Key Lime Cordial

I relented and bought a new umbrella today. I thought that I wouldn’t need to replace my last lost one because it was May. Because the sun should be shining, and life should be swell but instead it rained all day. And all yesterday, and the day before that. There are these brief moments where the sun almost shines through the clouds and it’s almost like there isn’t a blanket of white and grey over us. And then the moment passes and the sun is completely invisble again. And I go back to day dreams of summer days and picnics on Wreck Beach and drinks on patios watching the sunset.

This is a recipe in preparation for those times, and it also makes use of one of the last reminants of the citrus season, the key lime. This makes an afternoon G & T into something glorious, this with a splash of vodka and some sparkling water is the perfect post work wind down drink. This means you never have to run out to the store to get lemons and limes before a party, because this is better. This is not the lime cordial you buy at the store with fruit juices from concentrate. This is so fresh you can hardly tell it wasn’t squeezed just for your drink. This you want in your house at all times.

Key Lime Cordial

Adapted from the Lime Cordial recipe by Stephanie Alexander. 

*You can make this with regular limes if you can’t find them of course, but there is a soft sweetness to a key lime that elevates this. I’ll admit that they take work, i had to squeeze 30 key limes but I also got over 2 litres of cordial, so that’s okay by me.

**I bought both citric and tartaric acids at a gourmet shop near me, but you can also buy them both at make your own wine stores.

300ml Key Lime Juice (about 30 key limes)*

2kL Sugar

1L Water

30g Citric Acid**

30g Tartaric Acid**

Bring a large pot of water to a boil

Wash 2x 1L jars or bottles carefully then place them and their lids in the pot of water and sterelize them.

In the meantime bring the water and sugar up to a boil.

When the sugar has totally dissolved add in the acids, and bring back to a boil.

Now add the juice and bring it back to a raging boil.

As soon as it hits that mark, turn off the heat. Take the jars out of the water and set them straight on a clean counter. Pour in the cordial leaving a 1/4 inch of head space and put on the steralized lids. It can be tricky to judge how much to pour in because of the bubbles, if your unsure add a little extra.

Allow to cool slowly at room temperature making sure the lids seal properly.

This will keep for ages, and if you don’t feel like sealing the jars it will last a long time in the fridge with a screw cap.  

Pickled Peppers

One of the biggest fights the Man of the House and I ever got in was over hot sauce. I made this beautiful crab and fava bean risotto. I pulled the crab, and made stock with the shells, I painstakingly double peeled the fava beans. It was a beautiful subtle risotto that just tasted like spring, and it was lovely.

Until my man put tabasco on it. All hell broke loose. I may have over reacted.

But I will still call it a maybe.

But here’s the thing of it, I never grew up with spicy food. I never grew up with hot sauce and, while I like a little bit of heat, and I do, I also know that your body doesn’t read spice as a taste it reads it as pain. So I’m hesitant to believe that it makes a dish taste better. Especially when it is laden with vinegar. But, I can also appreciate that I am a bit of a purist, and maybe obsessively sometimes. Maybe not everybody needs to think exactly like me and taste everything exactly like me all the time.


The Man of the House still makes fun of me for my freak out. And that was years ago. So this year, amid my pickling-or-canning-everything-in-sight-frenzy that I’ve been on I thought I would prove a point and pickle peppers.

Spicy! Vinegar! Good girlfriend points! Yes!

I have to say, I’m not sure these taste good yet, it takes a couple months to tell, this is a tentative recipe, but man, I could just hang these on my walls they are beautiful, truly. All these amazing reds and yellows, on looks alone I might be converted to spicy food. So we’ll see if it goes that far, in the meantime I’m just happy to look at these fiery jars while their sealed.

Pickled Peppers

1L Vinegar

6cups Water

1 tbsp Peppercorns

2 tsp Fennel Seeds

2 tsp Coriander Seeds

1 Clove per Jar

2 lbs Good quality fresh peppers

4 1liter jars

Preheat your oven to 375F

Wash your jars very well and put them on a baking tray.

Wash all the peppers very carefully- I had an earwig come out of one of mine!

Slice the peppers however you’d like or keep them whole- just make sure you wear gloves while you do this, or be careful not to touch your face for a few hours afterwards, man oh man will your fingers burn your eyes.

Put the peppers into the jars- not quite all the way up to the top

Meanwhile, bring all the other ingredients up to a boil.

Carefully, using a canning funnel if you have one, pour the liquid over the jars, being cautious not to get any on the rims of the jars.

Put the lids on the jars, and then gently put the screw tops on, not screwing them to tightly. Put them into the oven for 5 minutes, and then take them out and let them cool. They should all pop shut in about 5-10 minutes.

Let the pickles work their magic for at least 6 weeks before opening them up.

These should keep for at least 6 months.