality and ITALIAN made. Why not get together with friends or family to split the start up costs, and start a new annual tradition. 

And for the enthusiastic do-it-yourselfers, we have expertly put-together Sausage & Salami Kits and the matching various sausage recipe kits as well as salami recipe kits. All our Home Make It kits come with instruction manuals which include all the traditional secrets and know-how so you can make it your way and become your own salumiere.

~ The SICO Vacuum Sealing Machines are back in stock! ~ 

Due to popular demand, we are stocking the SICO Vacuum Sealing Machines again! Made in Italy and of the highest quality domestic machines! 

But, we've had to make room for them on our shelves, so we're offering 40% off all ELEGEN Vacuum Sealing Machines until stock runs out. Also Italian made and also of the highest quality. These are massive savings! 

~ Store Opening Hours ~

Come in store this Friday or Saturday to stock up on all your equipment and supplies if you are making your salami this weekend. We are open until 5pm Monday to Friday and 3pm on Saturdays.  Feel free to call ahead if we can get your order ready for you beforehand. Call Reservoir on 03 9460 2777 or Clayton on 9574 8222.  

~ Cade's Home Brew News ~ 

Hi Brewers,

It’s been a busy time indeed here in the Home Make it beer world! Firstly, we had a nice sunshine filled home brew demo on my backyard deck. A nice winter warming dark ale was made (recipe below) and it will be ready for tasting in about a month, cannot wait!

We also headed over to see Christina's (editor of The Great Aussie Bite) beer, who wanted to make some beer. Being her first time, she and a friend each put together a Home Make It beer kit and the “battle of the beers" was on. Can’t wait to taste these battling beers! 

Speaking of battle of the brews, the Merri Mashers Brew Club held the worlds first ever "speciality IPA" beer comp at the Terminus on Sunday 14th June. Over a hundred beers from all over the country arrived and were judged. Very happy to say, a local Merri Masher member won the Home Make It sponsored White IPA section and I’ll be handing over the store voucher to Mattias at the next meeting. Congrats Mattias! 

On a store level, our grain offering is looking great. Be it full 25kg sacks of base grain, or little bags of Gladfield speciality malts, we have it. We have a new batch of White Labs liquid yeast hitting us late next week also, and good stocks of the shiny and wonderful SS Brewtech fermenters and boil kettles and new amazing STERILOCK waterless airlocks.
                
Fireplace dark ale recipe;

  • 23 litre batch 
  • 3kg Joe White Ale malt 
  • 1kg Gladfield manuka smoked malt 
  • 500g Gladfield toffee malt 
  • 500g Joe White Chocolate malt 
  • 500g Munich malt 
  • Single temp mash at 66c for an hour 
  • 1 Hour boil 
  • Whirfloc for last 10 minutes of boil 
  • 20g Summit for 60mins 
  • 30g Cascade for 30min 
  • 30g Cascade at flameout 
  • 30g Amarillo dry hop for 3 days 
  • OG  approx. 1050 

Happy Brewing!

~ Food & Beverage Courses ~ 

Learn how to make homemade mozzarella cheese at our hands on, fun and interactive courses at our Reservoir and Clayton stores in June, 2015.  Bookings ONLINE.  

Salami & Cured Meats Courses & Sausage Making Courses

Our Salami and Cured Meats Courses have now commenced, and bookings are filling fast. Our resident butchery expert, James Mele (& now superstar! Did you see him on TV on Vassilis Garden to Kitchen this week?) will give you the confidence to make your own salami and safely cure your salumi before the Winter is out. Our courses are hands on, fun and interactive. Numbers are capped so don't miss out! For convenience, they are offered at two store locations, Reservoir and Clayton. Bookings ONLINE.

We have also released new dates for our Sausage Making Courses at both our Reservoir and Clayton stores. James Mele will teach you everything you need to know to make fresh, tasty, healthy sausages all year round. Book ONLINE

 

Cade will be launching his very own Introduction to All Grain Home Brewing Course in July at both the Reservoir and Clayton stores. Learn all about equipment needed, grains, hops, yeast, how to mill, mash and all maturation/fermentation and bottling techniques to make your favorite styles of grain beers. Book ONLINE.  

~ Cultural Cooking Demonstration with Societa` Isole Eolie ~ 

Home Make It is delighted to join the Societa` Isole Eolie for their annual Cultural Cooking Demonstration on 12th July, 2015 at 836 Lygon Street, Carlton from 12.00 until 5.00pm. Frank Bovezza will be entertaining all with a Salami Making Demonstration followed by a homemade sausage tasting. There will also be a Cheese and Ricotta Cheese demonstration by Letizia Terlato from 'A Taste of Italy' and Giulia Biviano will be delighting all with her Conciglie Ripieni recipe and Giggioni Al Lemone. Bookings are essential so contact Giulia Biviano on Mob: 0400 128 250 to reserve your place. $25.00 per per entry. Children $10 or free under 12 years. Pay at the door. Price includes recipes from the demonstrations. This will be a SELL OUT event, so book early to avoid disappointment :{ 

 

Click on our sale banner below for this week's specials.  Included in this week's specials are 30% off selected salumi casings and netting and 40% off Elegen Vacuum Sealing Machings.  

~ Facebook & Twitter ~

Keep up to date with all the daily news from the team, recipes and events by following us on Twitter or Facebook.

Have a great weekend and happy salami days!  

 

We're nuts for chestnuts.....

Written by Lisa Baggio — May 22, 2015

 

"Families are like fudge...mostly sweet, with a few nuts."

- Anonymous

Most Italians who migrated to Australia will have strong childhood memories of castagne (chestnut) festivals in their piazza (town square). As the weather gets colder and Winter is looming chestnuts are in abundance throughout Italy and ready for harvest. The month of October will be filled with chestnut festivals all over Italy, to celebrate the humble chestnut. There will be communal roasting fires, music, dancing, food and wine. Below is a short video of a festival in Italy that will give you a taste for la castagna in festa! Click on the image below to view. 
 
Still not convinced? Maybe Melbourne's newest and iconic Nonna Paola can convince you to get yourself some chestnuts to roast. Enjoy her latest YouTube Video.
 
 

~ How to roast chestnuts ~

Chestnuts need to be rinsed and dried before roasting, and a small slit or cross must be made in the skin or they will burst. Most methods of roasting will take approximately 8-10 minutes. Once roasted, wrap the chestnuts in a tea towel to keep warm. Enjoy!

~ Getting started ~

Are you convinced now? If you are, here's what you need to get you started. It's so simple.... all you need are the chestnuts and some basic equipment. 
 
We can highly recommend purchasing your chestnuts from Alpine Chestnuts. You can source Alpine Chestnuts directly from the Hawthorn Farmer's Market and the Abbortsford Farmer's Market. Alernatively, you can purchase them directly from the farmer, John by contacting him on 0423 286 720 and picking up the chestnuts in Kew or at his farm in Myrtleford. John will also deliver free within a 5km radius of Kew. You can currently purchase Alpine Chestnuts for $6.00 per kilo. The chestnut season will be over within four to five weeks, so don't delay!
 
We highly recommend the purchase of a chestnut cutter that will gently slice the chestnut, without slicing your finger, as so many of you would have already experienced previously with a knife. 
 
Our Italian made 'Napoli' electric pizza oven will roast your chestnuts to perfection in 8-10 minutes, not to mention cook a delicious pizza in 5 minutes, reaching temperatures up to 470 degrees. John from Alpine Chestnuts is a big fan of our electric pizza oven, using the pizza ovens to roast his chestnuts at the Farmer's Markets and festivals throughout Melbourne. In fact, to quote him, "the pizza oven is as good as any other roasting chestnut method." 
 
Or for the more traditional method of chestnut roasting methods if you don't live in Italy and can't attend your local piazza for the communal roasting, get yourself a chestnut roasting pan with wooden handle, and roast your chestnuts over a gas stove, or over a fire. 
 

~ Recipe ~

For the already converted chestnut lovers, you may want to try out an Italian Lentil and Chestnut Stew Recipe that I found on the net at closetcooking.com. Looks delish!
 

~ Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival ~ 

On behalf of the team I would like to congratulate the City of Darebin for hosting another wonderful Darebin Homemade Food and Wine Festival. It was a week long celebration of homemade food traditions and sustainable food practices. The workshops and demonstrations through the suburbs of the City of Darebin were mostly booked out and there was a massive attendance at the "Meet the Makers Showcase" on the Saturday to conclude the festival. 

I would also like to congratulate all the winners of the "Judge's Choice" and "People's Choice" who entered their homemade wine, beer, passata, olives and ajvar. Too many to name them all, but here's a snapshot. 

A very big welcome to all the new subscribers to our newsletter from the Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival. l look forward to keeping you up to do with all the exciting news from the team, events, courses, recipes and products and specials. 

Congratulations to STEVE BARNETT winner of our raffle from at "Meet the Makers Showcase" on Saturday. Steve is the proud new owner of a Sausage & Salami Equipment Kit and Hot Continental Sausage Kit, valued at $158.00. Enjoy Steve!   

 For the Red Wine Category -

Mayor of City of Darebin, enjoying a taste of 3rd Place Winner, Nero D'Avola by Dennis and Kevin

1st Prize - Pasquale Scaringi (Petit Verdot)

2nd Prize - Francesco Costanzo (Merlot)

3rd Prize - Denis Slaviero (Nero DÁvola)

For the White Wine Category -

2nd Place Winners, Paolo and Dennis Mazzocato for the White Wine Category for their Waltham/Sultana Wine

1st Prize - Frank Galati (White Muscato)

2nd Prize - Paolo Mazzocato (Waltham/Sultana)

3rd Prize - Jose Jimenez (Maluasia)

For Beer - 

Joel Ellis, 1st Prize and People's Choice Award for his Brettanoyces Fermented American IPA

Encouragement Award - James Price

1st Prize - Joel Ellis

For Passata (Cooked)

1st Prize - Emmanuella Coco

2nd Prize - Jim and Kerry

For Passata (Uncooked)

1st Prize - Maria Spagnolo

2nd Prize - Catherine Talarico

3rd Prize - Rosario Iannella

Here are a few highlights from the day:-

Wine tasting at the Meet The Makers Showcase

Feta Cheese Making Workshop with Cade Butler

Home Brew for Beginners Workshop with Home Make It's Cade Butler and Justin from Merri Mashers

Enjoying the wine tasting at the Meet the Makers Showcase

Enjoying the home brew sampling at the Meet the Makers Showcase

If you would like see more photos from the day, check out our Facebook Page for the complete album. 

~ What's On ~ 

Salami & Cured Meats Courses & Sausage Making Courses

With Winter just around the corner, it's time to book into our Salami and Cured Meats Courses. Our resident butchery expert, James Mele will give you the confidence to make your own salami and safely cure your salumi before the Winter is out. Our courses are hands on, fun and interactive. Numbers are capped so don't miss out! For convenience, they are offered at two store locations, Reservoir and Clayton. Bookings ONLINE.

 

We have also released new dates for our Sausage Making Courses at both our Reservoir and Clayton stores. James Mele will teach you everything you need to know to make fresh, tasty, healthy sausages all year round. Book ONLINE

 

Click on our sale banner below for this week's specials.   

~ Facebook & Twitter ~

Keep up to date with all the daily news from the team, recipes and events by following us on Twitter or Facebook.

Have a great weekend and happy chestnut roasting :)  

Eat, Drink and be Merry!

Written by Lisa Baggio — December 17, 2014

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, but if the white runs out, I'll drink the red."

~ Top 5 Foodie Xmas Gift Ideas ~

If you are looking for the perfect gift this Christmas for family and friends, below is "what's hot" this Christmas for the food and beverage enthusiast. Come in and visit us at our Clayton or Reservoir store for more gift ideas, or shop ONLINE. We have an extensive range of unique, fun and hands-on gift ideas for the food and beverage hobbyist or for those that just appreciate good old fashioned homemade food and drinks.

 

5. Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll

This is a stunning book with over 75 recipes for different cheeses and everything you need to know about making cheese at home. 

 

 

4. Pizza Accessories

Our pizza accessories include the hot seller, Italian made electric pizza oven and a huge range of accessories, from boards, to cutters to trays and lifters. Did you know the Napoli Express Electric Pizza Oven heats to 340 degrees and cooks pizza in 3 minutes? 

 

3. Pasta Machines

Whether you prefer the manual machine or the electric, we have a massive range of pasta machines in store, with every possible attachment or accessory for all styles and shapes.  

 

2. Sausage/Salami Kits

Our complete range of Sausage and Salami Kits include the starter equipment kit with manual meat mincer to make fresh mince meat for sausages all year round or your favourite style of salami in winter.  All you need to do is pick your favourite style and flavour.  We have something for every taste.   

   

  

1. Beer Kits  

Our range of beer kits cater to the beginner right through to the passionate! Everything you need to brew your own beer at home. All you need to do is choose your flavour or favourite beer style and get brewing! 

 

~ Xmas Special 15% Discount Offer ~

Only 3 days left to take advantage of our Christmas SALE, we're offering 15% off across the whole online range! Click on the flyer below to use this offer. (*you must apply the Discount Code "XMAS" at the final stage of checkout to get the 15% discount)


~ Food & Beverage Courses 2015 ~ 

The eagerly anticipated dates for our Food & Beverage Courses in 2015 are now available! The Home Make It courses are fun, hands-on and informative workshops, are perfect for passionate foodies seeking to return to homestyle, sustainable living and wanting to learn the secrets and art of traditional homemade cooking.

Check out our courses online now by clicking on the links below and secure a spot for yourself and a foodie friend for 2015;

~ New Product Launch ~ 

We are very pleased to be officially announcing the arrival of the newest product in our Home Make It range of kits! Introducing our Home Make It Beer Recipe Kits.  What's your favourite beer style or flavour? Make your own home brew with just four simple steps: 

Step 1. Mix Ingredients

Step 2. Ferment

Step 3. Bottle

Step 4. Enjoy!

beer kit

More Home Make It Beer Kit recipes coming soon...

 

~ Home Make It Gift Cards ~ 

If you can't decide which Kit to purchase, there's always our Home Make It Gift Cards. Our Gift Cards can also be used to purchase any of our Food and Beverage Courses/Workshops that will be run in 2015.  

 

 

~ Online Specials ~

Take advantage of our many online Specials this Christmas. There's something for everyone. Click on the banner below to find out more.  

 

 

~ Struffoli Christmas Recipe ~ 

 

 

Struffoli is a traditional southern Italian sweet eaten at Christmas time or given as a Christmas gift. We came across this simple version of the recipe by Michele Scicolone, a culinary expert in her cooking blog, Struffoli Season. Have a go, and home make it!

 

~ Trading Hours for Christmas ~

Our Reservoir and Clayton Stores will be open until 5.00pm on Christmas Eve. We will then re-open on Monday 5 January, 2015 at 9.00am.  

On behalf at all the team, (Pina, Celeste, Elena, Carmel, Ilaria, Steve, and Carla) I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  Thank you so much for your continued loyalty and trust in our equipment and advice. We look forward to a bigger and better 2015, with new products, courses and events. We will also be introducing some new members of the team which we are very excited about! 

 

Stay safe and enjoy the festive season.  See you in 2015 :) 

'Tis the season to get crafty...

Written by Lisa Baggio — November 28, 2014

It's that time of year again! Our Christmas SALE is back and we're offering 15% off across the whole online range! Click on the flyer below and take advantage of this offer as it is available only for a limited time…. (*you must apply the Discount Code "XMAS" at the final stage of checkout to get the 15% discount)

With only 26 days until Christmas, now is the time to get busy and crafty in the kitchen. There's something really special about giving homemade gifts at Christmas time. Giving someone a gift that you have personally crafted and put love and effort into is a special gift at Christmas time! We'd love to share some ideas with you. 

~ Homemade Pizzelle  ~ 

These light, wafter-style, sweet biscuits are always a huge hit at family gatherings. My kids devour them when Nonna makes her big batches of pizzelle.  One second they're there and the next they're NOT!  So get crafty and have a go at making your very own homemade Pizzelle. Then, box them, jar them or simply wrap them as in the image below. Look out for the big smiles when you share them around, then watch them disappear.

Here's a simple traditional recipe we found on the DiMaggio family blog.

 

~ Home Brew ~ 

The perfect gift for any beer or home brew lover! Get really crafty and try your hand at Morgans and Coopers homebrew. Check out these homebrew recipes using the Morgans range of products.  

There is nothing better than homestyle vinegar drizzled on your favourite summer salads.  Homemade vinegar is simple and a must try. Check out this simple recipe for homemade vinegar.  

 

Homemade limoncello is such a treat. If you have never had the pleasure of making and sipping your very own homemade limoncello, then make a note to pop it on your to-do list. You can thank us later. Have a go at this recipe we found on the Home Style Austin blog.  

~ Eltham and District Winemakers Guild, Amateur Wine Show ~

On behalf of the Home Make It team, I would like to congratulate all the winners of the Eltham and District Wine Guild, who entered their homemade wines into the 45th Amateur Wine Show. There was an inspiring display of over 500 wines for tastings, wine and cheese pairings and a bonus homemade sausage demonstration delivered by Home Make It's Steve Lamberto. If you'ld like to see some more pics from the day, check out our Facebook album.

 

~ Advanced Winemaking Course 2014 ~

We would also like to congratulate the newest graduates of our Advanced Winemaking Course - Class of 2014. They have received their Graduation Certificates after completing all the stages of the homemade winemaking process from crushing the grapes, pressing, fermenting, racking and finishing six months later with the bottling of the liquid gold! (Our Advanced Winemaking Courses run for 6 months over 6 sessions, to correspond with the different stages of the winemaking process).  

The very excited graduates got to take home 12 bottles of homemade Shiraz to share with family and friends. We'll keep you up to date with news of our 2015 Advanced Winemaking Course. If you would like to see some more pics from the night, follow the link to our Facebook album.  

Advanced Winemaking Course - Class of 2014

Applying the Shiraz labels...just right

Dennis, one of our proud graduates!

~ The Italian Home Cook Olympics ~

Looking for something a little different? Got a touch of "wog envy"? Or just a passionate foodie? As part of the 2015 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Home Make It will be teaming up with some of Melbourne's iconic Italian Masters in winemaking and cheese making, to host a hands on masterclass and shared table experience at Mister Bianco Restaurant in Kew on the Sunday 1 March, 2015. 

Bookings are now being taken for the The Italian Home Cook Olympics. You can book directly online with Eventbrite

 

                                                            

Learn from the Italian Masters - Mister Bianco's Joseph Vargetto, Frank Bovezza from Home Make It, Winemakers Michael and Christian Dal Zotto and Giorgio Linguanti from That's Amore Cheese.

~ More Christmas Gift Ideas ~

Our Kits make for a unique and fun Christmas gift Idea. The complete Home Make It Kit range includes: Salami and Sausage Making Equipment Kits, Salami Recipe Kits, Sausage Recipe Kits, Beer Kits, and Cheese Making Kits including; Camembert & BlueGreek Feta and Mozzarella & Ricotta.  

 

~ Gift Cards ~

If you can't decide which Kit to purchase, there's always our Home Make It Gift Cards. 

 

 

~ Online Specials ~

 

Take advantage of our many online Specials this Christmas. There's something for everyone. Click on the banner below to find out more.  

 

~ Trading Hours for Christmas ~

Our Reservoir and Clayton Stores will be open until 5.00pm on Christmas Eve. We will then re-open on Monday 5 January, 2015 at 9.00am.  

Have a great weekend! 

 

Be your own Salumiere or Brewer! Make It Your Way...

Written by Lisa Baggio — October 31, 2014

 

 

~ New Home Make It Kits Have Arrived! ~

There's now no excuse why you can't become your very own salumiere or brewer. The days of dreaming about making your own salami or beer are behind you. It doesn't get any simpler with the launch of our complete range of Homemade Sausage & Salami and Beer Kits. Our new Home Make It™ Kit range includes simple recipes and all the basic equipment supplies to make your own sausages and salami and home brew.

For more details or to be one of the first to purchase and try out our new kits, follow the links below;

 

Our range of new Beer Kits start with the basic beginners kits, through to the super upgraded kits.

The Beer Kits got the seal of approval by some local home brewers at the recent Melbourne Salami Festa.

 

~ Eltham and District Winemakers Guild ~ 

If you're passionate about homemade winemaking, or consider yourself a bit of a wine connoisseur, then join us on Sunday 16 November, 2014 at the annual Eltham and District Winemakers Guild, for the Amateur Wine Show, on from 11am until 2.00pm at The Veneto Club. The show is entering its 45th year and arguably Australia's largest amateur wine show, featuring:-

  • over 500 wines for tastings,
  • a separate professional "boutique" category,
  • an Awards ceremony,
  • artisan cheese and olive oil sales and sample,
  • and workshops and demonstrations in Food and Wine Matching (11.15am) and Homemade Sausage Making with Steve Lamberto of Home Make It (12.45pm).   

We must admit, we're super excited about this year's Amateur Wine Show moving to The Veneto Club in Bulleen, and we're thrilled to be a Principle Sponsor of the show again. Good luck to all our Reservoir and Clayton store customers who have entered their homemade wine into the competition. 

For more details about the Amateur Wine Show, click here. Tickets available at the door. Entry $15 per person and discount price for Veneto Club Members. The Veneto Club Bistro will be open for lunch, but be sure to book your table to avoid disappointment (03 9850 7111). Last booking 2.15pm. 

 

 ~ Melbourne Salami Festa ~ 

Congratulations to all the winners who entered their homemade salami into the recent Melbourne Salami Festa!  

  • 1st Place for Judge's Choice Award - Bernard Holbery of the Winter Pig team
  • 1st Place for People's Choice Award - The DeFazio Brothers

Whether you entered your homemade salami into the competition or just came along for the salami tastings, gourmet food, The Salumi Market or entertainment, it truly was a celebration of our much loved salami. Viva la salumi!

 ~ Fair Food Week ~

We recently had the pleasure of sponsoring the Fair Food Week, Flavour Crusader Photo Competition. Congratulations to all the winners and Tracy Milchick of Queensland for the Most Creative category for her photo of the "life cycle of a little strawberry".

(Photography by Tracy Milchick)

The inaugural Fair Food Week was celebrated recently from the 10th - 19th October, 2014, and is co-ordinated by the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA). 

The Fair Food Week "... it’s a time to shine the light on the ‘new story of fairness’ across the food system, from paddock to plate. It’s a week full of intriguing and attractive events around the country".


The Fair Food Week celebrates food sovereignty, fresh, local and community driven food enterprises, farming, community gardens, and invites communities to learn ways to cultivate a better food future. 

 ~ Shop Online ~ 

Check out this week's Specials by clicking on the banner below. You can shop ONLINE at any time with the convenience and ease of PAYPAL.  

Keep up to date with all the news from the team at Home Make it by following us on Facebook and Twitter.   

Enjoy the long weekend and if you are lucky enough to be attending this year's Spring Carnival, have an awesome time! 

 

Passata time is family time...

Written by Lisa Baggio — February 20, 2014

Some of you may know Pina, our store manager from our Reservoir store. What you may not know is that she and her family members are tomato passata-making extraordinaires! I had the privilege of attending their 'Passata Day' last weekend, to experience first-hand their family's tradition of making sauce. You may recall in our last newsletter on our recent Passata Making Course (and Recipe), and my reference to Pina's passion for homemade food? Well now I understand where it comes from! Pina's family make their own sausages, salami, pizza, pasta, olives, preserves and biscotti. They do it because they are passionate about great tasting, natural, preservative/additive free food, and they are passionate about preserving these homemade food traditions.   

Pina's parents, Domenico and Giovanna Federico have been making homemade passata for as long as Pina can remember! A backyard food tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation, from Pina's father's ancestors in Sulmona, Abruzzo, in Italy.

Pina's family put one weekend aside each year in February to make their homemade passata. She does not recall a year when they have not done this.

The Saturday afternoon is spent washing the tomatoes, sterilising the equipment and setting up the garage. 16 boxes of the tomatoes were delivered to the family home a couple of days before. They always purchase their farm grown tomatoes from Tony and Maria at 22 Lawson Crescent, Thomastown (0418 379 215).  

The family arrive at nonno and nonna's house early Sunday morning and get straight to work, starting cutting the tomatoes into quarters. Each tomato has been inspected and any bad tomato discarded. This job is initially shared by all family members. Pina's sons, Gianni (15 years) and Massimo (10 years) are now also old enough to cut the tomatoes which now helps speed up the process. Nonna is always keeping a close eye on quality control and efficiency of the process.

Once a couple of the crates have been filled with the cut tomatoes, the family members branch off into their assigned roles. Traditionally, Pina's brother Paul takes charge of putting the tomatoes through the machine. The family's passion for this slow food tradition is evident just by looking at their machine.  Pina's father Domenico has made modifications to our machine, literally attaching it to the kitchen sink. It is seriously awesome! The crate of quartered tomatoes is literally poured onto the kitchen sink and plunged through the sink hole into the machine where the pulp and skin are separated from the juice.  The juice runs down the shaft and straight into the bucket, ready for salting and bottling. 

This year the uncle is assisted by his nephews, Gianni and Massimo. The photo below captures beautifully the sign of the times, and a mix "old age" tradition V's "new age" technology, as Massimo thought he could actually plunge the tomatoes through the machine with one hand, holding onto his IPhone with the other :)

The pulp and skins are put through twice more, to ensure that the very last drop of the juice has been extracted. Juice is added to this process to minimise the strain on the motor, as the skins become drier.  

As with most patriarchal families, the nonno is charged with the most important of roles in this process, which is to add the right amount of salt to the tomatoes. Just enough to assist in the preserving process, but not too much to spoil the taste. I'm told it's better to under-salt than over-salt, as you can always add more to the sauce when cooking.  

On this day, Pina's eldest son Gianni is responsible for filling the bottles.  Again one of our non-spill bottle fillers has been skillfully attached to a construction disigned by Pina's father, to again add efficiency to the process. The nonno sits close by, inspecting the work of his grandson and making sure his is filling them to the correct level.

It's obvious though, that both the nonno and nonna are thoroughly enjoying their grandson's involvement and contribution to the process. It's not only the end result of fresh homemade passata that keeps this passata day alive, it's the preservation of a family tradition, passed down through the generations, with the hope that Paul, Pina and her children will carry this on well into the future.  

Once the bottles have been filled, the nonno then caps the bottles and gets them ready for the boiling process. Pina's family still use the beer bottles for their sauce, claiming that they have never lost a bottle through preserving them in this way.

Meanwhile, Pina and I continue to quarter the tomatoes with her mum, chatting away about anything and everything. This process and assembly line of designated jobs is continued until every last tomato is cut into quarters and taken through the various processes.   

As with all passata days, the highlight of the day is usually the special lunch that is prepared for the hungry workers. In Pina's family, this is traditionally done by the nonna. On this day, the family were spoilt with a homemade zucchini fritatta and fresh panini. Pina was quick to point out that the zucchini is homegrown, and the pancetta and salami in the panino is homemade! 

After lunch the filled bottles are then very carefully stacked into the old gallon drums. If stacked properly they can fit approximately 100 bottles into each drum.  Once the water comes to the boil, the bottles are slow boiled for approximately 2 hours and left to cool down overnight. To do this, they have four gallon drums boiling away on the gas burners.  

The process from start to finish is definitely a full day. The process then ending on Sunday at approximately 9pm following the big clean up. But the family are satisfied with their new years' supply of fresh homemade passata, totalling approximately 300 bottles!

The passata will now form the basis of many of the family's meals for the next twelve months. Some of these dishes including the sugo for their gaming meats,  ragu, marinara, minestrone, lasagna, bolognese or polpetti. 

If you would live to see more photos from Pina's family Passata Day, you can see them all on our Facebook Page.  

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Pina's mum, Giovanni has very kindly shared one of her delicious family recipes.  Enjoy :)

Nonna Giovanna's "Classic Sugo" recipe.

Ingredients:

1 x onion finely chopped

2-3 garlic cloves chopped

Olive oil

Lamb shoulder or chuck steak (diced in chunks)

2-4 bottles of passata

Parsley (roughly chopped)

Basil (roughly chopped)

Salt and Pepper

 

Process:

Saute' the onions and garlic in the olive oil.  

Add the diced chunks of lamb or chuck steak to the saute to brown the meat.  

Add the bottles of fresh homemade passata.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the basil and parsley.

Cook on simmer for approximately 2 hours.

Serve with your favorite style of pasta. Buon appetito!

 

There are many variations to Giovanna's recipe, which we will share with you over the next few weeks.  

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Our Advanced Homemade Winemaking Courses will be commencing in March, 2014. If you would like to read more about our course, you can read our previous blog on our 2013 Advanced Homemade Winemaking Course.  

To help celebrate the Australian tomato season with you, we have included heaps of our passata/sauce making equipment and supplies in our Specials this week.  

 

Have a great week!

Passata Making Course (and Recipe)

Written by Lisa Baggio — February 13, 2014

Wow! What a fun night we had at our recent homemade Passata Making course at the Reservoir store. You couldn't have asked for a more authentic workshop to learn the craft of preserving tomato sauce, and we know that our participants walked away inspired and will be planning their own backyard 'passata days'. Our passata making course was instructed by our very own Pina and Celeste. Pina and her family have been having annual passata days for over 20 years now. Celeste inspired and entertained the class with her funny stories and mouth-watering recipes.   

At Home Make It, we have adopted Pina's method of preserving tomatoes and making passata, following the unrelenting protests that her families' method was the best! But we know that there are many different methods of making passata. You only have to ask any one of our customers and they'll tell you 'their method is the best'!  Pina is passionate about her families' backyard food traditions. Whether we are talking about salami, pasta or pizzelle, she'll also tell you that her families' method is the best ;)

The course commenced with a run down of the different methods for making passata and the importance of sterilising the bottles and equipment. We were then shown the different options for equipment that can be used and available, including the manual and electric machines.   

  

We pride ourselves on our workshops being 'hands on' and this passata course is no different. We put our participants to work straight away. Pina and Celeste had already sterilised all the bottles and equipment, and washed and dried the Roma tomatoes before we arrived, so our first job was to cut the tomatoes into quarters. We do this to cut out the flat stem, also to check that there are no rotten bits within the tomato, which could spoil the 'juice'.  

 

Between the 8 of us, we got through preparing the large box of tomatoes pretty quickly. Our FLB machine with electric motor and sauce attachment was set up and we put them through our machine using a plunger. This process separates the skin and the pulp from the tomato juice. We followed on by putting the skins and pulp through a second time to extract the juice further, adding some juice with the skins and pulp to look after the machine. If the skins are too dry, this can cause stress on the machine's motor.    

 

It was then time to bottle our tomato juice. We added a couple of fresh basil leaves to our already sterilised bottles. This is optional though. This job was made easier with our no spill bottle fillers which have been attached to our crates and buckets. We left a small space between the top of the bottle and the juice, to allow for the tomato juice to expand during the boiling process. We filled the bottles quickly and sealed them with a lid, careful to make sure the lid was on tight (but not over twisting, as this can also cause problems during the boiling process). You can largely avoid these problems however by using our lids.

All that was left to do then, was to carefully stack the bottles in our aluminum cooking pot, fill with water to the top and bring to the boil. It's useful to lay some cloth or toweling in the bottom of the pot and cover the top of the bottles to minimise the bottles rattling around during the boiling process. Once to the boil, the bottles or jars should be boiled for approximately two hours. This process sterilises the bottles and preserves the tomatoes. If stored in a cold dark area, these bottles will keep for years. 

Your passata is then ready for use, to be the basis for any of your favorite pasta sauces, pizza sauces, casseroles or risottos. How you cook it up is up to you! I personally like to add a little garlic, chill and onion. It's an awesome base for spaghetti pescatora, or just as nice for a simple spaghetti Napoli. There are no limits to what you can do!


We ended the evening with a delicious pasta dish cooked for us by Celeste. We sat down to a massive bowl of pasta made with Pina's passata sauce from last year and Celeste's sugo recipe, a bottle of wine and some yummy pastries. What a feast! And what a delightful end to a great evening!  

If you would like to see more photos from the evening, you can view them on our Facebook Page.  

If you are interested in attending one of our homemade passata making courses, call our Reservoir Store on 9460 2777 or Clayton Store on 9574 8222 to find out more or register your interest.  

 

Below is one of Celeste's recipes for making homemade fresh passata. Have fun!!

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Tomato Passata/Sauce Recipe:
(Cooked Method - Ready to heat and serve)

 

Ingredients:
-Roma Tomatoes
-Chopped Onions (Amount depends on the quantity of the tomatoes you want to prepare)
-Salt
-Fresh Basil, Oregano, or Thyme and Rosemary
-Garlic
-Sugar (optional)
-Chilli (flakes or fresh and optional). Amount used will depend on palate.  
-Oil for sauteed method.  
-Pancetta, bacon or salami (Optional)

Process:
-Place the tomatoes in a food grade tub (50lts to 100lts).
-Pour boiling water over the tomatoes. This will soften the skin making the juicing of the tomatoes easier and quicker.
-Using a slotted strainer or spoon, steadily scoop the soften tomatoes into the machine's hopper to be processed. The skin and pulp will be separated from the juice. 
-Sauté the chopped onions, garlic, choice of herbs, pancetta and chilli in the oil until golden brown.  
-Pour the processed tomato sauce in this sofritto (sauteed herbs and vegetable).  
-Cook gently on low heat for at least 30 minutes. 
-Keep this on a gentle simmer. Keep covered, stirring gently every 10 to 15 minutes. Total cooking time of 1 & 1/2 hours.  
-For this part, some precautions should be taken for handling hot products.
-To sterilise the bottles, beer bottles or jars, place them in a hot 200 degrees oven for 15 minutes. Immediately place the jars on a tray whilst still hot.  
-Ladle the hot sauce into the jars allowing a space for expansion. Shake the jars so no air pockets will be present in the sauce.  
-Twist the cap on jars securely, but don't over twist.  
-Turn the jars upside down, let stand in this position for 10 to 15 minutes, turn upright, and leave to cool. This process creates a vacuum in the jars and is very important.
-Store in a cool, dark place. Ready to heat and serve! Enjoy!!
*This passata/sauce can also be added to a variety of dishes.  

Fall in love with homemade food

Written by Lisa Baggio — February 7, 2014

It’s no secret that here at Home Make It, we have a deep passion for homemade food! Join us in our quest to encourage the return to simple and wholesome living and fall in love with homemade food.

Home Make It has all the tools you will require, as well as the expertise and experience to help you become a homemade cooking king or queen!

So when it comes to showing your love on Valentine's Day, historically by the way, also known as ‘The Feast of Saint Valentine’; what could be better than a delicious homemade dinner? Go ahead and treat your loved ones to something special and get savvy in the kitchen.

Here are some ideas to get you started with planning your romantic dinner for this Valentine's Day, coming up soon on Friday 14th February;

Homemade Heart-Shaped Pizza

How fabulous do heart shaped pizzas look? 

Click here to see a demonstration on how to make the heart-shaped pizza base.

Homemade Heart-Shaped Ravioli 

Fancy trying your hand at homemade heart-shaped ravioli? 

Here’s our very own PASTA RECIPE for ricotta and spinach ravioli for you to try:

___________________________________________________________________________ 

Ravioli pasta dough:

Filled pasta needs a hard dry dough, so no water in the mix and we add egg yolks, leaving out two of the egg whites

250g plain flour

1 whole egg and 2 egg yolks

pinch of salt

slurp of olive oil

The dough mixture will be very dry, wet your hands to help bring it together, but hold back with the water. If you add too much water the dough will be soft which means it will end up too thick around the double edges of your ravioli… too much pasta and not enough filling. So persist with the dryness of the dough it will come together …it will surprise you. But the kneading is tough work.

It is essential to rest this dough for an hour which will allow it to soften up and become much more workable.

When we roll out the pasta dough for filled pasta we go down to the thinnest setting on the pasta machine.

Ravioli Filling:

250g ricotta

1 bunch of spinach - wilted, squeezed dry

Nutmeg - lots, freshly grated

20g Parmesan, grated

Basil - 8 leaves

Salt

Lightly steam the spinach to wilt it the cool and squeeze to dry it as much as possible

Chop spinach and basil well but not too finely…leave some texture.

Stir all ingredients together

Finally:

Layout the pasta sheet over the 10 hole ravioli heart shaped mould, add the filling, then lay the top layer of pasta sheet and use the rolling pin to finish.   

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To make the ravioli filling job easier try using our Imperia Raviolamp Ravioli heart shaped mould, available in-store and online

~

Homemade sweets

Here's a great blog, Buttercream Bakehouse that covers several different recipes for homemade sweets this Valentine's Day that you may enjoy!  I personally would love my Valentine to bake me the marbled red velvet cheesecake brownies. One can only dream :)

Homemade gifts

We love these easy homemade Valentine’s day gifts in jars. Try filling jars with your favourite pink and red lollies or homemade biscuits, use some fancy ribbon and quirky note cards to decorate.

Looking for some great Valentine’s Day gift ideas? How about a gift card or voucher to participate in our fun and interactive food and beverage workshops.

~

What's on:

Check out some of our upcoming courses:

Hard Cheese Making Course

Feta Cheese Making Course

Advanced Homemade Winemaking Course

 

Top Shelf Boutique Drinks Festival

See our talented Steve Lamberto run a free workshop on 'How Home Make Your Own Beer' at the Top Shelf Boutique Drinks Festival this Sunday 9 February at 12.45pm at the Royal Exhibition Building in the "Drinks Lab". 

 

If you are wanting to spoil your loved one this Valentine's Day, then check out our Specials or Online Store. We have lots of unique gift ideas for "Him" and "Her".  

You can keep up to date with daily news from your Home Make It team by following us on Twitter and Facebook.  

 

Have a great weekend!  And if you are one of the many thousands of families having a homemade Passata Day, enjoy and stay cool...  

 

 

Ever wondered how to make homemade jam? Here's a simple recipe...

Written by Celeste . — January 24, 2014

One of my favorite things about summer is the sweet taste of stone fruits. There is nothing more delicious than fresh apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums and cherries to help cool you down during those heatwaves. Whether we buy them at the local supermarket, fruit markets, grow them ourselves and or have friends or family willing to share their summer crop, they are one of life's best simplest pleasures!  

We were given some beautiful home-grown apricots by a great customer (Giuseppe) at our Reservoir Store a few weeks ago. In fact, too many to eat! Umm, what to do with them? So we decided to make some homemade Apricot Jam.  

Below is our neighbor Shirley's homemade jam recipe which has stood the test of time. The recipe is from 1972 and needed to be converted from imperial measure (pounds) to metric measure.  

Here it is!  

The Ingredients

2kg of Apricots

1kg of Sugar

2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

1/2 packet (25gm) of Jam Setta *you can purchase in the spice section of your supermarket. I like to use Jam Setta because I find it helps to settle the jam and minimises the amount of sugar needed.   

I also like to use a little Brandy too, but this is optional - 2 tablespoons.  

Also optional are the blanched kernels. The kernels are the nuts inside the stone of the fruit.  The nut is crushed and blanched and included in the apricot mix.

 

The Process

Prepare and stone the apricots making sure they are clean.

Sprinkle half the sugar over the apricots and add the lemon juice. 

Leave to stand for a few hours or overnight in a cool place.  

Pour in the soaked apricots into a large cooking pot. (Cast iron or aluminium is preferable to stainless steel, as it will stick)

 

Bring them to the boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer.

Add the Jam Setta with 100mls of warm water to dissolve.  

Gradually add the rest of the sugar.

Slow simmer for approximately 40 minutes. 

Add 2 tablespoons of the brandy. This is optional. I find that it brings all the flavors together.  

Add the blanched kernel. The kernel will give the jam a beautiful tart flavor and texture.  

You can test the jam to see if it is ready by placing a small plate in the freezer for 15-20 minutes and pouring 1 tablespoon of the jam in the center of the plate.  If it is ready, the jam should set quite quickly - if it still too runny, keep the jam on simmer for a little longer. It may need 10-15 minutes more depending on your result.

 

Rest the jam for 10 minutes.

 

Sterilising the Jars

Sterilise the jars in a hot oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes whilst you are resting the jam.

Wash and pat dry the lids.  

Ladle the jam into the jars and seal whilst hot. The jars will be very hot so take care with your handling of them.  

Invert sealed jars top to bottom (upside down) for at least 30 minutes to create a vacuum.

 

That's it! Your apricot jam is ready to be enjoyed.  

~

Here's a quick Plum Jam variation recipe for you to try;
  

Ingredients

2kg of red plums

1kg of sugar (raw or white)

4 lemons

1 stick of Cinnamon

4 or 5 cloves

3 glasses of water.

25gm of Jam Setta

 

Process

Clean and cut the plums in half and remove the stone. 

In a large bowl, pour half the sugar over the fruit. 

Squeeze the juice of the lemons and add the water.  

Leave covered in a cool place for up to 12 hours or overnight.  

Strain the liquid and keep separately. (Edit: You can use this later to dilute the jam if it becomes too thick during the simmering stage, and in which case you'll also need to add more sugar proportionally. Depending on the season, you may not actually have much (or any) liquid to strain either.)

In a large cooking pot, (large enough for the fruit and liquid), place the fruit and gently bring to the boil.  

Once boiling, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and stir and regular intervals.  

Dissolve the Jam Setta with 100mls of warm water and add to the pot.  

Gradually add the rest of the sugar.

Slow simmer for approximately 40 minutes.  

Remove the bouquet garni (cinnamon and cloves).

Sterilise the jars in a hot oven at 180 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.  

Wash the lids and pat dry.  

 

Use the same process to test the jams, as included in the apricot jam recipe.  

Ladle the jam into the hot jars

Invert the sealed jam jars upside down for 30 minutes to create the vacuum.  

Enjoy!  

 

Watch this space...... We will be including some more preserving recipes in the coming weeks for strawberries and other popular seasonal fruits.  

Our Clayton and Reservoir Stores stock a great range of jars, lids and preserving accessories that are prefect for preserving jam and fruit. You can check out our range at our Online Store.   

We also have a few places available for our Summer Homemade Food and Beverage Courses at our Clayton and Reservoir stores. Our courses are hands on, social and lots of fun.

 

Cider Making Course

Passata/Sauce Making Course

Feta Cheese Making Course

Hard Cheese Making Course

Advanced Homemade Wine Making Course

 

You can also check out our SPECIALS by clicking on the link below (in our new mobile-friendly site!):  

Don't forget, you can also keep up to date with news from the Home Make It team by following us on Twitter and Facebook.  

 

Have a great weekend :)

 

Clayton Reservoir