Posted in breakfast, cooking, Easter, family, Food, Fruit, home, Jams & Jellys, Self reliance, spring

Pancakes for breaKfast

With the kids or on your own we can celebrate food over this strange time of lockdown. You can make pancakes for breakfast, especially at this special time of Easter!

2oz plain flour, 2 eggs and a little milk makes 6-7 small pancakes. Double that for more, halve it if you are on your own (give left overs to the birds) ๐Ÿ™‚

I use gram flour as I can’t eat wheat but use any plain flour!

mix it up together with a fork squashing any big lumps, little lumps don’t matter.

Turn on the pan on a high heat and add a tiny bit of oil (we are cooking them not frying them) and spread it out over the pan. You might have to add a little more during cooking all the pancakes but remember a teeny tiny bit!

put a large spoon of mixture into the pan.

Your pancake needs turning over with a spatula as soon as little craters start to appear like the ones I’ve ringed around.

Only leave it like this for a few seconds and then put on a warm plate and make the next one.

Note: When the pan looks like it’s smoking, don’t panic, just turn the pan down a little but not a lot, you need it hot.

Then you can put them on the table with all your chosen toppings ๐Ÿ™‚ You can use savoury toppings if you prefer.

Note: in your enthusiasm, don’t forget to move the pan safely of the heat.

For the more fussy among us, just jam is ok ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy eating!

 

Posted in challenges, cooking, Food, Fruit, Hints & Tips, Jams & Jellys, Preserving, spring

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?ย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚
Blood orange 5

Posted in Autumn, cooking, Food, gardening, Hints & Tips, home, Jams & Jellys, Organic Gardening, Preserving, Self reliance, vegetables

Chutney

I Love preserving and I hate waste.

Everyone knows who grows them, that courgettes are prone to be very prolific and grow very big very quickly. Chutney is one of the answers to not wasting them (another is chickens, they are happy to eat what you can’t manage!) This recipe is inspired by Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall’s ‘River Cottage Glutney’. Basicly you can through most things in and it comes out great! ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s Hugh’s recipe with my pictures! ๐Ÿ™‚

1kg courgettes, unpeeled if small, peeled if huge, cut into 1cm dice (or use pumpkin later in the season)
1kg red or green tomatoes, scalded, skinned and roughly chopped (or 1kg plums, stoned and chopped)
1kg cooking or eating apples, peeled and diced
500g onions, peeled and diced
500g sultanas or raisins
500g light brown sugar
750ml white-wine or cider vinegar, made up to 1 litre with water
1-3 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp salt
For the spice bag
1 thumb-sized nugget of fresh or dried ginger, roughly chopped
12 cloves
12 black peppercorns
1 (generous) tsp coriander seeds
A few blades of mace

Put the vegetables and fruit in a large, heavy-based pan with the sultanas or raisins, sugar, vinegar and water, chilli flakes and salt.

Make up the spice bag by tying all the spices in a square of muslin or cotton. Add the spice bag to the pan, pushing it into the middle.

Chutney 1

Heat the mixture gently, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar, and bring slowly to the boil. Simmer for 2-3 hours, uncovered, stirring regularly to ensure it does not burn on the bottom of the pan.ย 

Chutney 2

The chutney is ready when it is rich, thick and reduced, and parts to reveal the base of the pan when a wooden spoon is dragged through it. If it starts to dry out before this stage is reached, add a little boiling water.

Chutney 3

Pot up the chutney while still warm (but not boiling hot) in sterilised jars with plastic-coated screw-top lids (essential to stop the vinegar interacting with the metal). Leave to mature for at least two weeks – ideally two months – before serving. ยท

Chutney 4

Warning: Don’t mistake tea spoons for table spoons for the chilli flakes like I did!!! Mind you a nice hot and spicy chutney is nice ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in Autumn, cooking, Food, Fruit, home, Jams & Jellys, Preserving, Self reliance

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, ย it’s extremely sweet and something very special!

P1030515
Can’t wait till it cools:-)

Posted in Autumn, challenges, cooking, Food, In the garden, Jams & Jellys, Organic Gardening, Preserving, Self reliance

Greengage Jam

A little late but here it is!

What a great harvest of greengages this year, lots to process, but lots stored in the pantry! I must admit, sometimes I really don’t feel I have the energy (or time) to do the preserving when it has to be done. But my inner desire to do it wins over, and once I get started there’s no stopping me!

The longest part is taking the stones out.

Greengage Jam 1

Greengage Jam 2Greengage Jam 3

The bet part is eating it! ๐Ÿ™‚
Greengage Jam 4

Here’s the recipe below. ย As I’ve marked on the recipe always have a couple of ย extra jars prepared as our jars in the UK are not lb jars any more.
Greengage Jam 5

Posted in Autumn, cooking, Food, Fruit, gardening, In the garden, Jams & Jellys, Organic Gardening, Preserving, Self reliance

The Joy of Harvest

We are blessed with a greengage tree in our garden and this year for the first time since we’ve lived here (9 yrs) it had a bumper crop. So this was harvesting day.Greengage 1 Greengage 2

I decided to have to baskets and sort while I picked. One for damaged fruit that needed to be processed quickly and one for undamaged fruit that would last longer and was suitable for eating. Altogether from ourย one tree I picked 19 lbs of fruit!Greengage 3

This is the other harvest on the same day.Greengage 4
I’ve found several different recipes for preserving, which I start today with greengage relish! Yum ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in cooking, Food, Fruit, gardening, Herbs, Hints & Tips, home, Jams & Jellys, Organic Gardening, Preserving, Self reliance

Gooseberry and Bay leaf Jam

I am beginning to think that I need to do something with the fruit I have in the freezer, to make room for this years potential fruit harvest. I know it seems a long way off but it’s good to be prepared.

I have quite a lot of jam recipes but I do like to have a look at the internet to see if there are any new Ideas. This is where I found gooseberry and bay leaf jam

My crop, as you may have see when I harvested them last summer are dessert gooseberries, which are purple rather than green and are a teeny bit sweeter.

Gooseberries 3
In the recipe it says to top and tail them before making the jam, which I did, but I wonder if that is really neccessary.Gooseberries 1
The sugar is added with the gooseberries and bay leaves, melted and bought to the boil.Gooseberries 2
Here’s my finished jam.

Gooseberries 3
It is honestly delicious, so I’ll be making more ย ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in cooking, Food, Fruit, home, Jams & Jellys, spring

Marmalade Making

I’m sure I’ve posted about my marmalade before, but I do like to encourage people to enjoy life and do some lovely things. This is my favourite recipe from a little folder of recipes I bought not long after we were married.

I’m giving you lots of pictures as well as the recipe to encourage you to have a go!jam recipes
I always put my chopping board on a tray to save any juice that runs while chopping.Marmalade 1
After removing the pips (see bowl on the right) you can either slice them by hand or in a food processor.Marmalade 2
The oranges and pips soak over night (I cover with a clean cloth to avoid any contamination).Marmalade 3
Adding the sugar to melt before bringing to the boil. You can use Brown, raw or white sugar depending on the colour/strength of marmalade you like.Marmalade 4
The finished stuff!
Marmalade 6

Here’s the recipe, just ignore my scribbles!Marmalade 7
Enjoy and happy home making! ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in Autumn, cooking, Food, Fruit, Hints & Tips, Jams & Jellys, Preserving

Green Tomato Chutney

Even though our harvest was small this year, I still had enough green tomato to make some chutney.

I adapted a recipe I found, these are the ingredients I used:

750g Green tomatos, chopped
350g onions, Chopped
200g cooking apple, peeled, cored and chopped
300ml malt vinegar (I needed more than that)
A few mustard seeds
1 dried red chilli, finely chopped
100g raisins
1tsp salt
200g raw sugar

Prepare jars and lids by washing in hot soapy water and rinsing, then put jars only on a baking tray in a low oven while cooking the chutney.

Beautiful green tomatos

Put all the ingredients into a heavy based pan and bring to the boil.

Simmer until all the liquid is absorbed. There should be no liquid left in the pan (if the ingredients are not nice and soft, add more vinegar until they are).

Put in jars prepared jars and replace the lids while still warm. Do use a cloth to handle the hot jars!

A little taster for Keith!