Monday, 5 March 2012

Food made by a village.

Soon we are heading down to Tasmania again for our annual Sauce making pilgrimage.

All the kids are excited.

So are we.

We have some very gorgeous friends down there we are looking forward to seeing.

Friends we love to share stuff with.

My kids love getting together and doing this.

It is such a great way for us all to make sure we see each other.

I wrote about last year's Sauciness here .

I love how it brings us together.

I love that in amongst our incredibly busy lives we put aside this weekend to make something together.

I love that everyone adds some value to what is being made.

I love that we are able to bottle something of the Summer season that is about to disappear for another year & in that bottle will be the memories too of that day that we spent together.

I love that we are surrounded by many, many more children than adults.

I love that they weave in and out during the busy cooking day all the while happily making the sounds of childhood.

I love that they will grow up with these memories forever in their soul.

I love that they will remember that making food together is one of the most heartwarming, fun & happy memories they will have.

I love that when they grow up the smell of the things they made will forever be etched in their memory and the smelling of the things we made will encourage those memories to flood back into their minds.

I love that my children are growing up with a healthy connection to food and an awareness of it's origins & are already keen cooks.

I love that they see that cooking can be such a fun thing to share with others.

I love that as the children grow up that they have a connection with this group of people.  I know that decades later this connection will never leave them.  Like it hasn't for me with the people that I made food & wine with as a child with my parents.  We still spin the stories of those happy memories together.

I love that we put aside our day to day life stresses to immerse ourselves in the soul warming activity of making something together that each and every time we use will remind us of that day that we spent together.

We have nearly finished last years stash of sauce.

I'm happy we will be replenishing our stores.

Bust most of all I am happy to be cooking with my village again.

I LOVE chilli.
TOTALLY love it.  Maybe even a bit addicted.  Did you know it was addictive?
I'm not sure how but yes it is!
This is a recipe that I have made up after years and years of buying it.
I have a pantry full of various types of chili sauces, jams & oils.
This would be a great thing to make together with other people.
I love that when things like this are slowly cooking it is NECESSARY to break open a bottle of red wine or drink copious amounts of coffee as you patiently wait for it to be cooked.
That is why it is best to make it with somebody else.
The company you have while you cook totally makes it taste better, Non?!
I add this to eggs, to avocado on toast, to noodle soup or on the side of my yummy Thai green curry- or on the day I made it I added it to a chicken & veg stir fry.  
SO good! I just added a couple of tablespoons of the jam and some extra fish sauce & sugar after I had stir fried the chicken & veg. Then added a squeeze of lime & the leaves of the bunch of coriander used in the Chilli Jam recipe.
Super easy, super yum! My kids LOVED it.

Makes about a cup (will last for about 2 months in the fridge)
  • 2 onions, peeled & roughly chopped
  • 6-7 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 red capsicum, seeded and roughly chopped
  • the roots & stems of 1 bunch of coriander
  • 1 tablespoon Belachan (sometimes called Trasi- see notes at end of recipe)
  • 15 whole red chillies ( I added the seeds too- remove if you don't want it to be so hot)
  • 2 dried red chillies (the lovely smoky ones)
  • 1 cup of palm (or use brown sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind 
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce


Add the onions, garlic, chillies, coriander root,
belachan & capsicum into a blender and BLITZ till a paste.
In a heavy pan add the oil and bring to medium temperature.
Add the paste.
Add the sugar and stir till melted.
Now add the tamarind & the fish sauce.
Turn down temp to low and simmer till reduced to a thick syrupy paste.
The colour should have darkened considerably too.
Pour into a sterilized jar and refrigerate.

NB: If you haven't heard of Belachan it is an ingredient used commonly in South East asian cooking. You can find it readily at good asian grocers. It has an odorific smell- but please don't be put off as it imparts the most glorious flavour to dishes!
Look for a packet like this.
I store mine in  zip-lock packet in the fridge. It keeps for years!

I am LOVING the new Lambchop album. Kurt Wagner just continues to write magnificent music. I love him. and did you know he has Basset hounds too?!!! OMG!!! Here's one of the tracks from the new album. (I have also just realised that my previous sauce making post from a year ago also featured a Lambchop song...)


  1. Hi there,

    I just re read your post from last year. What a wonderful family tradition, with the added benefit of a years supply of sauce!!

    We are chilli lovers too, and still have memories of a terrific chilli jam we used to get from a favourite cafe. I am going to give this a try on the weekend.

    Enjoy your long weekend!

    Catherine Lucas

  2. I'm going for trifecta, your Thai green curry paste made in Jan (still have frozen portions), last of beetroot confit made in Feb in fridge...Prahran Market here I come!

  3. Oh Tasmania...I envy you! We had a holiday there in January and our 2 yo boy gorged himself on the fabulous food (well so did his parents!) It's so beautiful.I can't wait to go again. I Have a stash of chillis to preserve so will include this in the mix. Thanks.

    Plus how great is Kurt Wagner!!!!

    Enjoy your weekend.

    Ms Nada

  4. I've been thinking about this recently - how you feed your children lovely healthy generally unprocessed food but when they go off into the world by themselves, it's up to then up to them what they eat....what will they choose? But great to hear your thoughts on establishing that foundation that will have a big influence on them throughout their makes sense and it's obviously what you've experienced too. Lovely!

  5. Love this!
    Our tomato making session is this Saturday in Ballarat.
    Which reminds me, I'd better hunt down some bottles.
    And thanks hugely for the recipe.
    Farmer Bren has a collection of chilli bottles on the fridge door.
    Him and our farmer boys love a bit of heat with their eggs each day for lunch.
    He will be so into this.

  6. Hi sis XX Saucy good times in Tazzy! have fun... We're all sweet here. Say hi to honey badger and the gang.


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