Posted in Christmas

Homemade Sweet Mincemeat

I really like making my own mincemeat if I get a chance, actually, I like homemade anything if I get a chance. I found a new recipe online.

I chopped all the fruit and added it to a large pan with the butter and sugar.

Put heat under the pan until the sugar and butter have melted. I actually put mine in a food processer to chop it smaller as I thought my first lot of chopping was too big.

Then add the considerable amount of alcohol! Mix well.

Then I put it in my sterilised jars and sealed them up. (it did taste good when I licked the spoon afterwards 😉

Notes:

I replaced the cranberries will other fruits because you shouldn’t give them to people who take warfarin and a family member of mine does.
This recipe contains nuts so you can replace them with other fruit.
You can replace the alcohol with juice if you wish.
To sterilise Jars, wash thoroughly in hot soapy water, then rinse and put them on a baking tray in a low oven while making up the mincemeat mixture. I always sterilise one more jar than I think I need, just in case.
I’m sure you can replace the butter with sunflower spread to make it vegan.

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Posted in sowing

Avocado

There is a place a short drive from our house that has fresh organic produce for sale, and local where possible. I try and buy from there as much as possible, meat as well as veggies, they often have nice ripe avocados. Who doesn’t ever want to try and grow something just for the hell of it, put a pit, stone or seed in some soil and see what happens, I did this with my organic avocado pit and check this out!

The leaves are huge and I love it and am very excited. It’s just been on my kitchen window sill. I’m going to pot it on soon and maybe look at how to look after it and see if it one day might bear fruit. I have a polytunnel to keep it in so who knows?! 🙂

Posted in Food, gardening

Beans Etc.

My garden is flourishing, mostly things I haven’t planted, but it’s full of life!

Look at these beans, they are ones that seeded themselves last year and they are magnificent! There are so many bean pods on them. They are one of our favourite vegetables so we are very happy, not quite ready to eat yet though.

These are beans I sowed in the spring, they are doing very well too, so we will have a succession of them through the summer. As you can see we have a few corn poppies around as well.

The green house is looking good, here are aubergines, hot chillies and some sweet red peppers just coming through.

I also have more chillies, and a few tomatoes still to be planted up.

Even though I wasn’t able to tend to my garden as much as I would have liked, it is doing well and I have lots to be greatful for 🙂

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) 🙂

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 🙂 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 🙂

Happy eating!

 

Posted in Food, Fruit, gardening, Greenhouse, In the garden, Organic Gardening, Self reliance, Summer, vegetables

News From My Greenhouse

I just realised that I haven’t reported on how things are doing in my green house. Well they are doing grand!

I have two lovely aubergine plants with fruit and more flowers,

four chilli plants doing amazing, full of fruit,

and twelve tomato plants, several different varieties, performing quite well.

I am so enjoying growing. All my plants are being fed with organic seaweed plant food. 🙂

Posted in Food, Fruit, gardening, Greenhouse, In the garden, Organic Gardening, Polytunnel, spring

Tomatos and Chillies

Over the last month, as you know, I’ve been starting to sow my seeds.
I went down to water them today and not only did I have cayenne chillies and aubergines sprouting which I knew about

….I have a Roma tomato

and a birds eye chilli as well!

I just love it when everything starts growing 🙂

Posted in Flowers, gardening, Greenhouse, In the garden, Organic Gardening, Recycling, Reusing, Self reliance, vegetables, winter

Seed trays

If you are like me and it is late winter where you are, you will be thinking about sowing your seed, whether flowers or veggies. Therefore how about re-using the meat or veg trays that sometimes are unavoidable when you are shopping.

I’ve got some here, and some seed trays I made a while ago with wood from a broken fence panel. I also re-use trays that I occasionally get from the garden centre or nursery when buying plants.

It does show that gardening doesn’t have to be unnecessarily expensive, especially when you can get free seeds like I showed you in my last blog post! 🙂

Although, if anyone has any solutions on what can be turned into cloches I’d be greatful!

 

Posted in cooking, Food, home, January, wine, winter

Last Nights Dinner

Wild venison bourgignon was on the menu yesterday, dinner with some lovely friends. I’m sorry if you are vegetarian 🙂 but we try our best to use responsibly sourced meat as a principle and believe it is very healthy and good for you. The recipe was from a magazine I buy called ‘Simple Things’

Wild venison (from responsible countryside management)

Marinated in red wine with rosemary.

Cooked with carrots, red onion, bulb fennel, mushrooms and garlic.

A beautiful Supper for a cold evening, served with mashed potato and peas!

Here’s the recipie, very easy, you just need to give yourself preparation time. 

Happy Cooking 🙂

 

Posted in cooking, Food, gardening, Greenhouse, Hints & Tips

Using leftover Roast Pork

I always like to be creative with my leftovers, I usually checkout what I have in the pantry, fridge and garden/greenhouse and start from there. So here’s what I did with the last lot of leftover roast pork I had.


I started off stiring the cumin and coriander in some oil (after I’d crushed them with my pestle and mortar) after a couple of minuted I added chopped onion and chilli cooked until soft.
These are some peppers from my garden, cut into quarters and I added them and cooked for a couples of minutes with some diced sweet potato while cutting up the pork.
I added the pork and some chickpeas

and a few chopped up apricots.
I gave a good stir added half a tin of chopped tomatoes and simmered while I cooked some rice.
I had enough for four servings. First we had a portion with rice.
Then we had out portion like a chunky south with bread and butter.


It was actually delicious!