Posted in Preserving

Pickled Walnuts

Well we’ve lived in this house with a very large walnut tree in the garden for fifteen years and I’ve never pickled walnuts before. I remember Grandma and Grandad having them at Christmas but being only little I never tried them to see what they tasted like.

So here goes!

Pick them in July. First they need to be tested with a fork to make sure the shell hasn’t started forming. Then put them in a brine for two weeks, changing the brine every three days.

Then lay them out on a tray to dry, they will then turn completely black.

The white dust on them is the dried salt so I rinsed it off before pickling them.

This is the vinegar and spices to be brought to the boil in a pan.

Put the walnuts in sterilised jars and fill up with warm vinegar. I shared the spices between the jars as well

Two months and I can see what they taste like! ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in baking, Christmas, cooking, Food, Fruit, Self reliance

First Mince Pies of the Year

My first mince pies made this year. Two already eaten, as My Husband says he can smell mince pies from 50 yards!

Mince Pies

I thought I’d add a little history.

A mince pie is a small British fruit-based mincemeat sweet pie traditionally served during the Christmas season. Its ingredients are traceable to the 13th century, when returning European crusaders brought with them Middle Eastern recipes containing meats, fruits and spices.

The early mince pie was known by several names, including mutton pie, shrid pie and Christmas pie. Typically its ingredients were a mixture of minced meat, suet, a range of fruits, and spices such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Served around Christmas, the savoury Christmas pie (as it became known) was associated with supposed Catholic “idolatry” and during the English Civil War was frowned on by the Puritan authorities. Nevertheless, the tradition of eating Christmas pie in December continued through to the Victorian era, although by then its recipe had become sweeter and its size reduced markedly from the large oblong shape once observed. Today the mince pie remains a popular seasonal treat enjoyed by many across the United Kingdom.

Well there we are! ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in Christmas, Gift, home, winter

Happy New Year

What a lovely Christmas and New Year we’ve had and hope you have too. We made the decision to have it to ourselves this year as we had been so busy with work in the run up to Christmas. We saw a few friends, but apart from that we spent it in each others company, with minimal TV, doing lots of creative things. What a blessed thing knowing you can choose not to be part of the rush.

Here’s a glimpse of our lovely Christmas tree! ๐Ÿ™‚

Christmas Tree
Look forward to sharing our adventures with you in 2014, Happy New Yearย 

Love Debbie x

Posted in baking, Biscuits, cooking, Food, Gift

Ginger Snap Recipe

This is one of my husbands favourite biscuit recipes.

ginger snaps ginger snaps 2 ginger snaps 3
I generally use Trex instead if lard (you can use another subsitute) because that’s what I use to make pastry. Also I press the little balls of dough gently with a fork before I put them in the oven to help them along. Oh, I usually add more ginger (double) than it says in the recipe as they seem a little weak otherwise. Enjoy!

Why not make some as a Christmas gift?

Let me know how you get on if you make them! ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in cakes, Christmas, Creative presents, Food, Gift

Happy New Year and Gingerbread House

Hi there everyone and Happy New Year to you all, hope you all had a great festive season.

I thought I might share with you some of my lovely pressies. ย The first thing to share is this lovely ginger bread house which I received from my friend Linds.

Gingerbread house 1

Gingerbread house 2

Isn’t it the most gorgeous gingerbread house you’ve ever seen and gluten free as well! It was bought from Honey Suckle Cakesย a Norfolk award winning company. Like me, Linds likes to buy local!