First Foraging of the Year

Mmmm, blackberries.

It’s the beginning of the autumn fruiting season and we have some bramble in the garden that was meant to have been cut back, this now is bearing fruit. I managed to pick almost a punnet from it, leaving lots more to ripen. The blackberries down our road are still green but as you can see I found an apple tree with fruit on!

Foraging 1

So entering into the spirit of the season, I had to make an apple and blackberry pie.Foraging 2

It looked quite rustic but with a scoop of vanilla ice cream it tasted fab! Foraging 3
As you may well know I do enjoy frugal food! 🙂

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Strawberry and Rhubarb Pie

I got this recipe from Lovely Greens on Pinterest I might be just in time to catch the end of your strawberries!

Rhubarb and strawberries from my garden.S&R Pie 1
I tried GF ready roll pasty this time and used one of our eggs for glazing.S&R Pie 2

S&R Pie 3
It is so delicious 🙂

Christmas

It’s very festive here at Hillside Lodge. It’s so nice when Christmas eve finally arrives.

Christmas 1

 

Christmas 2 Christmas 2b

There’s nothing more festive than making a fruit cake!

Christmas 3 Christmas 4

To everyone who watches my blog and all your family and friends, I wish you peace and joy this Christmas 🙂

First Mince Pies of the Year

My first mince pies made this year. Two already eaten, as My Husband says he can smell mince pies from 50 yards!

Mince Pies

I thought I’d add a little history.

A mince pie is a small British fruit-based mincemeat sweet pie traditionally served during the Christmas season. Its ingredients are traceable to the 13th century, when returning European crusaders brought with them Middle Eastern recipes containing meats, fruits and spices.

The early mince pie was known by several names, including mutton pie, shrid pie and Christmas pie. Typically its ingredients were a mixture of minced meat, suet, a range of fruits, and spices such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Served around Christmas, the savoury Christmas pie (as it became known) was associated with supposed Catholic “idolatry” and during the English Civil War was frowned on by the Puritan authorities. Nevertheless, the tradition of eating Christmas pie in December continued through to the Victorian era, although by then its recipe had become sweeter and its size reduced markedly from the large oblong shape once observed. Today the mince pie remains a popular seasonal treat enjoyed by many across the United Kingdom.

Well there we are! 🙂

Greengage Crumble

I used up the last of the greengages from the fridge on Sunday to make a lovely crumble.

I halved and stoned the greengages and put them in a pan with a little water and sugar to taste and I added a couple of table spoons of lime and lemongrass cordial that I have left over from summer to add some zing. I just cooked them in a pan until they were nice and soft. Use approx. 1lb fruit, but I just use what I have. This is a great way to use any over ripe or blemished fruit so that it’s not wasted.

Greengage Crumble 1

My crumble mix I use is:

8oz flour – (I use white spelt flour – Gluten free flour works just the same)
4oz margerine or butter – ( I use a dairy free spread or goats butter)
2oz sugar – (I use raw sugar)

Cut up the marg or butter into little pieces and then rub with your fingertips into the flour. Stir in the sugar.  As I’m on a budget I always add a good helping of porridge oats to the mixed so I have enough for two puddings. ( I also add some ground almonds if I have them in the pantry)

Greengage Crumble 2
When it’s all nicely mixed, put half on your prepared fruit….Greengage Crumble 3
….and half in a sealed bag in the fridge. Remember they are all store cupboard products so this will keep in the fridge for at least  two or three weeks.
Greengage Crumble 4
The finished crumble is yummy and will give at least six portions.Greengage Crumble 5

Bread again – but a little different

I continue to make River cottage soda bread and try to make my own little changes to add variety.

I have started putting the dough into a greased loaf tin instead of on a baking sheet, just for the convenience of cutting. This one has some pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in and a sprinkling of crushed, malted barley in the mix and on the top. The malted barley I got from The Real Ale Shop, here in Norfolk, UK.

Bread
The malted barley adds a delicious malty hint, if you use it, you really only need a tablespoon full!