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Archive for the ‘Jam Making’ category

Hiya everyone :) I am been good keeping on top of my blog aren’t I :)

How are you all today? I have not been very well I am afraid, have had the flu, poor John has had it too.  It is a weird type of flu, making us  feel very unwell and feverish! I hope it goes soon, but on the plus side, I have been getting on with a lot of crochet thanks to been stuck indoors,  and it has been lovely spending so much time with John with us both been poorly together, you have to look on the bright side of everything dont you :) I love spending time with John, and we have been catching up on films together, looking after each other and just having a lovely time together, so even having the flu has its plus sides :) want to see what I have been crocheting? :)

I have crocheted some Mary Jane type slippers for my dads lovely partner Pam, who is just lovely and like a mother to me :)

I have crocheted quite a few pairs of these slippers for Pam, as she absolutely loves them, so I am sure she will be happy with these when I give them to her in a few days :)

I have also crocheted a set of Rosary Beads, and a Rosary Bead pouch to keep them in, for myself

I really enjoyed doing this pattern :)

And I have finished crocheting the baby blanket and teddy bear for our great niece who is due to be born in December, I am very happy with how these have turned out

I will give these to our niece, for her baby, when she is born :)

And, I have also started crocheting my Christmas projects, yay!!!! I am currently making a ginger bread house. For this project, you need a glue gun, to glue the crochet house to the cardboard house, and to glue all the bits and pieces onto the house, so John and I had to have a walk to Homebase the other day, about 30 mins away from us, to buy a glue gun, and I can tell you, that walk really took it out of us, with us both suffering from this dratted flu, but it was worth it, as making this ginger bread house has given me so much pleasure! And has gave John pleasure seeing me so happy, bless him :)   Here is the ‘cardboard’ part of the house, though I made it using some black plastic sheeting I had, as with it been black it will not show through the crochet :)

and here are the crochet bits that I have glued onto the house so far, the back, front, sides, roof and icicle trim

The sweeties on the roof were meant to be done in the French knot, but I could not get my French knot to show properly, so I crocheted them, and sewed them on instead :)

Our little Staffie ornament thinks this is his new kennel! Oh no Mr Staffie, I think not, and dont go getting any ideas about pinching the sweeties from the gingerbread house either, lol :) I have crocheted the door, the wreath for the door, the candy twists, windows and shutters also, but have not glued them on yet, I will do that today :)

Still on the subject of crochet, I have bought some very nice sock yarn, that I may or may not make socks with, I will more than likely crochet some little toys with it, and coasters and perhaps face cloths too, I love the colours in this wool :)

And still talking about crochet, I got a lovely surprise the other day :) Remember the Family Of Blankets I crocheted for Nicola from Smilernpb, well, I received a beautiful card from Nicola in the post, thanking me for the blankets and saying that everyone loves them, and in the card was a beautiful drawing from Nicolas 6 year old daughter, with a message saying thank you for her blanket! Isn’t that so sweet and thoughtful! I was so touched by this, such a lovely surprise

I am so happy to know that everyone in Nicolas lovely family loves their blankets, thank you Nicola and M for the lovely card and beautiful drawing :)

Now that the crochet is out of the way, I want to show you the blackberry jam I have made :) I am so proud of this jam, as the last lot of blackberry jam I tried to make, I must of boiled for too long, as when it set, it set into hard boiled sweets! This jam is real jam, great spreading consistency, not too sweet, can still taste the blackberries and I am so happy with it :) I made the jam with 2lb of the blackberries we have been picking and freezing over the past few weeks

I did pick some blackberries that were not quite ripe, as I knew the majority would be going in jam, so I figured it would not matter, and it didn’t, also, I added a handful of raspberries that had ripened in our garden. The recipe I used was very simple, 2lb of blackberries, 2lb of jam sugar and 1 and a half pints of water, and that was it

all you have to do is let the blackberries and water simmer gently for about 10 mins, add the sugar, turn up the heat and let it boil until setting point is reached

I decided to mash the blackberries a bit in the pan, to help break them down

and you end up with a litre of such lovely jam!

I had some on my toast this morning, yummy!

and here is a piccie of the two jars of jam I have made this year, my first two successes :) My blackberry jam, and my rose petal jam :)

I am so proud, lol :)

Thank you so much everyone for taking the time to read my blog and leave your lovely comments :)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend

Take care everyone

Bye for now :) :) :) :)

A Food Post

This has been a busy few weeks :) I have been baking, jam making, gardening, doing housework, crocheting, shopping, all kinds really, lol, and I have a lot of photos to show it all, well most, of the things I have been doing, and I do hope you enjoy :)

Like I said, I have been doing a lot of baking, and took pictures when I remembered too, of the things I have baked. I do love to bake, something about it makes me feel so relaxed, so womanly, so wifely, I love it :) And I adore the smell of freshly baked goods wafting through our home, a smell you can not quite beat with anything else :)

Anyway, here are some of the things I have baked :) I did gather our gooseberries from our one year old gooseberry bush and made a crumble with them, served with custard, for John, myself, and Johns parents when they were here, I remembered to take photos of the gooseberries, but not the finished crumble, silly me :)

This is the first time I have tried gooseberries and I love them! Hopefully next year our bush will yield a bigger crop :)

I have done a lot of first times with my baking recently, I made and tried banana bread for the first time..

and enjoyed it :)

I baked and ate kiwi fruit cake and strawberry yoghurt cake for the first time…

(kiwi cake, with kiwi purée on top)

(yoghurt cake)

and did not like them at all, I will not be baking these again! But you live and learn :)

And I have returned to some of my old faithfuls, recipes I know hubby and I like, Eves Pudding, mmmmmm!!! :)

Made with delicious Bramley Apples

Topped with a sponge cake mixture…

Baked until golden brown (please excuse the stab marks, I was testing to see if it was cooked and only had a sharp knife to hand, lol :) )

And served…

With lashings of home made custard

Delicious!!!  I also baked, or should I say steamed, home made ginger puddings, ( I made one for John and myself one day, and 2 for for when Johns parents were here another day, but only took photos of the one :) ) mmmm!!!!!

(more of whats cooking in the other pan later :) )

I have also baked an apple crumble, but forgot to take photos of that, lol :)

Ok, so thats the baking side of this post out of the way, let me see, what else have I been doing :)

John and I went foraging, we love foraging, it really is loads of fun, and the amount of things you can forage and make into something else really is wonderful! We picked elderflowers to make into jam….

the recipe said to leave them to steep for 3 days, which I did, then the day came to make the jam, and the elderflowers looked and smelled vile!!!!

They smelled of rotten eggs!!! Yak, so they were quickly put in the outside bin, and the jam was forgotten about :)

We went foraging again, once on Monday and once on Tuesday, to collect red clover flowers. The reason we had to collect the flowers in 2 days was because on Monday, we were caught in a huge downpour!!! The Heavens opened, the rain was torrential, and there we were, stuck in a park, collecting red clover, lol. We stuck it for as long as we could, but we were drenched in minutes, so we ran from the park, and then walked as fast as we could home. By the time we got home, we were drenched to the skin, literally! It was a hot bath, warm pyjamas ( not for John, only I wear pj’s, lol )  and hot cups of tea for us when we returned home, l0l :) We returned to the park the next day, and thankfully it did not rain, and collected our red clover, to make into delicious wine :)

(our first days gathering)

(both days together )

The demijohn you see in the background has a grape wine on the go :)

We added other delicious ingredients to the flowers,

and have to leave it to stand for a week, stirring daily, then we add the sugar, put in the demijohn and leave it to ferment. I am pleased to say this does smell delicious,  unlike the steeped elderflowers, lol :)

Whilst out foraging, I kept my eyes open for wild roses, but only spotted some in bud, so we took cuttings and they are now standing in water, and when they open I will make wild rose petal jam with them, but for now I went into the garden, cut some of our roses and made garden rose petal jam with them :) And I have to say, I really enjoyed doing it, such an oldfashioned, romantic thing to make :)

I washed the rose petals, removed the white heel from them, then I put them in a pan to simmer for 15 mins

The rose petals completely lost their colour, but the smell was divine, a heady fragrance of roses filled the house :) I then strained the liquid..

Left it to cool, then filled an oven dish with the sugar, to warm in the oven before putting the liquid and sugar in the pan…

Whilst the sugar was warming in the bottom oven, and the jar was sterilizing in the top oven on a very low heat, I added lemon juice to the  murky liquid of the rose petals, and a magical thing happened, the liquid turned into a beautiful reddy pink colour!!!!!

I returned the liquid to the pan, added the sugar, brought it to the boil, and boiled for about 15 mins..

and on the hob next to it, the ginger steamed pudding was dancing around the pan :)

Then, after about 15 mins, it was ready, and I was soooooo excited!!!! This is the first time I have made proper jam, I tried about 3 years ago to make blackberry jam, but boiled it for too long, and ended up with boiled blackberry sweets, lol :)

Anyway, here is the finished garden rose petal jam :)

I love the colour, and I love how it is so clear too :) It tastes and smells like honey, absolutely delicious!!!! I shall be spreading this on toast, adding it to porridge, and sandwiching it between cakes, lovely :)

Phew, so thats the food part of the blog done, lol :) Other things I have been doing include, removing the duvet from ou bed, packing it away in the cupboard, and putting on our bed a thin quilt, and my cluster stitch blanket, as the nights have been so hot, but now it has turned cool again, so I shall be bringing the duvet back out of the cupboard, and putting it back on the bed, perhaps along with extra blankets! This is a terrible summer we are having isn’t it!

I have been reading my favourite magazines….

and went shopping for cleaning tools with a difference, they are covered in roses!!!! I adore these :) ..

(the w.u liquid bottle my dad gave me, as it is the Royal wedding one, lol :) )

It is an absolute delight to clean using these things!!! :)

Right, I am going to do the housework now, change the bedding, hang our lavender from the garden up in bunches to dry, have a bath, then relax, lol :)

I hope you all have a wonderful day, thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and leave your wonderful comments :)

Take care everyone, bye for now :) :) :) :)