Plenty of strawberries at Macalla farm!

We rarely have too much strawberries. In past year, strawberries that made it to the house (most of them where eaten straight from the plant by kids and helpers) were turned into Strawberry frozen yoghurt. But this year, thanks to the diligent care of Adriana and our fantastic of helpers, we actually have a very abundant crop of strawberries.

So we’ve turned to jam making with this delicious recipe that combines strawberries with rhubarb.

Strawberry and Rhubarb jam

  • 1 kg strawberry
  • 1 Kg rhubarb stalk, chopped fine
  • 2 Kg sugar

Put the rhubarb stalks and the sugar in a pan and cook until the  rhubarb is tender. Add the strawberries, bring to the boil, and cook for a further 20 mn.  Put in sterilized jars, close immediately.

 

Wild mead

Mead, sometimes referred to as honey wine, may not be a popular fermented drink any longer but it is one of the most ancient ones and it’s very easy to make.  It is made by fermenting honey with water, usually with some flavouring added. Depending on the concentration of honey in the water, and on how the fermentation in managed, mead can be sweet or dry,  still or sparkling. Dry mead will usually be more alcoholic (up to 20%), as all the sugar in the honey is fermented, and if you bottle the brew before the fermentation is completed you will end up with a fizzy drink as the CO² from the fermentation is trapped in the bottle.
Read more

Ice cream — Macalla Farm style

A good ice cream maker is an expensive piece of kitchen equipment, but every time we use ours, we find that it was money well spent.
As we have plenty of sheep’s milk yogurt in the summer, we make plenty of delicious frozen yogurt (we refer to them with the generic term: ice cream). This greatly increases our range of desserts.  Furthermore, there is usually very little work required, as can be seen in the recipes below: Read more

Rhubarb and elderflowers

We have several elders bushes on the farm, and they have just started producing their annual crop of creamy-white,  musty smelling flowers— a bit later than usual.
I love elder flowers. They have a subtle and light aroma and are traditionally used to make cordial.  We also make gallons of elderflower champagne with them, and drink it throughout the summer.
But the real treat is this recipe, which I devised a few years ago. It makes use of the rhubarb which we also have in abundance at this time of the year. This is actually a double recipe, as it makes delicious jam and then, equally delectable cordial–in one go! Read more

Kombucha

kumbucha with lemon vervena leaves
Stefanie’s kombucha with fresh mint flavouring, just bottled

Our love affair with fermented food is forever deepening and growing stronger!

In the early days, it was just sourdough bread, and gallons of elderflower champagne in June.  Then, in 2005, I discovered lacto fermented vegetables while woofing in the South of France and there was no turning back. After many jars of sauerkraut and kimchi, the arrival of our  two milking sheep at Macalla farm in 2009 presented us with yet more fermentation opportunities—in the form of yoghurt, cheese and kefir.

The recent visit to our farm by Dan from Australia, another serious fermentation aficionado, expanded our fermentation repertoire even further as he brought with him to the island some live Kombucha. Read more

Nettle and wild garlic soup

nettle and wild garlic soup

Serves 4

  • 4 large potatoes (about 1 lb)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large bag of fresh nettles tops
  • 1 handful of wild garlic leaves
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (or sunflower oil)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

This is a delicious soup to make in the spring, when the nettles are young and the wild garlic is growing.
Wear gloves and pick nettles (just the very top), preferably on sunny morning. Wash them and put aside. Wash or peel the potatoes and dice them. Chop the onion in small bits.
Fry the onion in ghee, (or sunflower oil for vegan alternative) on medium heat until soft, stirring constantly, add the diced potatoes and keep stirring for another 3 minutes, then add the washed nettle tops and chopped up wild garlic leaves. Add 1 litre of water, bring to the boil, add the salt and peppter, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Liquidize and serve immediately with fresh cream as a garnish.