I had meant to post last weekend, as I aired a previous recipe for Sunday night's tea Hawaiin Chicken http://tarragonnthyme.blogspot.com/2009/01/hawaain-chicken.html But then real life got in the way and this week has been upsetting; with the loss of my much loved cat Tyson primarily. After 21 years plus of having him being around the house and him calling when he wanted my attention, the house suddenly seems very empty without him and is going to take some getting used to. They come into our lives and leave a huge imprint on our hearts. As I type away at this post, my one remaining cat Squeak is cuddled up next to me on the settee. Every so often she squeezes herself betwen me and the keyboard and it does make typing very difficult. Both Missy and Squeak keep looking for him, and Squeak seems to be hogging me much more than usual she is never very far from my side when I am at home. OH doesn't see her when I am at work, she camps out on the corner of the bed, and only comes down when she hears me come home. The love from animals is so trusting so unconditional but so rewarding.
I also received a present of some jam jars from a very good friend who managed to find a nice lot of jam jars via Freecycle, which is very much appreciated. They are hexagonal jars and I think the Jumbleberry jam will look good in these.
Yesterday I treated myself to a new book Jam Jelly and Relish by Ghillie James. I found it in the Remainders/The Works book shop in town for £4.99 rather than £16.99 as originally marketed for. Its a lovely book and has lots of lovely recipes plus I always like to see how other people use their preserves after making them and also different recipes for well loved and used ingredients. Whilst in there I also found a book on how to make your own lollies so I am going to enjoy playing with the recipes in that.
I also nipped into Lakeland and found some tins of base fruit for making lemon (fine cut) and Orange marmalade (medium) as I am running low on seville orange marmalade I made earlier in the year. Note to myself must make more next year. I have also been looking for the Ma Made brand of prepared oranges or lemons for sometime but haven't come across it so I am going to try the Home Cook brand from Lakeland at £1.99 a tin. They also do a strawberry jam as well. All the tins hold are the base pulp (saves some work) and there is nothing naughty added, just pure ingredients.
I have been to the veg shop today over the road from where I live, have had a bargain on some blackberries (3 small punnets for £1) -got about 12 punnets[£4] blueberries (2 small punnets for £1), 10 punnets [£5]some Apricots £1 per small tub I got 2 and then some peaches 4 for £1 so I bought eight peaches as I thought that they would be nice roasted with some brown sugar and then served with some ice cream or fresh cream. I also got two punnets of fen grown strawberries at £2 per punnet which are delish. I have also got some red skinned pears to bottle in syrup for later on in the year. I also bought a lot of fresh vegetables
I went round to the Co-op earlier on and they had a couple of punnets of English Strawberries reduced down to £1.60 from £3 a tub - so I am rather chuffed with myself. The marmalade will have to wait probably until Monday as I have some Jam to do and I also intend to bottle some of the fruit up for the winter months. I intend to bottle the majority of the blueberries as they can be used in cheesecakes and also in blueberry muffins or used on yoghurt for breakfast and served with home made granola although I am going to keep some back to make some jumbleberry jam, some blackberry and apple jam. I am trying to take advantage of whatever comes my way fruit and veg wise for both the freezers and the bottled pantry Needless to say I had to go and buy some sugar a very important ingredient when it comes to making jam. Sadly my stocks have been diminished in recent weeks and needs a major stock up especially as its Elderflower season and I also want to make maximum use of this very aromatic seasonal ingredient - want to make some Elderflower Champagne and other Elderflower goodies.
Was hoping to take my mum out this weekend but she hasn't been well again and isn't up to going the weather has been grey and chilly too, out so that will have to be put off until another weekend, will probably take her to the Norfolk coast probably to Cromer or somewhere like that and treat her to fresh Crab which is absolutely scrummy.
I have lots to do and as usual so little time to do things, but the Pantry is important and I always like to
Further to my recent visit to the hospital I have to go into hospital for an endoscopy on the 3 July - they are going to give me a light anaesthetic in my hand "so that I am out of it" as I have difficulty with swallowing (I don't produce enough saliva) as they want to do some further investigations as to why I struggle with swallowing food at times and also have acid reflux and lots of discomfort. It is predominantly bread that gets stuck, which apparently is quite common, but because of my other conditions they have decided to have a look and I am also being tested for wheat allergy. I am not looking forward to it at all. Well there is no rule book and each of us is so very different.
I am hoping to have a few days away in June - we will have to see how the pennies span out as I really could do with a break.
Well I am off to bed catch you all soon