New Years Marmalade

It’s the time of the year for marmalade, the Seville oranges have been in the shops and thoughts are directed to making a years supply of marmalade. The reason for this sudden desire to slice 6 pounds of oranges is two fold. It tastes better and it’s cheaper!

For several years now I’ve put the oranges in a food processor to chop them, but this year I decided to slice by hand. Oh my word, I was so surprised how pleasant it was to sit and slice the oranges by hand (with a nice serrated steak knife) in the quiet. A very simple life thing to do, and it was easier to extract the pips too!

marmalade-1 marmalade-2

Once the sliced oranges have soaked over night they are meant to be simmered to reduce the liquid by a third. When I had heated the the water in the pan and added the sugar I realised I hadn’t done that!!!

I managed to rescue it by taking some liquid out, adding more sugar and a bottle of liquid pectin. Here on my pantry shelf are twenty jars of marmalade. I now feel like Moomin Mama and I have a very happy husband!

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It tastes exceptionally good too 🙂

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Banana Pancakes

Well there’s been a lot happening at Simple Life HQ, so much so it has kept me away from you.

We’ve had some hot weather the last week or so here and though I love bananas I can’t eat them fast enough. When it’s hot you need some recipes using the ones which have become very ripe! I generally google around for ideas and then make something completely different or inspired be what I’ve seen.

So banana pancakes! I just used the basic batter recipe that I use for just about everything 2 oz flour (I like to use gram flour) 2 eggs and as much milk I need to get it to the consistency I want.  (recipe for two people) and then just added half a ripe banana mashed up.

Then I sliced the rest of the banana up and layered them with the pancakes, yogurt and runny honey.

Yum!

Pancakes 1 Pancakes 2
It was delicious.

Using gram flour makes it very light and I use sheep’s yogurt which is very light too and all very good for you 🙂

Blood Orange Marmalade

When I saw the blood oranges were in season on the market stall I like to use (nice un-packaged fruit and veg) I thought I would try making some marmalade with them to see what it was like. I should have worked out the costings so I could share with you how little you can pay, but I forgot to record it so I might add it later.

They are not very attractive are they? Blood orange 1
..but look how pretty they are inside!Blood orange 2
I chop my oranges in my food processor for quickness. ..Blood orange 3
….then the marmalade is all pulpy and nice.Blood orange 4
I did have some trouble with the recipe I found, so had to do some adaptation from my normal Seville orange marmalade recipe to get it right. Trust me, if you have a go at preserving and it doesn’t work out, it could be the recipe and not you!

Here it is, yum! It’s very perfumed compared to other marmlade I’ve made. I collect and re-use jars, keeping the pretty jars for me, they look nice in the pantry, and fill some plainer jars so I have some to give away 🙂
Blood orange 5

Home Grown Chicken for Dinner

Well, this is a huge sense of achievement. We’ve just had one of our own home grown chickens for dinner. These are three more going in the freezer. One small step towards self sufficiency! Girls for laying, boys for eating 🙂P1380113
We pot roasted one (which I forgot to photograph to show you) and this is a risotto with some leftovers. I also plan a pie or pasty for tonight and then make some stock for some soup.P1380114
This makes me happy! 🙂

Seville Orange Marmalade

Woohoo – I actually made my marmalade last week 🙂 Luckily Seville oranges do last quite a while if kept in a cool place. My husband  feels much happier now that the pantry is stocked with marmalade!

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I’ve posted the recipe before, so if you want it, just look in my tags. 🙂

Broccoli Soup

You may well know that Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall is my life style guru. He’s definitely been an inspiration in how I want to live my life. This soup came about because of being reminded about how you can clear your fridge of any aging vegetables and make soup. Not that I need reminding really but it does help and I do get a sense of achievement when I’ve done it.

I had two broccoli heads I had bought that had been reduced for about 25p each and I hadn’t had a chance to use them. I decided It was possible to make some soup.

Soup 1

After frying some onions, garlic with a little celery salt (you can use normal salt) and a couple of carrots, I broke up the broccoli and popped it in the pan and added enough stock to just cover the veg.

Soup 2

I cooked it until the veg was tender and then whizzed it up in my blender and put it back in the pan. I had a little soft goats cheese in the fridge that needed using so I popped that in.

Soup 3

Voila, a lovely nutritious lunch for the two of us for at least three days! 🙂

Soup 4

Curry made with Leftovers

I love inventing recipes when I come to the end of my supplies and there are odd bits of food in the fridge. I also find it economical to buy a joint for roasting, larger than I need to use over a few days.

I made this curry using what I had left in the fridge the other day. No waste, frugal food that is tasty and nourishing.

I diced a small amount of leftover roast pork (it doesn’t matter if it’s only a small amount as you can bulk it out with vegs)

Pork 1

I had about three mushrooms and half a onion which I chopped. (It does’t matter at all if your mushrooms have gone a bit soft)

Pork 2

I fried the onion and mushroom with a little oil in a pan with curry powder. Stirred in the pork, a hand full of raisins and some tinned tomatoes. Then I added enough water to the mix to keep it simmering and a little salt.

Pork 3

Meanwhile I had some rice cooking on another hob.

Pork 4
It was rather yummy! 🙂

Rice, tinned tomatoes, raisins and curry powder are all good ingredients to keep in the cupboard to use with leftovers.