When I’m walking I love looking at the wonderful stuff growing all around me. Now I’m home I’m converting some of it into things I can enjoy here.
A couple of days ago I went blackberrying with Tim and Kate (a couple of Challenge pals) in the woods. I was planning to convert my share (which also seemed to include at least half of what Kate and Tim picked) into blackberry jam, but I’ve just bought a copy of Pam Corbin’s utterly wonderful River Cottage Handbook No.2: Preserves, and I’ve decided to make a yummy blackberry and crab apple jelly instead, and also some fruit leather. Watch this space!
Highly recommended! Buy this book…
Today I’ve been a hive of industry. Which isn’t really like me at all 🙂 Still, though, a couple of days ago I noticed a recipe for Hawthorn Ketchup in Pam’s book, and so yesterday I rode my bike down to the pine woods and then walked out to the place where my sister and I scattered my mother’s ashes in early May. At the time we’d noticed a hawthorn bush in particularly prolific and beautiful flower, and it occurred to me when I read the recipe that it would be really lovely to pick the berries from that bush and make them into ketchup, in memory of Maa. I don’t actually like tomato sauce, but I felt this would be a little different, and I’m sure my sister will appreciate the idea.
So here it is! Along with some of the damson jam I made a couple of weeks ago, and a jar of Pam’s Souper Mix, which is an inspired way of adding taste to soups ‘n’ stuff when there’s no good stock at hand.
Damson Jam, Hawthorn Ketchup and Souper Mix
After that I put my cunning marmalade plan into action. I’ve been meaning to make marmalade for about half a lifetime, but today was my first attempt. I don’t like ultra-sweet things, and so after reading through Pam’s marmalade recipe I decided to try a lime and grapefruit mixture instead of orange, since the really good, sour oranges won’t be available until early in the New Year.
7 jars of lime and grapefruit marmalade!
So now I have 7 jars of lime and grapefruit marmalade, and I can hardly believe it! It took 40, rather than 15, minutes to reach setting point, but c’est la vie. I’d learned my lesson from the damson jam (which has to be hacked out of the jar with a hammer and chisel), and so I was determined not to boil it down too far. At the same time, though, I didn’t want to be able to pour it out of the jar onto my toast. I reckon it’s just about right, and it certainly does taste of limes and grapefruit.
Tomorrow I’m driving to Lakeland to buy a jelly strainer and stand thingy, and then I’ll make the blackberry and crab apple jelly and some rosehip syrup.
Now it’s time for dinner… salmon steaks, new pot’s and salad await me downstairs 🙂
Ooh! J’ai almost forgotée mes lovely soused herrings and soda bread lunch! I made these soused herrings last week some time, and the bread a few days later. Anyway, it’s really lovely, I find, to be able to go to the fridge and get out yummy things I’ve cooked myself.
Home-made soused herrings and soda bread