Well its been a non committal sort of day. We walked the dog earlier on and had a lovely peaceful walk and got some cherry plums (see previous post).
When we came back I went to my weekly visit to the veg shop and came back with 8 trays of blueberries at £1 a tray, some fresh garden peas, bananas, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, plums raspberries pears, cucumber, beetroot. I am trying to make the best of things that come my way at the moment, as well as hedgerow offering to offer variety as much as anything else, but not only that if extra is made can help with the Christmas present situation. I made some blackberry whisky last year and I must say it is particularly nice.
We have a small piece of beef for dinner tomorrow which is also going to be done on the Roasting Spit. We have had chicken done this way today and it was done in an hour and a half and oh so succulent. We just had it warm on plates with fresh bread and butter and I had crab apple jelly with and OH had sweet chilli sauce. Very tasty. I thought that if there was enough meat left over from tomorrow I will slice it and pop it in the freezer either to bring out as meat for sandwiches or to put in gravy for a quick meal during the week. Am going to serve with the home made mustard. I made earlier. OH not keen on mustard but I am a fan.
Some of the blueberries have gone into the Rumptopf. The rest I intend to make some blueberry jam with, and maybe bottle a few in syrup for use on cheesecakes or on yogurt. Will try and get some more of these as they are always a useful addition. I am fond of them and they are good for you.
I also managed to get a few raspberries so the jam machine is on. There weren't many so have put some apples in as well and am doing an apple and raspberry jam.
I have also some strawberries, and more raspberries which I got from the Coop. They have had an offer on of 3 packs of fruit for £5. I intend to mix them with some blueberries, . apples, pear, cherries and plums mix them with syrup and then to put up as a red fruit compote for the winter months. This should be lovely with some home made vanilla ice cream. The reason for earmarking this one as a good one to do is that the likes of M & S sell this sort of thing on a regular basis but you do pay a lot for it and it is easily done if you have access to the basic ingredients plus you get more jars for your money and you know what's gone into things.
Next week will do some white fruit compote i.e. apricot, pineapple, pear, apple, kiwi fruit, compote. Depends what they have on offer as to what selection I go for. I normally pop to the market but this weekend haven't had time so hopefully will be able to get next week.
I also need to make some more of the HFW vegetable stock from the preserves book which is good to use and adds a lot more flavour to gravies and stocks. I would also like to have a go at making some mushroom ketchup, which is used as a basis for a lot of sauces that I would like to try.
I also have some pears to make Pears in Red Wine (as per previous post). Its not much but every little helps and it keeps the pantry full of enticing goodies. I also intend to do bottled pears in syrup and also in saffron.
Ginger beer is also on the cards, not by the plant method this time, but a way in which I have not made before as I am eager to put up some different drinks and cordials etc as they are just as important as the food for The Pantry store. Home made syrups can also be used as sauces on ice cream or with a fruit salad.
The cherries I prepared the other day (sugared cherries) are drying well and yet again should be something different to bring out at Christmas. They will be going into a box to keep them for Christmas. I also intend to do some crystallised ginger and other fruits as for a bit of time and effort could end up with some lovely old fashioned sweetmeats for the Christmas table
I have a spiced cherry pickle to make which should be delicious with cold ham etc. and I have come across a bramble chutney recipe which I am eager to have a go with. I think that this will be particularly lovely with soft cheeses like brie or goats cheese. Would certainly liven up the plate along with some salad leaves. Would look very colourful.
I also make a lot of cucumber pickle and today the cucumbers were in the cheapie box at 50 pence a bag and there are about 6 cucumbers in all for £1. This is an ideal bread and butter pickle mix for either fish like salmon or trout and also ham.
I am hoping to get some plums next week as I want to have a go at making plum wine - this is one that my Nan always used to do and it was always slightly fizzy but extremely pleasant, it would be nice to get stuck in on the wine making again. I have cider, lager, bitter and stout kits to make up as well as orange and lemon wine and apple and orange. I also intend to have a go at home made cider as well just got to get my derriere into gear with the planning and manage to get everything else sorted as well. I am on a mission watch this space.
Catch you all later
Pattypan (aka Tricia)