Monday, 29 June 2015


Am likely to be missing for a little while - due to family illness.  Will get back as soon as I can.



Friday, 26 June 2015

Peace and Quiet and Growing Things.

OH is at a works social this evening which has given me some personal free time just to be.  Its been my first week back at work and although a shock to the system on Monday I have slowly picked up momentum and speed as the week has gone on but I am grateful it is the weekend.

I have had scampi and chips with Tartare sauce for tea and I have enjoyed every moment although the amount of scampi you get in the bags these days is getting less and less, but still tasty all the same.

I went to the market at dinner time for a bit of a mooch around the plant stall and came back with four hanging strawberry planters that had been reduced down to £5 for two plants so since getting home I have been putting them in situ and watering up some of my other plants.  It has been threatening rain this evening but so far has not happened although we had a lot of rain mid afternoon but it soon dried up.

I had ordered a little while ago some lavender plants but these have been delayed and will not be with me until about August.  I am hoping to have a lavender hedge under  my washing line to edge the border of the lawn.  I love lavender and I have plans for it next summer.

I am hoping to get a few more herb plants for the garden in the next week or so, but I have had a pleasant surprise this evening as I thought I had lost my grapevine but it has actually sprouted so I am well pleased.

Right upwards and onwards.

Catch you shortly.



Wednesday, 24 June 2015

I got a little bit excited and then a little bit disappointed

Yesterday I paid a visit to Lakeland to follow up to see exactly which Ball jars they had in stock and planning which jars would be suitable for me to use for different projects i.e. the tiny ones for making home made cheeses (the fruit cheese) or membrillo, jam or equally for bottling blueberries and cranberries where only small amounts of fruit are needed.  I had become very excited about the Ball bottling jars and wondered whether or not this was a precursor of things to come and when I found the Ball Blue preserving book produced specifically for this country and had a look at the recipes I was filled with hope and got very excited about being able to produce such goodies in my own kitchen.  Recipes like bottled, crab, clams,chicken and beef.  Logic dictated to me that surely they were now going to stock Pressure Preservers or Pressure Canners otherwise the recipes in the book would be of no assistance to me at all.  However it is a beautiful book and only £5 and will come in useful in the future one is destined for my book shelf.

So I contacted Lakeland to find out whether I was barking at the moon and they have confirmed to me today that they have no plans to sell Pressure Preservers/Canners at present however they have passed it on as an idea for their buying department for the future.  I am not sure I can wait that long so a Pressure Canner/Preserver is now high on my list even if I have to import one from the States.

Catch you soon.



Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Epilepsy and me - Part One

I thought about crafting last week but in the end did not get round to it.  There is always something to do craftwise but this week just was not the week for it more's the pity.  I hate wasting time or not doing anything but this week I have had to listen to my body.  I am a workaholic and don't know when to quit at the best of times so I think this latest episode  was a warning (we call it switching off in my family as basically my electrical system goes into overdrive and then fuses out.  Just before I go out I get what is called the aura which to me smells of burning cordite/rice cakes).

I was diagnosed  with epilepsy at about 7.  The little girl who lived next door had whooping cough.  It was the one illnesses my mother was terrified we would get and we were marched off to the GP for the set of injections polio, diptheria and whooping cough I think were the illnesses covered as soon as she was diagnosed. We had not had them when we were younger.  Mum had taken me to to the Doctors to show that injections did not hurt and had an injection to show me and I got all hysterical at the Doctor telling him not to hurt my mummy and got into such a state they could not give me the jabs.  

About a week after being carted off to  have one of the booster injections  I started stopping looking at myself whilst combing my hair in the mirror.  Mum spotted it and used to question me but I was not aware of what was happening.  So I was marched off to the Doctors again. 

We cannot prove it but due to the close proximity of me having the jab and then starting to have the absences we have often wondered as a family whether or not the booster jabs were to blame being put down to rogue batches but we cannot prove it and I am very lucky in the greater scheme of things in that I have no brain damage and that for the best part I can function on a relatively normal basis whatever normal is.
GP would not have it that there was anything wrong with me and I ended up going to see Doctors at the hospital who confirmed that I had epilepsy.  GP still would not have it and in the end I was getting worse with the absences that Dad insisted on a second opinion.  I was sent to Addenbrookes for an EEG (a hairnet with electrodes that tests the electrical activity of the brain) and they ran a series of little tests whilst I was "Wired up" which included using a strobe light and I went out under the strobe proving conclusively that epilepsy was the problem.  That test proved that I was light sensitive and  They believed that because I had virus pneumonia as a child and collapsed with a temperature of 106 degrees that this is what had triggered the seizures.  We as a family did not find this logical though as I had not shown any issues in the five years in between.  Virus pneumonia does and can leave hidden scarring usually with the heart.  With me it seems to be that my temperature gauge is broken and my temperature if it goes up goes up suddenly and without warning, triggering further seizures as a by product.  Doctors say this is not possible but it does and has happened repeatedly over the years.  I can only speak as I find.

I was then popped onto a long term seizure medication called Zarontin but they never did get the petit mal absences under control until I developed the Grand Mal due to a reaction with some new medication that I had been given. It worked the wrong way round when I was 16; I was told it would make me very sleepy - quite the opposite made me very lively and then I just burnt out.  Needless to say I was taken off that medication pretty smartly. I have a history of reacting to medications but the only way they find out if I am okay with the medication is to give me it and see.

Continued on Part 2

Kilner Jars - Original Dual Purpose Jars and Preserving

Mum gave me a load of these that she used to use when I was a child.  At the time that she gave them to me though you could not get the seals, although I have latterly used the Liefheit seals which fit these jars beautifully.  The rings are the original ones and I have decided that I am going to have the rings refurbished so that I can reuse the jars for bottling fruit.  They are a good size.  The other reason for considering this is that on my travels I have come across some Kilner Dual purpose jars for sale and I much prefer the size of these jars for storing fruit in.  They are more family sized.  So I am hoping this Saturday coming if they are still there manage to buy the jars -  there are six of them and I think they are about 3 to 4 pint sized.  I will post this post if and when I obtain them.  Even if I do not manage to get this lot I shall keep my eyes peeled as now I know the rings can be refurbished and the Liefheit seals used to store it appeals more to my ethics of reusing where I can and recycling.

I am not only looking at the older jars, but also the new ones as well.

If any of you have any Dual Purpose Kilner jars or newer jars and you would like shot of them- you can always contact me on and we can see if we can reach an agreement.

The more food preserving I do the more I want to do.

It has always been an aim of mine to have a big walk in Pantry lined to the gunnels with all different types of food like my grandmother had lined with lots of jars of ingredients.I have been collecting storage jars and containers for sometime  And now I have the dehydrator that prospect is moving ever closer.  Not the actual pantry but the method of preserving and popping food down.  I also periodically keep eyeing up traditional meat safes which would be ideal for storing home processed salamis in.  

My Nan had a load of jars but we did not use them for preserving in the summer months.  My granddad used to get them out the garage and we would play skittles with them on the lawn.  By the time I had started preserving she had moved the bottles on and there were a fair few.  Never mind will keep a look out as I certainly do like the older jars they have a distinct character.  Will have to keep my eyes peeled.

Catch you soon



Monday, 22 June 2015

Coffee Table Magazines

Once upon a time I used to buy quite a lot of magazines per month but after OH lost his job I did not buy any for over three years but made use of those I already had.

However recently I have been very taken with the Land Love and Landscape magazines.  Not only are they beautiful coffee table magazines and a visual feast of photography but they have to me some very different and lovely recipes as well as well written articles on seasonal items. I especially like the alternative recipes with what to do with foraged goodies.  These two magazines are my treat for the month together with the Home Farmer Magazine which also has some cracking articles and lovely recipes.

I was very interested to see an article on using the compost heap to grow veggies on.  This is not something new to our family as my granddad always grew the rhubarb and the marrows out of the compost heap with nasturtiums in between.  Even the forced rhubarb with an old bucket upside down over the rhubarb to force it.  The stems were always lovely dipped in sugar.

My Great uncle had a Victorian kitchen garden - a proper one at a big ancestral hall near Lincoln and where I used to go and stay regularly as a child   .He always had a huge hotbed on which he used to grow mushrooms.  It always produced mushrooms and every so often was stripped out and new manure added and then the process would start over again.  That kitchen garden was magical growing lots of gooseberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, strawberries, blackberries with espalier pears up the walls and rhubarb also on the composst heap.  There was
 always masses of fruit that used to be preserved by making jams and then with the innovation of the freezer was stored away for the winter months for puddings and the like.  So good food has been available from all sides of the family and has been a heavy influence on the type of foods I like and the ways in which I preserve things. Preserving is my main passion and these magazines between them are a very interesting and useful resource  - magazines to keep accessible and to used on a regular basis and enjoyed.

Do you have any magazines that you are fond of and go back to time and time again.

Catch you soon.



Sunday, 21 June 2015

The Longest Day

Happy Solstice the longest day of the year from now on in the light gets shorter and shorter.  It is officially summer lets hope its a good one as last winter although not the coldest on record certainly was grey!

However you celebrate may blessings be upon you and yours.

The wheel moves ever onwards we know not where but it moves.



Sauce / Cordial bottles

When I buy bottles and jars I buy in bulk where I can for the cheapest of prices.  What I can save often buys those extra things that I would not normally contemplate.

Some of you will have read that I often bottle sauces, cordials, squashes, juices etc by hot water bottling using a baby steriliser. This effectively takes any excess air out of the bottle and stops the contents going off - so you end up with a much longer storage date as a result. There is not much room in one of these little pasteurisers and I have found that the inbetween sized hexagonal sauce bottles are ideal for providing appropriate amounts of sauce/cordial that can be processed efficiently and which you receive a reasonable quantity of.  

You can find posts here:;postID=8718171233591310310;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=10;src=link


It is relatively easy processing the bottles in this way and much less clat than doing this in a saucepan on the stove.

After all when you are sterilising the milk for baby you are pasteurising the milk so it is safe.  This is all you do when you hot water bottle process.

You know where you heard this first - i.e. me.  I like to make things simple and I like things to keep safely for as long as I can.

For the past couple of years for the sauce bottles I have been using this company

and have been buying these

Here is the description

 - you get 60 of these bottles for £15.72.  You need separate closures which they also sell 43 mm in bags of 100 which work out at £5.30 per 100.  I still have some left over from the last batch but I have a lot of things to do in the coming months.  I am therefore getting stocked up whilst I think about it. Shipping is about £7.50 and then VAT so that is somewhere near £30 but you do get 60 bottles which in the long run makes the bottle price cheaper in the long run.  I have always found their service to be very efficient and have had no breakages.  They also sell beekeeping equipment and wine and beer bottles at very reasonable prices.  They area family run firm and I for one have been very pleased with their service.  They also do preserving jars and jam jars in bulk buys.

I hope this helps you budding preservers out there.



A Few Items for the Tea Table

This is not an advertisement for Wilkinsons but it does have some lovely items for decorating the tea table and at not too exorbitant prices as I found out just recently.  It also has some lovely practical items to help either make wine, cook, bake and generally is good all round value. I tend to use the store a lot especially for basic items and I always source my winemaking equipment and bits and bobs from there.

Last Christmas I had seen a slate glass domed cheese board at Lakeland which I did not manage to purchase because of the price (I think one was about £40 but I was very taken with it and would have purchased it if I could have).  I had not really until then considered slate for use on the dinner or tea table, but that one item made me look at slate in a different way.  In the run up to preparing for my mum's birthday celebrations I decided that I would have a look around for some items to add to making the table look more interesting as I always like the table to look nice and over the years I have managed to acquire some lovely pieces that mix and match with anything whether they be sourced from brand new or an acquisition picked up from the charity shop.  I look after things, and keep them safely as I was always bought up to be careful with items like this and also to make the table look nice.

I was due to do tea for the family for my mum's 80th birthday celebrations and I decided  to have strawberries and cream and also to do a little baking and  make some cup cakes and butterfly cakes, some coconut cheesecakes, some shortbread, some apple scone, cheese and bacon twists and sausage rolls (there were 9 destined for tea).  I had received some vouchers as a present and in an attempt to make the tea table look a little more attractive I decided to source and buy some new items.

I found some slate serving platters and  three tiered cake stands in Wilkinsons.  I bought two of each of these as well.

I also located some slate serving trays which will be ideal for savouries/sandwiches.  I bought two of these as well.

For the cupcakes I found a couple of Ferris Wheel display stands.

And yes - the ferris wheel does move. I bought two of these.

Sadly I was not well so it did not happen but the items will not go to waste and will fit in well with those items I already have.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

I considered crafting but .....

Thank you for your kind wishes and concern.  I considered doing some crafting to keep myself occupied whilst I have been recuperating but in the end did not get to any. I have just rested.

I bashed the back of my head quite badly whilst in the fit and also did my back in as well.  I am never really with it for a few days after an attack  - I did not even know what day it was and have spent the best part of my recuperation either sleeping or just sitting. After a fit I am a bit foggy and headachey quite frequently for a few days after until I land.  I just come too naturally - its less stress to my body this way.

I have not been able to focus on anything in particular and I think the just sitting often benefits me far more although doing nothing drives me up the wall.  I find it very difficult just to sit and several times I fell asleep on the settee.  Not very productive but what was needed.

I even had my sewing machine set up and then could not find my bobbins or sewing threads so it looks as though I am going to have to source some new bobbins and threads.  I have a couple of pairs of work trousers that need repairs so hopefully by the end of the week I will be all set up and ready to roll. I have popped them somewhere safe and now cannot find them which is annoying.  I need to get my craft area sorted so that I can set too when OH goes fishing.  I am considering buying some of those plastic stackable drawers to store quite a bit of it in and to keep types of crafts together so that I can locate things.  At the moment I know I have stuff but I haven't got a clue where it is.  It needs sorting and organising and then I should be able to get on with things.  I have lots of fabric as well even more reason to get organised - its very frustrating starting something then not being able to get on because I cannot locate something.  I am after another table for the computer room that I can set all my sewing stuff up on and leave where it is and just keep going backwards and forwards to it. I will be able to leave my Serger up then as well and may be get some clothes made.  I used to do a lot of sewing at one stage.  I also have fabric to make throws and cushion covers which it would be nice to get out of the way.

I do however have a lot of UFOs.  I have dragged the wool related ones out which in the most part relate to throws and blankets I have on the go. Its mostly crochet but there are some knitted garments that need sorting out too.  I have more wool than I thought - I will need to purchase some more to finish some of the throws/blankets off but if I do an hour or so of an evening before I go to bed I should be able to start moving these soon.  I hope so as it would be nice to get some of the UFOs shifted.  I have found my knitted band that I had started for my knitted blanket so I have dragged that out as that is not far off being completed. 

Oh well I suppose I will get there one day - just don't know when but with OH going fishing again it would free up some time for me to play which I desperately need.

Right catch you later.



Having to do as I am told

Bit of a difficult one for me but I am under restrictions again.  I had a further epileptic attack last Sunday morning - not as bad as the last one (which was 14 months ago) but still concerning. OH had taken the dog for a walk and when he came in found me sprawled on the kitchen floor.   The last bit I remember was feeding some sausage rolls into my small cooker and then not much afterwards, but I am funny with heat at the best of times, and though not the only reason I think it played its part. 

It was a bit of a b..... actually because it was my mum's 80th birthday celebrations and I did not get. We were supposed to go out for a meal with family members and then back to my brothers for a strawberry tea and cakes and sausage rolls which just did not happen (I was providing the tea). Feel really cheated on that one but there is not a lot I can do.  Things could have been a lot worse so thank goodness for small mercies but it has put me out of action for a week - where I have just rested and slept to the point that I have been so bored!  I also have my medication back on track.

Now back to the drawing board, have to pick up the pieces and get back into the swing of things.  I don't do very well under restrictions.  Oh well will just have to see how things go and make adjustments as and when necessary, but I really am not very good at doing as I am told!

How about you?

Catch you soon



Kilner Drinks Dispenser

Well I went and purchased one of the large Kilner drink dispensers eventually after letting everyone else know that they are £10 cheaper in Wilkinsons (i.e. £20) than John Lewis or Lakeland where they are (£30). I have promised myself another one by the end of the month when OH should be able to give me transport for the same.  I have some vouchers to use up and these are something that I have had my eye on for a few months now.  Should be ideal come family parties!

The photo is not mine it comes from the Lakeland website.

|Now I need to save up to buy the drinking jars.

Ideal for a barbecue and home made lemon barley water frozen and then allowed to thaw.

Catch you soon




This is the 8 litre jar - there are 5 litre versions on the Internet but the Wilkinson's one is the 8 litre version.



Saturday, 13 June 2015

Ball Preserving Jars

I have been up town today shopping and nipped into Lakeland for a quick look around and I got a very nice surprise.  Lakeland have started selling Ball Preserving jars in different sizes and at a reasonable price. Eureka.  And I bought two packs of 4 of their 135ml Regular mouth quilted jars for £4 odd each set of four. I have also found out that the lids and rings are interchangeable with the Kilner jars.  They had four different packs of jars in different sizes and also beginners water bath set for processing the jars.  I thought the prices were reasonable they certainly appeared to be cheaper in the long run than the Kilner jars, but perhaps those of you who do source the Ball jars will know better.  All the items are on the Lakeland website.  The jars I bought are the smallest but will be ideal for popping redcurrants or blueberries (for topping my yogurt of a morning) in or for pates and also for cheeses and membrillo although for pates I would need a Pressure Canner - I wonder if Lakeland are going to introduce those as well - bearing in mind that at long last Ball are putting in an appearance in the British market. It will be nice to have a choice of different jars though at long last. 

This is not an advertisement - this is my own subjective view - I love preserving and its good that at long last we are going to have a little more choice.  Don't get me wrong I like Kilner but different sized jars have different uses and a lot more potential.

I also bought the Large Kilner Drinks Dispenser from Wilkinsons today.  I intend to get another one but they will be ideal for family parties etc.  Wilkinsons by the way have them cheaper than John Lewis and Lakeland -  this is £30 in both those shops.  In Wilkinsons they are £20.

Right must get on catch you soon.



Monday, 8 June 2015

Sunday Catch up

Currently in the kitchen there is two gallons of elderflower cordial soaking away to release all that muscat scent from the elderflowers.  Tomorrow evening is going to be busy.  I have the cordial to bottle and hot water bath in my baby steriliser so I will have a little production line on the go.  I am going through lemons like nobody's business at the moment.

I am supposed to be doing my first sourdough loaf tomorrow night but I cannot see that quite happening unless I get lucky and the bottling goes smoothly.  I hope so as this sourdough starter is really starting to grow and is looking very active which is a relief as I forgot about the last one and killed it which was not a very auspicious start but I am hopeful with this one as it is quite lively and bubbling away well.  I think I may well be doing this on Tuesday night - rather than push things too far tomorrow.[It will give me time to post up my original post on Sourdough which I should have posted by now but seem to have got ahead of myself a little).

I have also started off the Elderflower Champagne or at least the first bucket of about 4 gallons.  I have loved Elderflower Champagne since I was a little girl and first had it at my Nan's.  Anything Elderflowers I try and take advantage of as there are so many lovely things you can do with them.

I am also going to start some Elderflower wine off but I need another couple of brewing buckets to really take advantage.  I also love Elderflower wine.

I have enough Elderflowers to make a little Elderflower vinegar for use in viniagrettes and mayonnaise as well.
At some point during the week I also want to make some sweet chilli dipping sauce as I picked up a few chilli peppers to do a few bottles.

And I have to go to work and do all the other housewifely stuff when really I want to stay at home and play

I really want to get as much stuff as I can put down for the winter months whether that be in the freezer, in alcohol, home made wine and beers, liqueurs, pickles, chutneys, jams, compotes, home cured bacon, pastrami and salamis, gravadlax, gravadmax, potted crab and prawns, fruit leathers etc. etc. etc.  I had said that I was hoping to get some cherry tomatoes and bottle them with some basil a couple of weeks ago.  I didn't get but they are still on the list.  Then there are Apricots and Strawberries, Gooseberries and Raspberries, plums.  Its a lot of hard work but then it is a win win situation, I know what my family are eating and whereabouts it is from within reason, I can take advantage of good prices, and make sure my family are well fed throughout the year.  I am learning new skills and the more I do the more I want to do. What I am making you cannot always necessarily buy in the shops or if you can not always at reasonable prices.

I still have not managed to play with my dehydrator that is on the list too.

Catch you soon.



Sunday, 7 June 2015

Its been a day for Picking Elderflowers

We walked Missy down the river this morning and gave her a long hard run. A beautiful morning with the sun out it was getting progressively warmer and we were out in the countryside area of Peterborough down by the river enjoying the fresh air.  The wind was blowing through the trees and giving that soothing rustling sound rippling through the air with each sway.

There was a reason for me going walkies this morning and that was to pick  the first of the Elderflowers so that I can get some Elderflower cordial and Elderflower champagne on the goNeedless to say you cannot always get to the best flowers because there are stingers in the way and I got stung once or twice in the process but then I got the flowers that I was after which I am pleased about.  The Elderflower harvest is one of the important ones to me.

I am hoping to go again in the week and get some more so that I can then get some Elderflower wine on the go as well which is one of my favourite wines.  There are other recipes as well to use the Elderflowers in some of which I have not made before but I am hoping to get some Gooseberries to make Elderflower and Gooseberry jam for use in cakes and scones with cream.  I love Gooseberry jam on its own in any event but have not tried it with the Elderflower which I believe will give it a "muscat" very aromatic flavour.

I also want to pay a visit to the PYO farm and get Strawberries to pop up in the freezer, in jams, bottled, syrups and I also want to start a Rumptopf off so that we can have some nice goodies for the winter months.  Rumptopf fruit served with double whipped cream or cinnamon ice cream is delish and you can serve the ruby red alcoholic liquid in little liqueur glasses on its own - scrummy.

So now for a little while I am going to be happily engaged in preparing the Elderflower Cordial and Elderflower Champagne in the kitchen.  OH has rescued some more Demijohns from the shed for me and has indicated that there are a lot more in there as well which I am pleased about as I do not really want to have to go and buy any more Demijohns if I can help it when I had a fair few in the first place.  They will need new airlocks though.

The recipe I use for my Elderflower cordial can be found here:

Right upwards and onwards I need to get the preparation under way and then locate the bottles.

Catch you later.



Shakey Shakey Shake Shake

This is a pancake shaker currently available on the market (it is the only image I could locate) but it is not quite like the one I have.

This is not an advert either.

I have had a batter mixer shaker for quite a few years which I had totally forgotten about. I was cleaning a cupboard out the other day  - looking for my Easiyo flasks when I came across it again.  I have therefore quickly pressed it back into use  for making breakfast pancakes, crepes suzette, Scotch pancakes, blinis etc.  We do not have them every day but the batter is there in the fridge for either myself or OH to quickly make something to eat before going off to work each day.  It keeps for a couple of days in the fridge like this and leaving it overnight in the fridge allows the gluten to give and you end up with a thicker batter or you can thin it down if you wish.  Its one way of having a quick delicious breakfast when you are on the run as it does not take long to cook at all.  I cook on either a griddle, frying pan normal size or an individual sized pan.  I also have a party pancake maker which makes about six small pancakes at a time ideal if you have guests staying over.

I have been making up a batter mixture of about 250g Bread flour, 3 eggs and enough milk to form the consistency of pouring cream (no sugar) of an evening and giving it all a good shake and then leaving it to rest overnight. The recipe is a little hit and miss and organic (in practice about a quarter of the holder in flour, three eggs and then enough milk to thin to the consistency of pouring cream).  Come morning I have a batter mixture which is reasonably thick or which I can thin down; before using I give it another couple of vigorous shakes and then either thin down if the batter is too thick.  However in practice what I have been doing is having nice thick pancakes one day and crepes Suzette style pancakes the following and then adding a minimum amount of sugar and either orange or lemon juice or golden syrup (no sprinkled sugar on these) or adding fresh strawberries and cream or yogurt, blueberries, any fruit that is in season or which you fancy its a bit naughty but it is breakfast and you have the rest of the day to compensate if you are on a firm diet regime.

Breakfast is important though and many of us skip it because we are in too much of a rush but it can be quite civilised to start the day with a couple of pancakes with fruit or without, a nice mug of tea or coffee, listen to the radio and generally take time out for yourself.  It puts you in a good frame of mind to start the day and deal with everything in your stride.

Pancakes in a round about way are good for you and can either be simple or naughty.

Drag that pancake shaker out of retirement - it just needs a little shake to make lovely pancakes.

On that note I will catch you later.



Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Presserves Pickles and Cures by Thane Prince

I have  new book which I am rather chuffed with by Thane Prince.  A Good companion book for her previous publication Jams and Chutneys - Preserving the Harvest which is excellent - I regularly use the recipes from that book.

This new book covers the following sections:

Cheese and Dairy 
Fresh Cheese with Garlic and Herbs; Marinated Feta Potted Blue Cheese, Home made yogurt......

sticky glazed ham, jellied ham, Merguez Sausages, Veal and Chicken Boudins Blank, Sheftalia, Game Terrine

Bread and Pastry 
Sourdough, Lardy Cake, Hot Cross Buns, pastries, game pie, raised pork pie,

Cakes Biscuits and Cereal  
Panforte, golden gingerbread, chocolate biscuit cake, shortbread, crackers, salted peanut brittle, granola, seeded cranberry muesli

Salt Curing
Gravad Lax,Home Salted Brisket of Beef, preserved lemons, dukkah

Rendering and Fats 
potted shrimps, potted crab,potted lobster Salmon rilletes Rillettes de Canard Chines spiced confit of Belly Pork, confit of duck, how to render your own lard and beef dripping. fresh suet simple suet dumplings

Jams Jellies and Preserves 
Plum Jam, summer fruit jam, store cupboard apricot jam, strawberry, blackcurrant, lemon curd, Redcurrant curd Rose Jelly, Vanilla scented prunes in Brandy, Mincemeat, Spiced pears in red wine

Pickles and Chutneys
Green Tomato Chutney, Summer vegetable relish, Christmas Cranberry chutney,

Cumberland sauce, home made brown sauce, roast tomato ketchup, smoky barbecue sauce, Raspberry and Herb vinegars, sweet chilli sauce, various marinades, flavoured salts and flavoured sugars

Air Drying 
Biltong, beef jerky, dried herbs, mint teabags oven dried tomatoes

Cordials and Liqueurs 
Strawberry Cocktail Vodka, Blueberry Vodka, Damson Gin, Wild Blackberry Gin, Pink Grapefruit and Ginger cordial, Christmas punch cordial, elderflower cordial

There are beautiful full page colour photos throughout this well thought out book - not for every recipe but it is very simply and stylishly presented..  It is thoroughly a modern take on traditional kitchen and larder skills that makes things simple for those wishing to have a go at home.  A plethora of different recipes encompassing all areas of "The Pantry shelf", and as I have said before a very good companion book to her previous publication Jams and Chutneys.

I will definitely be having a go at the veal and chicken boudin; I have two gentlemen in the family who are partial to a spot of sausage.

This is just my personal view on book I quite like - it is not a sponsored post, just my subjective view.  I think I am going to get a lot of mileage out of this one.

Catch you later.



Monday, 1 June 2015

Its arrived

Its arrived - my new Excalibur 9 Tray Dehydrator with temperature and time  control.  For over five years I have looked to acquire one - as I could see the scope of this expensive piece of machinery in my household of not only giving me the option to do things quickly and efficiently with good quality produce to boot but also taking advantage of reduced items and gluts and adding interesting ingredients to my Pantry shelf.  Sometimes you have to spend to accumulate, but I hope that this will help with potential waste which I hate.  

I am itching to get started with this and have already bought some oranges to make dried fruit peel and orange powder to reconstitute to make a fruit drink which should ensure a regular supply of vitamin c to the diet

I have to clear a space in the dining room to set the machine up safely so that the cats leave it alone and then I shall get started.

OH goes fishing so I thought it would be  good way of feeding him as well.He particularly likes jerky, trail mixes anything that makes his life easier.  It will also help quite a bit with my crafting i.e. salt dough creations, home made pot pourrifruit powders, home seasonings, dried fruits for adding to my home made cereals and baking, home made liqueurs/cordials, breadmaking (it can be used for proving dough), dried fruit slices for inclusion in home baking and/or making home made garlands for the Christmas season.  I have a very active herb bed at the moment particularly with my black peppermint so I thought I would have a go at making my own mint teabags and drying herbs generally.  There are also recipes for home made animal treats as well which should keep the cats and dogs happy - but then again you never know with the motley crew sometimes they are just a tad fussy. then there is the opportunity of candying fruit, making my own yogurt, dried veggies for use in soups and stew through the winter months,

I foresee that this piece of equipment is going to fit in just well.  There is going to be lots of experimentation.  

I am looking forward to the autumn harvest and being able to dry berries, hips and haws. Rosehips are very good with assisting with my medical conditions but I need to create in effect a year's supply to supplement my diet and with the machine this should make my life a lot easier.

I shall post updating articles as I get to play but I am very much looking for the to the playing.

Catch you soon.



Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)