Posted in cooking, Creative presents, Food, Fruit, Jams & Jellys, Organic Gardening, Permaculture, Preserving

Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam

Yes it does work, I hadn’t heard of it before but it’s yummy!

500g/ 2lb rhubarb, washed and trimmed weight
500g/1lb strawberries, hulled weight

Chop and place these into your preserving pan or largest sauce pan and add 1 kg bag of sugar and juice half  a lemon, then stir.

leave for a few hours until the sugar draws out the juices.

heat slowly until sugar has dissolved and then bring to the boil, continue until setting point is reached. (I did squish with a potato masher a bit because strawberries do had a tendency to stay whole).

pot up into sterilised jars

and finish off with a nice fancy label.

If not for yourself, this can make a lovely present. I love it when a friend brings me homemade jam to sample! 🙂


Posted in around my home, Hints & Tips, plants, Preserving, wine

Walnut Leaf wine

Believe it or not you can make wine from walnut leaves and we have a walnut tree in the garden.

You have to pick the leaves while they are young when they are quite fragrant.

after processing with oranges and yeast, the resulting liquid is now in the demijohn to ferment.

There’s lots to learn about wine making but I’ve found a brew shop in Norwich where I can get all the help I need!

Posted in Preserving

Dandelion Wine

Today I’ve bottled my dandelion wine…

….had a little taste, which is unavoidable when siphoning off, and well I think it’s my best wine yet. It will be even better chilled! 🙂

I know I’ve spelt dandelion wrong on the label, Keith pointed that out!

Posted in Preserving, spring, wine

Dandelion Wine

At last I have got around to racking off my dandelion wine I started last summer. It’s very over due and soon it will be time to bottle it. I’ve syphoned it into another demijhon and it looks and tastes like it should be a good wine.

I think I’ll bottle it in two or three months time, which doesn’t mean that’s when we can drink it though!

Posted in Autumn, cooking, Hints & Tips, Preserving

Courgette Chutney

Because of the art projects I’ve been doing, some of my surplus veg etc have been hanging around for a while. I’ve had some Apples someone gave me in a basket in the pantry, some green tomatoes in the fridge (yes still ok!) and believe it or not a couple of courgettes still surviving out side! So yesterday I decided to do this lovely river cottage recipe that I remembered I Liked.

Courgette glutney

This lovely pickle is a fantastic way to use various summer veg gluts, and overgrown courgettes are one of my favourites. You can alter the recipe according to what you have, and chop and change the spices to suit your taste, too. Makes about 10 jars.

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.

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. 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.

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.

Happy Eating! 🙂

Posted in Jams & Jellys, Preserving

New produce labels

I’ve been catching up with my preserving, because of the limits of the broken arm scenario I didn’t get much done in the autumn.                 

Keith has designed me some new labels….

I really like them, what do you think? I haven’t shared the recipes as the fruit is not in season, but if you want them just let me know.