Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Roasted Tomato Passata

I thought I would just pick a few tomatoes and I ended up with a whole boxful. Tomato Passata is an essential store cupboard ingredients which I use for pasta sauces and curries. It more or less makes itself.

Roasted Tomato Passata
2kg ripe tomatoes
1 large red onion - peeled and thinly sliced
4-5 cloves garlic - peeled and thinlty sliced
A few rosemary springs
1 tsp. salt
large pinch black pepper
1 tsp sugar
30ml olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to Gas 4/ 180C
1. Cut the tomatoes in half and place cut side down onto a tray.
2. Scatter the onions and garlic over the tomatoes
3. Sprinkle on the salt, pepper and sugar
4. Place the rosemary amongst the tomatoes
5. Pour over the olive oil
6. Roast for approx 1 hour until well squidgy and softened
7. Remove from the oven and press through a sieve to extract all puree
8.. Heat the jars to be used in the oven
9. Place the puree into a saucepan and bring to the boil
10 Pour into the jars and seal.
11. Stand the jars in a large saucepan with a folder teatowel on the bottom
12. Cover with warm water and bring to simmering point over a 25 minute period
13. Simmer for 10 mins
14. Remove the jars and leave to cool. Tighten the tops and leave until cold

Use with 12 months, but if you are like me you want to use it straight away.
I may use it tomorrow to make a pasta dish with courgettes.
Perhaps I should wait until next month - it will taste even better.

Yesterday I picked apples. I made Apple Butter, Apple Sauce and Stewed Apples for the freezer and I still have a whole bag left. Looks like we will be eating apples over the next few days and weeks.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Elderberry Syrup

Around this time of year I collect elderberries to make a syrup, pour it into bottles and use it over the winter as a warm drink ( I pour some into a mug and top it up with hot water). It is soothing, warm and full of Vitamin C so keeps those colds at bay. I had some left from last winter and used it this summer with lemonade, what a wonderful refreshing drink it made. So now I know I can use Elderberry Syrup all year around.

Elderberry Syrup
Large bucketfull of elderberries

1. I gather as many berries that will fill a bucket. I use a fork to remove the
berries - a job usually done outdoors as the berries can fly everywhere
2. Put the berries into a large pan and half fill with water.
3. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 25-30 mins until the juice is extracted
4. Strain the juice into a clean pan.
5. Add 1 lb of sugar for every 1 pint of juice into the pan
6. Add juice of 1 lemon for every 1 pint of juice into the pan
7. Add about 20 whole cloves
8. Bring the juice to the boil and leave to simmer 10 minutes making sure all the
sugar has dissolved, it will thicken slightly into a syrup.
9. Strain again to remove the cloves and leave to cool.
10. Pour into clean bottles, seal and leave in a dark place. Once opened leave in
the fridge until needed

It really has the most amazing colour and taste

Friday, 26 August 2011

This Moment - Cat in a Bag

A bit blurred, but all was quiet and then POW! there was the cat jumping out of the bag of shredded paper.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Roasted sweet beet relish

I decided to use some of the ingredients from the garden. I made Pickled Green Beans - something new for me, my old favourite Blackberry Jam one of
Hugh Fearnley -Whittingstall recipes. It smells great, looks even better, but so messy to make that I think I will stick to my original recipe of Beetroot Chutney.

Roasted Sweet Beet Relish
1kg small beetroot, trimmed
glug Olive Oil
250g granualted usgar
150ml red wine vinegar
2 tabsp. balsamic vinegar
1 large red onion, peeled and finely chopped
50g finely grated fresh horseradish
Roasted Tomato Puree
1kg tomatoes
2tsp sea salt
4 cloves garlic - peeled and sliced
50ml olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4
1. Start by making the Tomato Puree: cut the tomatoes in half and place them skin
side down on a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt, garlic and olive oil.
2. Roast them for approx 1 hour.
3. Remove the skins and rub through a sieve to remove the seeds
4. You should end up with approx 300ml tomato puree
5. Put the beetroot into a baking dish and trickle with the olive oil.
6. Roast for 1 hour 30 mins until the skins go black - allow to cool
7. Remove the skins and finely chop the beetroots.
8. Place the sugar, vinegar, onion, horseradish into a large pan and bring to the
boil - cook for 5 mins
9. Add the tomato puree, then beetroot
10 Cook for approx 10 mins until thickened.
11 Transfer to sterilised jars, seal and label.

Use within 1 year and keep in fridge once opened.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Scarborough, East Riding of Yorkshire

Scarborough lies on the East Coast of the UK and proudly boasts two bays. The bays are sepearated by a hugh headland on which sits the castle. The south bay is a hustle and bustle of shops, slot machines and donkey rides. I spent the day in Scarborough on Monday and it brought back memories of family summer holidays. We would rent an appartment for the week, self catering and spending our time on the beach and exploring rock pool, bring back sand in our shoes. We stayed on the North bay of Scarborough, not quite so busy and less amusements (we liked to make our own amusements.
So had Scarborough changed? Yes and No.
It still has the same tourist points:
The Grande Hotel towers over the South Bay with its 4 towers and 365 bedrooms, a majestic hotel in its day.
The donkeys still carry their riders along the south bay beach, although now it costs £2.00 per ride.
Peasholm Park still has a navel warfare presentation in the afternoon, beautiful flowers and pools of water.
Minature Steam train that goes from Peasholm Park to Sewerby in the North Bay and the new Open Air Theatre which looks amazing.
Open top bus that goes from the South Bay to the North Bay along the promenade - this now costs £4.00 for a return trip, in my younger days we would back it twice a day.
We walked, we talked about days gone by and of course we ate fish and chips with mushy peas.
Scarborough used to be a holiday destination for just 8 weeks in the year, now it is all year round which is great for tourism. Candy floss, ice-creams and winkles can all be bought at a price.
I enjoyed my day out, but it was too busy for me - perhaps I am getting older and long for a different sort of holiday now.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Duffield to Wirksworth by train

Last year this little line openend after lots of hard work and fund raising. Now you can catch a train from Wirksworth to London St. Pancras (changing at Duffield and Derby of course). Quite fun to hear the station master announcing that you can catch a train to London from this tiny railway station.
We caught the train from Duffield (Derbyshire) to Wirksworth this afternoon bringing back lots of memories of travelling by train 30 years ago. The train leaves Duffield every hour on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday (too bad if you want to travel to London on a Monday. The train travels diddly de, diddly de along the track through pleasant countryside with fields of cows and maize. A few fields are full of sheep but the train slows down as they wander onto the line. Lovely little houses showing gardens full of flowers and vegetables are dotted along the way. The first stop is Idridghay, a one stop village with a few houses scattered around the station.
Wirksworth is the end of the line and to-day like lots of other people we enjoyed the walk through the town, which centres around the church. The last time I visited Wirksworth the snow was on the ground, but today we saw a different veiw. Quaint shops, organic fruit and veg shop, art gallery and past times ( a shop full of curiosity things). We drank tea and ate ice-cream and just took in the views.
A pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Blackberry Jam

As a child I remember picking blackberries in late August and September. This year I have been picking them since late July. Each day I gather a large bowl of the juicy fruit, which I eat with my cereal, make crumbles and pies, but the time has come to make jam and I will need lots of fruit. So armed with a basket I gathered the blackberries. Last time I posted on how to make blackberry jam I used my electric jam maker, but this year I decided to use my trusted jam pan, which belonged to my mother.

Blackberry Jam
6lb blackberries
6lb preserving sugar (added pectic)
1. Wash the blackberries to remove any dust etc and drain well
2. Place the blackberries, sugar into the preseving pan and leave for 1-2 hours
(the juice will start to come out)
3. Sterilse the jars by washing and then heating in the oven.
4. Put the preserving pan over a low heat and stirring with a wooden spoon continue
until the jam starts to boil.
5. Boil the jam for four minutes and test for setting on a plate.
6. Pour the jam into the clean, dry jars.
7. Cover and label.

I just love to taste the jam on bread and butter as soon as it is made.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Useful Contact

As I dip and dive in and out of blogs I often come up with something of interest. I was looking for some ideas to make labels for my preserves this year instead of the boring ones that I always use. I came across:

You may want to check it out.

Bakewell Cakes

Bakewell Cakes and a variation of the famous Bakewell Tarts made in the town of Bakewewll, Derbyshire. I made them this afternoon to have with our cup of tea whilst sitting in the garden. Thy turned out different to what I thought as I had no glace cherries in the cupboard and used Orange Slices for the top instead. However they tasted just as good.

Bakewell Cakes

150g margarine
150g caster sugar
150g SR flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
drop of almond essence
1 tablespoon jam
Glace icing - to decorate

1. Preheat oven to Gas 5 /190C
2. Place margarine, sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs and almond ess. into a large
mixing bowl
3. Using an electric mixer whisk all the ingredients together until light and
4. Place 12 paper cases into baking tin
5. Divide the mixture bewteen the paper cases. Bake for 15 - 20 mins until well
risen and golden, springing back when touched.
6. Cool on a wire rack.
7. Use an apple corer to take the centre out of the middle of the cake once cold
8. Place jam into the hole and replace the cut out sponge
9. Make glace icing with icing sugar and a drop of water until quite thick
10 Decorate the top of each cake with the glace icing allowing it to run down the
sides. Top with a glace cherry (or whatever you have in the cupboard)

Serve with a nice cup of tea.

Friday, 12 August 2011

What to make with Courgettes?

My courgettes seem to be coming thick and fast, so I decided to make a Courgette Pasta and had enough sauce to use for a Pizza Topping.

Courgette Pasta

I large courgette - washed and diced (no need for peeeling)
150g pasta twists ( or pasta you like)
1 small onion - peeled, diced
2 mushrooms-sliced
3 cloves garlic
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato puree
large pinch mixed herbs ( or fresh basil)
handful of cherry tomatoes
glug of olive oil

1. Fill a large pan with water, add a glug of oilve oil and pinch of salt and
bring to the boil
2. Heat a glug of oil in a pan and add onion,garlic, mushrooms and courgette
3. Fry for a few mins until start to go soft.
4. Add the tin of tomatoes, chopped cherry toms and tomato puree
5. Add herbs and leave to simmer for 10 -15 mins until sauce has thickened.
6. Meanwhile add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until tender.
7. Drain the pasta, spoon into a large bowl and top with the tomato sauce
8. Serve with crusty bread or garlic bread.

Great for supper with a glass of red wine.

Monday, 8 August 2011

What do you enjoy about Monday?

I just seem to be spending all my time pottering in the garden and harvesting what I can. Another Monday dawns and I am picking blackberries ready to make Jam, although I love them with my cereal first thing in the morning and of course with my home-made ice-cream in the afternoon. I am also picking my runner green beans and freezing them. Beetroot will require pickling soon and of course making my beetroot chutney http://annh-annsp.blogspot.com/2009/08/beetroot-chutney.html Courgettes are coming thick and fast and I have been making courgette chocolate cake. http://www.allotment.org.uk/recipe/?s=Courgette+and+Chocolate+Cake"
I harvested my first lot of red skin potaotes and they taste great with a knob of butter. The peas are already in the freezer. I just love pottering.
What do you enjoy about Monday's

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Savannah Granny Give-away

This is just a great site to visit and as she celebrates her 300th follower she has a give-away. How could you resist having a look.


Good Luck everyone

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Green Thing

This was sent to me last week and I though Iwould share it with you.

> The Green Thing>
> In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she
> should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for
> the environment.
> The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green
> thing back in my day."
> The cashier responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not
> care enough to save our environment."
> She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.
> Back then, we returned milk bottles, lemonade bottles and beer bottles to
> the shop. The shop sent them back to the factory to be washed and
> sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over.
> So they really were recycled.
> But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.>
> We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store
> and office building. We walked to the market and didn't climb
> into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two hundred yards.
> But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.>
> Back then, we washed the baby's nappies because we didn't have the
> throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling
> machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry the
> clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters,
> not always brand-new clothing.

But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.>
> Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every
> room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember
> them?), not a screen the size of Yorkshire.
> In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have
> electric machines to do everything for us.
> When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up
> old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
> Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the
> lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by
> working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills
> that operate on electricity.
> But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.>
> We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or
> a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.
> We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we
> replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole
> razor just because the blade got dull.
> But we didn't have the green thing back then.>
> Back then, people took the bus and kids rode their bikes
> to school or walked instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi
> service.
> We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to
> power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to
> receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in
> order to find the nearest pizza joint.
> But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old
> folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

Home-made Ice-cream for those hot, hot days.

What could be better than eating home-made ice-cream on these hot sunny days.
I have found the perfect, easy recipe for ice-cream.
Vanilla Ice-cream
1 carton whipping cream
1 tin condensed milk
2tsp.vanilla extract

1. Put a large bowl into the freezer whilst you get out your ingredients.
2. Pour the whipping cream into the cold bowl and whip until thick and creamy
3. Pour in the condensed milk and vanilla extract.
4. Whip again until thick.
5. Pour the ice-cream into a suitable container for the freezer.
6. Freeze.

When you are ready to eat the ice-cream just take out of the freezer and leave for a couple of minutes to soften.
Scoop out and serve with whatever you fancy.
Today I fancy strawberries and ice-cream

You can stir in 2 tablespoons chocolate spread to make chocolate ice-cream or make a fruit puree and stir through the ice-cream before freezing. Infact you could proboalby add whatever you like to ring the changes.
I made this ice-cream with my class at school and it was rated the best ice-cream ever. I have to agree it really is that good.