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I love to cook, I've always loved to cook.

As a young girl, my time was spent reading the cookbooks that mum kept in the bottom kitchen drawer. Always looking for a new recipe to try, a new food idea. Many weekends were spent making rainbow cakes with as many colours as possible – have you seen my Instagram, not much has changed, and looking for recipes that I could cook using what was available in the cupboard or from the vegetable garden.

At the aged of about 16, I remember stating that I wanted to leave the farm and travel the world. This would be followed by retiring by about 30 and moving back to South Gippsland to grow vegetables and cook. From 16 fast forward 20 years and I returned, starting Jacican Food Studio in Mirboo North, Gippsland where I grow vegetables and cook. This blog is where I share my food adventure.


 Jacican Curried Zucchini Relish

Each year, I end up with more zucchini than I know what to do with - yellow ones, black ones, round ones and two shades of green.

A couple of years ago, the next door neighbor's mother (yes, everyone in Mirboo North makes a contribution to what I'm doing) suggested that I make a Curried Zucchini Relish. This recipe made six-and-a-half 250-gram jars. If you would like to make your own, come along to a summer preserving class and go home with your own jars.


  • 1 kg zucchini
  • 500 grams onion, peeled
  • 70 grams salt
  • 570 ml vinegar
  • 320 grams brown sugar
  • 70 grams arrowroot
  • 10 grams turmeric
  • 10 grams mustard powder
  • 10 grams curry powder
  • 5 grams ground ginger
  • 5 grams paprika, mild
  • 150 ml vinegar, extra


Dice zucchini and chop the onion. Combine in a non-corrosive container. I use a large plastic bucket that fits in the fridge.

Sprinkle with salt and cover with tap water. Leave overnight in the fridge.    

add onion to diced zucchini  add salt and mix well

Drain the mixture well the next day.

drain zucchini and onion

Place vinegar in a large pan with sugar. Heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil.

Add the zucchini and onion to the pan.

vingar and brown sugar in pot  add zucchini and onion to vingar and brown sugar

In a separate bowl, mix arrowroot with spices and extra vinegar to form a paste. Add the paste to the pan.

Return to the boil for 10 minutes.

spices and arrowroot for curried zucchini relish  add extra vingar to spices  spice, arrowroot and vingar paste  add spice paste to zucchinis in pot

Bottle and seal in hot sterilized jars.

finished Curried Zucchini Relish

Makes 6 x 250ml jars.

If you would like to sample, you can find curried zucchini relish on the shelves at Jacican, or pop along to a summer preserving class and feel free to make a batch of your own. 


This is one of the recipes you will learn, cook and take home in my Winter preserving cooking class.

Beetroot Dip

Each year I grow a garden bed of just beetroot – they are so versatile you can use it in everything. Chocolate cake, ice cream, roasted whole with dinner or as part of a fresh salad.

I make mine into beetroot relish, which we eat with everything savory – meats, on canapes, in sandwiches. I regularly combine the beetroot relish with cream cheese to make a beetroot dip.


  • 1 kg Beetroot

  • 500 grams onion - finely chopped (can be finely chopped in the food processor)

  • 625 ml white vinegar

  • 10 grams salt

  • 450 grams Sugar

  • 5 grams Allspice

  • 2 grams Peppercorns

  • 5 grams ground ginger

  • 100 grams arrowroot

  • 100 ml vinegar, extra

beetroot relish 2


Cook Beetroot in salted water until cooked

Mince beetroot (can be done in the food processor).  Cook beetroot with onion in 625ml of white vinegar until onion is tender

Grind allspice (if using whole), peppercorn with ground ginger.  Be careful with the amount of spice, sometimes less is enough.

Add salt, sugar and ground spices and cook for 25 minutes

Mix Arrowroot with extra vinegar to form a paste, stir into beetroot and cook for 5 minutes

Bottle and seal in sterilized jars.




Three Colour Zucchini Relish recipe from Jacican

Each year I grow more zucchinis than we could ever reasonably use at Jacican. With the number of courgettes that come out of my garden, I'm confident that I could feed the good people of Mirboo North for at least a week! And the variety of colors, flavors and shapes our zucchinis take is just as impressive as the yield with black, green, light green and yellow specimens all coming from the same garden bed.

In order to make the most of our bumper crops I have worked on a recipe to turn our delightful zucchinis into a three-color relish with black, green and yellow highlights. This recipe has become incredibly popular, especially with the taste testing crew at Jacican who crawl out of the woodwork whenever I turn the stove on. I like to serve it on top of Cucumber & Cream Cheese Canapés or eat it alongside a frittata, but in terms of serving options, it's just as flexible as your imagination.  

If you would like a hand to learn to make your own relish, come along to a Summer preserving - relish cooking class at Jacican.


ingredient 3 colour zucchini relish


  • 2 kgs zucchini - a mix of black, green and yellow
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 1 green capsicum
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 20 grams yellow mustard seeds
  • 750 grams sugar
  • 350 ml vinegar

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