Posted in Autumn, Food, gardening, In the garden, Organic Gardening, Permaculture, plants, vegetables

Latest Produce report

Despite the major neglect of the garden it is still producing wonderful things for me!

I think it’s the best year for beetroot in a long time and my carrots haven’t had carrot fly this year 🙂


…and the first proper fruiting of a young apple tree. The apples are still quite sour so have to stay a bit longer, but I must keep an eye out for scavengers!


We’ll soon be building a new chicken house, so watch out for that 🙂 I’m very excited!

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 Fruit, gardening, In the garden, Organic Gardening, plants, Self reliance, spring

Work has Started

Even though there is lots to do with work and other commitments, exciting things have started to happen the garden. We have planted two new fruit trees, as the other ones we planted didn’t survive. We are hopeful with these as they have some lovely shoots on them (though you can’t see them in the photo). An apple and a pear bought from Lidl.

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I have sunk a pot next to each tree so that the water can be aimed at the roots. 🙂

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

Posted in Food, gardening, Organic Gardening, plants, Reusing, spring

Living our lovely life

Yes, we’ve been so busy living our lovely life that I haven’t told you what we’ve been up to for a while. Taking advange of any dry spells we have been doing things in the garden.

Two apple trees have been planted….

….they obviously have appreciated the rain we’ve been having, and as you can see so has the spinach and the rhubarb!

We have also started to construct the fruit cage….

…..I have raspberries and strawberries waiting to be put into their new home. I’m quite excited about having a fruit cage, we got it from free cycle and only had to buy new net, fab, can’t wait!

Posted in Jams & Jellys, Preserving

Chilli Apple Jelly

A couple of days ago I used some more of my apples and made some chilli apple jelly.  It’s an Anthony Worrell-Thompson recipe using dried chillis. I tried with fresh chillis last year but I like this one because of the red speckles of dried chilli running through it. Mine is stightly pink because I replaced a few of the bramleys with some pink fleshed apples, this makes it look very pretty. This recipe is good because it makes a decent quantity aswell.

We’ve tried it with sausages already and it’s yummy. Can’t wait to try it with cheese or actually we have some homemade pork pie in the freezer, that would be nice. Well thats tomorrows lunch sorted out! What do you think of this recipe?

Posted in Jams & Jellys, Preserving

Apple Jam

We had been given alot of cooking apples by a friend in the autumn and still have quite a few left to use. I haven’t done the right thing and wrapped them individually like you should, I’ve just had them in a basket in a cold porch. I’ve had to put a couple on the compost heap, but other wise they’re fine.

Here is the Apple Jam recipe I used. I like to use as simple a recipe as I can so that I have to buy as few ingredients as possible. If you haven’t made jam before I must encourage you because it’s cheaper, very rewarding and tastes yummy.

Here are the apples cooking before putting the sugar in , you can just smell them can’t you? (The peel and cores are in a muslin square)

And here is the finished product. The recipe does 14 jars, so there’s enough to store and to give as a gifts to  friends or family.

Any questions about jam making are welcome, just ask away!