Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Just peachy... and then the oil exploded

In my pocket-sized courtyard garden I've got a veggie bed currently producing Rouge de Marmande tomatoes among other things, and it's a real delight to pick a fresh, sun-warmed tomato every day for our salad lunch. For the last few days we've also been enjoying our own peaches. I have a miniature fruit tree in a tub; while the tree is less than a metre high, it produces full-sized fruit and the flavour is soooo much better than anything bought at a shop. The tree is only young, and this year it gave me 13 peaches. We've eaten half, but here's a sample of what's left. A few marks from branches, but grub-free thanks to the EcoLure organic fruit fly destroyer I used earlier in the year.
Yum, yum, yum. But speaking of other yummy things I've been preparing recently....

Owning cats means you occasionally hear weird noises in the house often followed immediately by the sound of breaking glass, shattering china or something solid thumping to the ground. This year we've become accustomed to hearing the small Christmas tree we have fall over. I'm sure the cats think,"TimBERRRR!" as they give it a push. Last night we were sitting in the living room enjoying a re-run of Doctor Who when there was the ominous noise of breaking glass from the kitchen.

"Bloody cats!" grumbled my husband.

"Charley!!!" I yelled, for that is Birman Boycat's name and it's usually he who causes any breakages.

To our surprise no nervous cats came scattering through the kitchen door - they usually bolt from the scenes of their crimes. In fact they were both in the living room behind the sofa looking at us with mild surprise. Why were we jumping up like we'd seen a bird fly onto the fence? Had someone mentioned fish and they hadn't heard it?

In the kitchen my last bottle of Chilli and Garlic Infused Oil was in pieces. The top third of the bottle, cap intact, was on the floor. The rest of the bottle lay in splintered pieces on the bench. The oil was everywhere. All over the bench, all over the floor. The room reeked of garlic.

We came to the conclusion that the garlic - or the chilli - was actually fermenting, and had caused enough pressure during this process to make the bottle explode. I've never had that happen with my oils in previous years. I suspect the garlic clove I'd used for this bottle - which was to be my own - was a little past its prime hence the fermentation. It must have gone off like a bomb as it had knocked a plastic jar 1/4 full of honey to the floor.

Cleaning it up was a bugger. We scraped the oil from the benches into the bin, and used an astonishing amount of paper towel to mop up the remainder. Then it was time for the secret weapon. The Enjo green glove and mop.

I love Enjo. This Austrian company makes the best cleaning products ever. You can't buy them in the supermarkets, you buy them on a party plan basis where the sales rep demonstrates them and takes your order. I'd been sceptical until I bought the starter kit. Then I ordered other bits and pieces as the system is so good. All you need is the Enjo glove, water, and an old towel to dry the bench etc off with. I don't sell Enjo but I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone. Good for the environment, too: no chemicals or detergents are used when you clean with Enjo.

A couple of years ago I'd broken a bottle of olive oil on the kitchen floor and nothing could clean it properly. I tried dishwashing liquid, and floor cleaning detergent, but the floor was still slippery as ice. Then I tried my green Enjo mop and a bucket of hot water - should have thought of it first - and the floor was normal again after only one scrub at it. I was thrilled (gosh, how housewifey this sounds!), and grabbed the mop again last night to sort out the floor without mucking around with other detergents. Once again it worked a treat, straight away.

I think I'll be trying a slightly different process next time I make a batch of infused oil! :-)


  1. Miniature fruit tree in a tub that produces full-sized fruit? I need to look into this!

    The "bloody cats!" outcry is soo familiar. I think our cats are a particularly devious combination of having very sweet tempers when it comes to socialising with humans (warm, affectionate, communicative, no biting or scratching ever), yet being oh so terribly naughty when it comes to household destruction. Their crimes include: chewing through thin cords and cables, jumping onto improbably high surfaces and knocking over anything that stands in their way, climbing the Xmas tree, eating the lower branches of the Xmas tree, licking oil off the bike chain... well, you get the idea. In short, we have to keep them in segregated quarters from bikes, the tree, and pretty much anything else they like to ruin!

    Problem is that they are so cute and sweet, that it's difficult to punish them or even stay angry.

  2. The miniature fruit trees are American-bred so you should be able to find them. They are bred under the Trixzie label and my peach tree is a Pixzee Peach. Like any member of the prunus family they need a sunny spot. Pixzee Peach is self-pollinating so you can get by with only having one tree.

    Our two cats are from the same breeder but have different bloodlines and completely different personalities. Charley is the outgoing one who is openly and blatently naughty. He'll stare you in the eyes as he strops his claws on the sofa, daring you to spray him with water. I do ruin the 'angry human' effect by laughing sometimes when I catch him in the middle of something like hanging upsidedown from the screen door. Annabel is furtive; she's the one who has put teethmarks in every electrical cord or cable in the house, getting to work when we're out or asleep. But yes, they are so lovely (and they know it!) that you can't be angry for long.