As the apples are harvested it can sometimes be very daunting as to how many there are around here! It increases each year as we have around 50 trees (albeit a mix of plums, pears and apples) that we planted in November 2014!
We stew some apple for pies and crumbles, we juice loads for apple juice (which we water bath can for longevity) and cider…. and then there is jellies and sauces!!
You will need:
If you would like to make apple puree sauce as well as jelly then core, peel and chop your apples, otherwise rough chop your apples
Put them in a large pan with water and boil until it has all turned to mush
Pass the mixture through a jelly bag, i.e. load it up and leave it to drip, do NOT squeeze the jelly bag or the liquid will not be clear.
Wash out the pan and return the dripped through apple mixture to pan. Using approximately one pound of sugar per pint of liquid add your sugar.
Bring the mixture gradually to the boil stirring until the sugar has dissolved and then stirring occasionally until the mixture reaches jam temperature.
Pour your apple liquid into hot sterilised jars and seal.
If you would like to make chilli jelly dice your chillies and add them to your hot sterilised jars just before you pour in the liquid.
If you would like to make puree sauce, push the contents of the jelly bag through a sieve, add a little sugar to your taste, reheat and jar in hot sterilised jars.
The next in our series of recipe posts from the recipes we use regularly around here at the smallholding, preserving our harvests for scrummy treats through the year!
Today is the turn of Courgette and Feta Fritters
You will need:
600g grated courgette
100g self raising flour
3 spring onions
1 garlic clove
2tsp of dill/mint/coriander (optional to add all 3, or just one or two)
oil for frying
Add the salt to the grated courgette and leave for 10 minutes
Using your hands try to squeeze as much liquid out as possible
Add the flour, eggs, and mix well
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well again
put a frying pan with a small amount of oil in the bottom over a medium to high heat and spoon in tablespoons of mixture to make individual little patties, flipping them half way through cooking to brown both sides lightly.
These taste amazing hot or cold and freeze really well so if you batch cook a load you can add them to lunches as and when!
We would love to see your efforts!! Please hop on over to Facebook or Instagram to show us!!
I thought I would share a poem I found about firewood today! Given that we like lighting fires for cooking, sharing, making drinks etc in our forest school sessions!
We are also completely wood fired at the smallholding here, a log fuelled Esse for cooking, heating and hot water when the solar thermal panels are out of season, and a small log burner in the lounge!! So useful thoughts for what burns well in those too, especially as we seem to have ash die back in the woods so need to carefully monitor and fell!
Also it’s now the first of September and officially the start of the part of the year where we can trim hedges, gather firewood for next year and do a bit more work around the place without disturbing wildlife with their young.
I have decided to share a few of the recipes I have collected, tweaked maybe perfected for our tastes here on the holding preserving our harvests and allowing us delicious treats through the year, whether they be canned, jarred or frozen!
I am going to start with Beetroot and Horseradish chutney as a request from a friend who came recently to camp out in our fields as a quiet alternative to a camp site. (and yes we are thinking of using our 28 days allowances now each year for weekends of campers!)
Beetroot and Horseradish chutney
You will need:
750g of raw beetroot, trimmed peeled and finely diced
1 onion, diced
1 dessert apple, diced
2 tbsp of freshly grated horseradish (top tip if you freeze it before grating it wont sting your eyes, plus you can grate a heap and freeze it for future use)
300ml of white wine vinegar
Put all the ingredients into the pan ( I use a large heavy based pan or Maslin pan)
Bring the pan slowly to the boil stirring until the sugar dissolves
Cook gently then for 1-1.5 hours stirring occasionally
Once the chutney is done, you will know by performing the channel test (use a spoon, drag it along the bottom of the pan to create a channel and if no liquid refills it fast then you are good to go)
Jar up into hot sterilised jars, put on lids and allow to sit in a dark cupboard for 2 months before using.
I hope you will enjoy joining me on this culinary journey and would love it if you shared your efforts over on the Facebook page in the comments or over on Instagram!
We have been busy as bees round the holding still, but since the start of lockdown in March we have not had any significant rainfall!!! 10 weeks!!
Things are tinder dry outside…. we are having to regularly water everywhere and currently just the other side of our nearest village there is a forestry and field fire that the forestry services and a helicopter have been battling since Sunday evening…
Thankfully there is some rain forecast tonight and for at least the morning tomorrow! The earth here will give a sigh of relief I expect when it starts to fall!!
In the meantime here a few snapshots of the past few weeks here! New fencing, shearing, turning out the horses, new chicks, new play stuff for the boys, elderflowers and a lot more!!
All hand dyed by me here at the smallholding and all the wool for the yarn is either locally sourced or homegrown!! From our own Sheep!!!!! So that’s gorgeous fleece from Wanda, Baabara, Wolfy and the three witches!!!!
This time the wool has been blended with a little alpaca and the natural grey that the yarn became is beautiful!!
My wonderful mother helped me out and test knit a huge batch of an early dyeing of the yarn making this gorgeous Ribbon Wrap (pattern link here)
The wrap was knitted up in the Silverleaf of the grey, Gentian or blue, Thistle or purple and the Plantain or Green colourways and is huge and so warm and snuggly!!
Other colourways on offer are the red or Bettany, yellow or Gorse, Pink is Campion and the orange is Valerian!!
The natural grey is also available to buy from Friday!!
This will all go live in the Etsy shop on Friday morning!!
There will be a discount code for the launch weekend simply put in the code YARNLAUNCH to receive 10% off all yarns in the shop over the weekend!!
In addition to the Rustic with alpaca, there is a small amount of Rustic, which is just the blend of the wool in a few of the colourways!! Great if you need a smaller amount for colourworking!!
There is also a new sock yarn colourway coming this weekend!! This colourway is called Lockdown Sunset, there are only 10 skeins available and I will be using 50% of the profits from this yarn to buy some extra cans to donate to our local food bank which is struggling with donations given the challenging times we are facing!
Can you spot Lockdown Sunset in the yarn mountain???