Posted in baking, cakes, cooking, Food, winter

This weekend

I know I’m a bit late in telling you what I did this weekend but, you know, you have to do things to create your simple life! 🙂

Anyway, I made a Battenberg Cake

and a Garden and home journal.

And today I made this plan of our garden with the help of the plans for the garden work!

I now think I deserve a cup of tea (and a piece of Battenberg) 🙂

Posted in Autumn, baking, cooking, Food, Fruit, gardening, In the garden, Self reliance

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! 🙂

Posted in baking, Christmas, cooking, Food, Fruit, Self reliance

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! 🙂

Posted in Autumn, baking, cooking, Food, Fruit, Hints & Tips, Self reliance

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

Posted in baking, Food, Hints & Tips

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!

Posted in baking, cakes, cooking, Food, leftovers, spring

Apple and marmalade cake

Last weekend I discovered this delicious River cottage recipe for apple and marmalade cake it is very easy to make and I think it can be eaten as a tea time cake or a dessert. Because I try and keep a well stocked larder the ingredients were quite easy for me.

Cake 1

The sultanas are soaked in three tbsp of warmed whiskey, you could use apple juice.

Cake 2 Cake 3 Cake 4
Don’t be discouraged from a recipe just because you are missing an ingredient, replace with the nearest equivalent. For example, if the recipe says brown sugar and you haven’t any, use white sugar. Maybe then get some brown sugar in for another time. That’s how to stock your cupboards or pantry. When you do cook yourself, it can often help to use leftovers etc. In this cake I used some over ripe eating apples. The recipe said four, but I only had three, so I used them!

I will give some more tips I think on stocking the pantry because it does help tremendously in using leftovers 🙂

Home cooked yummies are better for you than bought ones!

Posted in baking, challenges, cooking, Food, Fruit, home, leftovers

Weekend Baking

Made my regular soda bread at the weekend, I know I’ve posted it before but it’s so convenient and quick to make! I use this river cottage recipe but half of this is good for two people. The seeds add to texture and and great taste.Baking 1 Baking 2
I always like to make a pudding for Sunday dinner but this Sunday I was short of supplies. After some thought I invented something. I made a shortcrust pastry with 6oz of flour just enough for a flan dish. Leftover mince meat from Christmas and slices of an over ripe cox’s apple.Baking 3
 I always make extra crumble if I’m doing some and keep that in the fridge, so a sprinkling of that on the top made a scrummy dessert.

Baking 4

With a scoop of ice cream on top of course !

Baking 5