All posts by razzbuffnik

What to do with your excess chillies

Each year I harvest far more chillies than I can use at one time. I have only two small chilli plants and each year I’m amazed at how productive they are. One of the problems that so many chillies pose, is that they are so hot that one only needs to use a few at a time and the majority will rot before you can put them to use. As a consequence, you don’t have any home grown chillies when you want to use them in the future.

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I overcome this glut of chillies by pickling them. Pickling is extremely easy.

The first thing to do is get some jars, of a suitable size (I like using the smaller, wide mouthed salsa jars), wash them and then heat them up (with the lids, detached from the jars) in an oven for about half an hour at about 120 degrees C (about 250 degrees F).

After washing and rinsing the chillies, slice them (discarding the stems), complete with the seeds. A note of caution here, if you have sensitive skin wear rubber gloves. Needless to say, keep you hands away from any mucosal membranes afterwards, or you’re going to be in for a character building experience.

Pour enough apple cider vinegar (or any vinegar that you have on hand) to cover the sliced chillies into a pot. Then add olive oil equal to about 20% of the volume of the vinegar, and bring the mixture to a boil. Once the vinegar and oil is at a rolling boil, carefully add the chillies. Boil the chillies in the mixture for about a minute or two.

As a variation to this recipe, you can slice up some garlic and add it to the chillies at this point.

Take the jars out of the oven and put them in a dry sink. While constantly stirring the pot contents, ladle the chillies and vineger mixture into the warm jars, leaving about 1.5cm (about half an inch) space to the top of the jar. When you have no more chillies left, top up the jars with the remaining oil and vinegar mix, making sure that you completely cover the chillies and then take the warm lids out of the oven and screw them onto the jars.

The remaining oil and vinegar mixture can be kept as a condiment chilli oil. When the jars have cooled down to room temperature wash the jars in soapy water, to removed any residual chilli oil.

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Store the chillies in a cool dark place. I’ve used chillies preserved like this, one and a half years after I’ve pickled them, with no ill effects. Always store the opened jars in the refrigerator after use. When the pickled chillies have been refrigerated, the oil solidifies, but don’t let that worry you as it doesn’t affect the flavour.

I use my pickled chillies in cooking and I’ve noticed that the oil and vinegar take up a lot of the chillies “heat” so keep that in mind when you cook. Just add more of the oil and the “heat” goes way up.

Sexual politics. Morocco. 1982

This photo speaks volumes about the position of women in Morocco.

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The little boy seems to have more status than his (I presume) mother. The boy, like a little prince sits with a confident air, like someone who knows he is the heir apparent, in western clothing while the woman is bowed down by the weight of her responsibilities, face covered.

I know the reason for the veil and the woman’s clothing, but it seems to me, strange that a male child has more freedom of self expression than a fully grown woman. Where did the idea of female inferiority come from in the first place? Some feminists would have one believe that it’s the men who oppress the women, but isn’t it women who raise the men?

I’m surrounded by smart, strong women and I just don’t get it.

A cake to have with coffee

This is a fairly dense moist cake that is perfect with coffee and it’s very easy to make.

The recipe here, is my modification of the “5 cups cake” recipe I found at http://peasoupoftheday.blogspot.com/
via http://asiya2.wordpress.com/

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Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of self raising flour

1 cup of shredded coconut

1/2 cup of sugar

1 cup of coconut cream

2 eggs

1/2 cup of dried cranberries

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1 teaspoon of vanilla paste

1 teaspoon of coconut flavouring.

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C or 350 degrees F. These temperatures are for fan forced ovens.

Mix the ingredients and then pour into a greased, round 185cm baking tin (spring form if you have one). Bake for approximately 45 minutes (a little longer if your oven isn’t fan forced)

Big skies in Queensland 1990

Here’s some colour and natural beauty to compensate for my last couple of posts.

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These shots were taken on the road between Jondaryon and Bunya Mountain in Queenland, Australia, with an 18mm lens on Kodak EC100.

On a bit of a sad note, all the transparencies I had in the folder with this series, are blighted with tiny spots of fungus. It’s not apparent in the images here because the resolution isn’t high enough, but I won’t be able to make any large prints out of them.

I know the are a lot photographers out there who are convinced that digital photography will never replace chemical based photography, as for me, I’m a total digital convert. When I look through all my old images, I’m devestated by how many of them have fungus on them. I know I should’ve stored the better, but living in hot and humid Queensland for five years made that next to impossible unless I wanted to totally seal them and never look at them. Lets face it, gelatine is just sooo medieval. Film emulsion is the next best thing to a petri dish filled with agar agar, basically, it’s a banguet for fungus.

Digital photograhy is getting better every day. Even my little compact Canon A95 is giving me better than exceptable results. I look forward to the day in the not so distant future when digital cameras produce the same, if not, then improved, resolution and contrast range.

Water pistol party, Brisbane 1989

The following photographs were taken at a party thrown by some bouncers who worked with my cousin Andrew (second photo down in the middle)¬†at the “Port Office” pub in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Brisbane can get very hot and a water pistol party sounded like fun and a good way too cool off.

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Choice of weapons was important

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Choice of drinking companions wasn’t.

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If I rememder correctly, the conversation that lead to this image went something like this: “You call that a mole! Check these out!”