The Good Life: Barter Economy

While my potato harvest has been extremely good, we are getting a little sick of potatoes here at The New Castle of Corke.  I have been seriously running out of things to do with potatoes!  I’ve made nikujaga, mashed potatoes, irish stew and have even fried the darn things in my airfryer[1]!


Check it out.  More than half a kilo of potato right there.

Yesterday, I dug up the biggest potato I had ever seen in my life and realised that I had gotten to the end of my potato threshold.  Neither the Boobook nor I felt like eating potatoes anymore.

Thankfully, my friend, Mrs Peacock, was visiting family in Newcastle and she had had far too much citrus.  So, we did the only thing that made sense:


Have a bag of taters


Oranges, lemons and tangerines oh my!

We traded produce.

I have now participated in the barter economy!  Check me out being all productive and stuff!

Now all I gotta do is figure out what to do with all this fruit…

[1]With little success, unfortunately.  Some potatoes were not made to fry.  They disintegrated instead.


Becky’s Essence of Fruit: Bottling

A while ago, I wrote about making fruit essence for baking cakes with.

Well, 6-8 weeks is now over, so here’s a quick tutorial on preparing the fruit essences once they’re done.

You’ll need:

  • A bowl or jug of some sort
  • A sieve
  • 50 ml bottles for the essence
  • A funnel

As usual, you should boil the bottles to sterilise them so that your essences don’t go “off” before they can be used.


Boil it up good

I used amber bottles designed for aromatherapy oils as the dark glass on the bottles helps to block out light from reaching the essence, keeping it fresher for longer.  They’re also pretty good when pouring into a teaspoon!  However, if you are feeling very fancy, or are very fancy, you can always buy pretty bottles from Etsy, save up tiny sample alcohol bottles or even use old perfume jars (after thorough cleaning, of course), the sky’s the limit!


Blueberries have lost their colour – this means that they’re ready

Sieve the berries out of the essence liquid.  You can use a regular sieve for this, but if you’re really fancy, you can get more juice and flavour out of the berries by squeezing the fruit through a piece of cooking muslin.  I’m too lazy for this, though!


All ready for Christmas!

Use a funnel to fill the little bottles with the essence and voila, you have some lovely essence for Christmas!  If you have a label printer, you can spruce the bottles up with fancy labels.

A Becky Lee’s Note: Always prepare slightly more empty bottles than you expect to fill, as the recipe always creates slightly more than 250 ml per lot.

So, there you have it, my gift for my baker friends this Christmas!  I hope you like it!