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  • Lyndon Hood,

    I have a recipe in a big ole Hare Krishna cookbook for a guava jam that (of course) went well with feijoas - unrefined sugar and a bit of spice cooked in ghee at the end, including just enough chilli to warm it. And there is a fine feijoa liquer recipe in the archives of this website.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    We were driving a friend around Napa one weekend (while we were working in Davis California) and my partner saw some ripe olives hanging over a wall ... she succumbed to temptation and popped one in her mouth and bit down ...

    I guess I should have had more sympathy but it really was funny to see her face as she tried to get rid of the amazingly bitter taste for the next half hour or so.

    Some recipes for making olives edible call for soaking in lye! I still can't figure out how anyone discovered they could be made edible.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I should note that the chutney experiment had another pleasing spin-off. At the suggestion of his producer, Pip Keane, I dropped off one of the jars to TV3 as a gift for raging chutney fiend John Campbell.

    Although I did not expect it, he was so appreciative of the gesture that he returned it with some truly excellent preserved grapes, which I took a special dinner party at my friends’ place, where we enjoyed both with some melting slow-roasted pork shoulder.

    Briefly, life was perfect.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Some recipes for making olives edible call for soaking in lye! I still can’t figure out how anyone discovered they could be made edible.

    Yeah. Lye seemed a bit bloody scary.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Thomas Beagle,

    Damn all Aucklanders and their oh-so productive feijoa trees!

    (I think we're going to get two wee feijoas on our Wellington trees this year. Maybe next year...)

    New Zealand • Since Nov 2007 • 48 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Thomas Beagle,

    (I think we’re going to get two wee feijoas on our Wellington trees this year. Maybe next year…)

    I don't think we've ever had less than approx. eleventy-million of the things.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yeah. Lye seemed a bit bloody scary.

    Nah. Lye is fine so long as you treat it with respect. Sodium hydroxide (lye) comes in pellets or ground to a powder, it absorbs water from the air so the powdered form and the pellets need to be in a sealed container. When you dissolve lye in water it releases heat, this is the biggest hazard because you can boil water from cold by dissolving lye in it and a boiling hydroxide solution is dangerous, worse if you stupidly add sodium hydroxide to hot water* it can and will boil over explosively splashing you with caustic solution.

    But after that bit of scary stuff, hydroxide solution are fairly easy to handle especially at the concentrations you are using, if you get any on you, wash with water until your skin stops feeling soapy (that soapy stuff is soap made from the fat in your skin reacting with the lye).

    The one thing a would strongly suggest is wearing glasses - a spot of lye on your skin you can wash off easily - getting some in your eye would be bad.


    *People add sodium hydroxide to hot water thinking it will dissolve faster. This is totally unnecessary because it dissolves very quickly anyway.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Properly traditional pretzels are done with lye, I think, but people most use a strong baking soda solution for that. *googles* some people reckon it works for olives.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I salted some olives a cople of years ago. After realizing how much salt goes into eating olives, I desided to look at getting the oil out instead. How hard could that be?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    We planted about two dozen feijoas as a windbreak/shelter over ten years ago and they are now in numbers that rival Tribbles. The place to be in April is therefore http://feijoafeijoa.wordpress.com/

    I make cakes to freeze, chutneys and pastes that does me all year (damn, have you seen the price of those things in the supermarket???) and you can freeze them as well. The Feijoa champagne, if bottled into sterile bottles, will keep nicely for months. This year, I plan to make it using my home brew kit and using sugar in 750ml bottles for secondary fermentation...

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • thegirlstefan,

    the other thing in season right now for a limited time is quinces. much cheaper to make your own preserves with these than to buy. Like figs, they go well with pork, and lamb, and you can bake them for dessert.

    If you're buying preserving jars, Moore Wilson in Wgtn sell trays of Luminarc jars with metal seals which work out to be pretty cost-effective, or you can try ordering through these guys: http://www.arthurholmes.co.nz/index.php?cPath=1176

    Aotearoa • Since Oct 2011 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Curran, in reply to thegirlstefan,

    It's surprisingly easy to use the feijoas into feijoa vodka as well. Just need to add a bit of sugar to stabilize the flavor.

    On the off chance there are spare quinces lying around, I'd very much like to get my hands on some he mused - there's a venison and quince recipe I've been wanting to try for a while now.

    Since May 2011 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    Our olive trees have also produced fruit for the first time in years. I presume it's the weather this summer that has triggered it - anyone know specifically?

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Ray Gilbert,

    They also make a fantastic slo gin type drink as well. Plase them cut up in a sterile jar with sugar and immerse in lots of gin. Then leave for a few months or longer.
    It's best to fill the jar with gin if you can as the ones at the top oxidise and turn brown. They still taste fine and can be used to make a killer trifle after you have drunk the liquid.

    Since Nov 2006 • 104 posts Report Reply

  • James Green, in reply to Thomas Beagle,

    Damn all Aucklanders and their oh-so productive feijoa trees!

    If I can get buckets and buckets of feijoas off two small-ish trees in Dunedin*, then I can't see why Wellington should be a problem.

    *They do seem to ripen a month or two later though

    As for your feijoas, I do enjoy them fresh, but apart from giving them away, the answer must surely be feijoa sorbet!!

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to James Green,

    I can’t see why Wellington should be a problem

    Feijoa trees usually need another tree nearby to pollinate them. They can produce fruit on their own but a second tree within insect range is required to get good yields. In Auckland every second house has a feijoa tree so ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • James Green, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Feijoa trees usually need another tree nearby to pollinate them. They can produce fruit on their own but a second tree within insect range is required to get good yields.

    I used to think this as well, but there are now some new [cultivars?/clones?] available that do have a good single yield. Or you can presumably get a double grafted job. Also, if you like feijoas, planting only one seems silly. It would be like planting only one lemon tree, when you could plant three (space permitting).

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I’m going to need to find some free jars

    Any pop-top jar will do, unless the top has been damaged. Jam, relish, and pasta sauce often come in perfectly reusable jars. The pop-tops will pop down again over your own preserves, voilà!

    The only trick is getting the lid off intact: this article has pictures of a good technique .

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to thegirlstefan,

    or you can try ordering through these guys: http://www.arthurholmes.co.nz/index.php?cPath=1176

    Yes! Several people have pointed them out to me but I forgot to mention them in the post.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lilith __,

    The pop-tops will pop down again over your own preserves, voilà!

    I've been wondering about how that works with olives, which you don't bottle hot.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I went to a Wellington in February which was catered by Ruth Pretty. She must have had access to a good fig crop because her staff handed around several plates of fresh figs which were cut in half with a scoop of (possibly) goat's cheese in the middle drizzled with some kind of balsamic tasting dressing. Not sure exactly what it was - but they were delicious.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • thegirlstefan, in reply to Ben Curran,

    quinces are easier to get hold of now than they were a few years ago (depending where you live i guess). Newtown New World in Wgtn has had them for $4.50 kg for the past 3-4 weeks, so they should probably be around until Easter

    Aotearoa • Since Oct 2011 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Russell Brown,

    __The pop-tops will pop down again over your own preserves, voilà!__

    I’ve been wondering about how that works with olives, which you don’t bottle hot.

    You don’t? Oh. Hm, I’m guessing you need the contraction of the hot liquid to make it work. :-(

    ETA: but same would apply to Agee jars too?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Probably goat's cheese -- it offsets the flavour of the fig beautifully.

    If you have the $$, this is great thing to do:

    Slice figs in half and press a piece of goat's cheese into the cavity of each half.

    Wrap each half with a strip of prosciutto or pancetta.

    Cook them on the hot plate of your barbecue. Eat warm. Gorgeous.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I’ve been wondering about how that works with olives, which you don’t bottle hot.

    You don't really need it with olives. The point is to ensure sterility, with chutneys etc you need to be sure you don't let in any air because the chutney is great food for fungi and bacteria, hence hot and some kind of seal that you can monitor. Any air going in will probably carry fungal or bacterial spores.

    But olives should be in vinegar or oil. Since neither will sustain bacterial or fungal growth* you should be OK with any decent seal. The one thing I might be inclined to do is to exclude air (oxygen) either by filling to the very top or flushing with nitrogen.

    *In normal circumstances, I'm sure you could get something to grow on oil if you really tried but I'm assuming you are being reasonably careful.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

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