Great Ocean Food: Preserving family traditions

October 15, 2020 BY

Last time I wrote of fermenting and the interest shown in the process by my daughter.

She follows her grandparents and their interest in food. My parents have always made preserves together. I remember the Fowlers boiler and jars on the kitchen table at an incredibly young age. They still produce the best tomato relish I’ve ever had.

I was reminded of this during the week when a dear friend dropped in a jar of pickled zucchini. It was just superb, and my mind wandered to childhood memories of preserving. The staples were marmalade, strawberry jam, plum sauce, tomato relish and sauce. Making jams and pickles was commonplace in the sixties and seventies but waned in popularity until relatively recently. The upsurge of interest in all things cooking and brewing has been a godsend to many businesses this year. I know restaurants are struggling, but many have found a way to operate in our newfound COVID environment.

The sales of online cooking paraphernalia have gone through the roof, as have many of the food supply businesses.

It looks as though some restrictions will be with us for a while, so people will find a way to gather safely and entertaining outdoors will become more important. Here’s looking forward to a beautiful summer which allows us to enjoy good food and wine with those we love.

It will be such a change from the dreariness of 2020.

Following are two recipes. Firstly, the easiest lamb recipe ever from Cypress called Kleftiko, and to accompany the richness of the lamb is the zucchini pickle (thank you Phylly). Finish this meal with a Greek salad, your wine of choice and as many family and friends as are permitted outdoors.



2kg lamb forequarter pieces
Six potatoes, peeled and halved if large
Rosemary and oregano leaves
Whole unpeeled garlic cloves
Olive oil, salt and pepper
Lemon juice
250 ml water


While this dish is traditionally cooked in a woodfired oven, you can also use a conventional oven preheated to 150°C. Place the lamb in a large
roasting pan. Push the potato in and around the meat. Season with the salt and pepper, then drizzle generously with the olive oil. Scatter over
the herbs and garlic, then squeeze lemon juice over the meat and add the water. Cover and seal tightly with foil. Roast for three to five hours (it’s very difficult to go wrong).

Zucchini pickle


500g zucchini, sliced
Half cup water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
Quarter teaspoon salt
Quarter cup sugar
Half teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Quarter teaspoon dried dill leaf tips (or chopped fresh dill)


Place all ingredients except zucchini in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add sliced zucchini, reduce heat and simmer for two to three minutes. Cool slightly and spoon into sterilized jars then seal.