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!

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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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Garden Success

How do you see success in your garden? Are you like me expecting that you can achieve what you might  consider great things as well as working and looking after you family and your house?! I continually have to put this success into perspective. There is only so much time you can put into growing things unless you are putting all of your time into being self sufficient (so my husband keeps telling me)!

I’ve just been out to explore the garden that gets attended way less than I’d like, to pick some things for lunch and this is some of what I saw.

I have pumpkins,

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beetroot,

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chillies,

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peppers

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and tomatoes

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and my husband says I should call this success! 🙂

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!

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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 🙂
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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. 🙂

Greengage Jam

For want of repeating myself on regular intervals, I’ve made my regular greengage jam. Not so many greengages this year, but enough to make a good quantity of jam.

Eating them fresh is like eating little balls of nectarGreengage Jam 1
and eating the jam,  it’s extremely sweet and something very special!

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Can’t wait till it cools:-)

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!

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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! 🙂