Category Archives: garden

preserving: redcurrant jelly with rosemary

redcurrants ready for making redcurrant jelly

A post from 2010, updated for 2020, partly because we’ve been making the recipe again. Redcurrants are also great to preserve for winter, given that they’re so nutrient rich and have immune boosting properties.

What a bumper year it’s been for the currants, both red and black. We’re having berried up green smoothies daily; there are lots in freezer which will extend the berry smoothie season and it’s looking to be a very abundant bramble year too. Last year we gathered quite a lot of those for the freezer as well as smoothie-ing them fresh. At least I thought we’d gathered a lot until I met a man in the woods with 3 huge bucket loads of brambles. He must have spent all day picking. Maybe for jam? I really want to try preserving in different ways this year so we can eat the home grown stuff in winter too. So we made strawberry jam as mentioned, and then moved onto redcurrant and rosemary jelly for savoury things.

Here’s the basic method for the Redcurrant and Rosemary Jelly. It makes a cloudy jelly. If you want a sparkling clear one, other, more time consuming, recipes will come up on a Google search. This pairing of flavours is amazing; the rosemary gives the jelly a slightly savoury edge, making it perfectly suited as an accompaniment to roast dinners. Also great in a sausage sandwich!

We picked 1.5 lbs/0.75kg of redcurrants and put them in a pan, stalks and all, with a few sprigs of rosemary. Then we added 1lb/500g of sugar, half a cup of water and the juice of half a lemon.

Method: bring to the boil, turn down and simmer for half an hour, stirring quite frequently. Allow the mixture to cool a little, though not until the jelly sets, and squash it through a sieve into a bowl. This is the hard work phase of the recipe! Press and rub it with a spoon until you’re left with mainly stalks and seeds in the sieve. Pour into jars of your choice. Cool completely before sealing/adding lids. Yum. This amount filled two medium jam jars, and should keep in the cupboard for months (if not years).

redcurrant and rosemary jelly

Cooking on the stove this morning is Apple and Ginger Chutney from the Cranks recipe book with the apples gathered on a bike ride, heavily supplemented with ones from our trees and our own onions too 🙂 Adapted recipe on the sauces page.

A French Fancy and a Watering Can

vegan cakes

Those are gorgeous vegan cakes and biscuits from local business Veg Oot. Do check them out if you’re in the UK, they’re amazing!

We hope you’re managing to spend some time in the sun, soaking up that Vitamin D, and doing/eating other wonderful things to boost your immune system.

lavendar watering can

 Here, we’re reading Terry Tyler’s Wasteland and highly recommend it.

wasterland

Look after yourselves. Stay safe. Stay well. Stay informed. Eat the odd cake 🙂

Veg Oot cakes

Lucy’s novel, written under her pen name of Ailish Sinclair is now free on Kindle Unlimited! Amazon do offer a free trial of KU. Also available in paperback.

Amazon UK

Universal Amazon link 

Set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, the book features the Aberdeen witchcraft panic of 1597 and a love story.

the mermaid and the bear

hummus, sunrise, and a book in between

homemade hummus

Homemade hummus in the early morning sun. Little bit of parsley in it. Basic recipe here.

The Mermaid and the Bear

The book in between is THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR. Set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, Ailish Sinclair’s debut novel blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story. Out now.

Universal links:

Kindle

Paperback

Sunrise from our garden…

sunset

Chunky Cauliflower Oumph Vegan Curry

vegan cauliflower oompth curry

Ingredients (serves four)

  • A little sunflower oil
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • a red pepper, diced
  • an apple, peeled and cored, diced
  • 1 heaped teaspoon each of these spices: cumin, fenugreek, turmeric
  • 1 cauliflower, chunked
  • a tin of coconut milk
  • 1 bag of Oumph, the chunk
  • sea salt to taste
  • fresh coriander, chopped, to garnish

Fry the leek, pepper and apple in the oil for a few minutes until softened, and then add the spices and mix well. Add the cauliflower and the coconut milk and bring to a simmer for a few minutes before adding the Oumph. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes until everything is soft and well done, then salt to taste. Dish up and garnish. Best vegan curry ever 🙂

See more main meal recipes here.

ghost, a novel by Helen Grant

Some summer garden camping, with a good book:

summer garden camping

A Little Frog Time in the Pond

A little frog among the common bistort in the pond.

Three little speckled frogs… summer has come to the garden 🙂

Two little frogs hide under algae in the pond

Enjoying…

the near witch

We are enjoying the gentle magic and mystery of The Near Witch. And hot chocolate. And the spring sunshine.

woodland bowl of pizza

Then there’s beautiful bowls and easy meals. Goodfella’s have a new vegan pizza:

spicy vegan pizza

But, our best place to be? Or one of them 🙂 The wild and wonderful woods…

The Holly and the Ivy…

Yes, more of the garden comes inside every day! Today we have Christmas tree shaped pretzels from Aldi.

A festive recipe that’s easy to make and freeze in advance: Ice Cream Bombe

See all Christmas Dish posts

See all Christmas recipes


Be rewarded the Web's Premiere Rewards Site

Apples!

Beautiful apple, kale and bramble (blackberry) juice above.

The wonderful summer has produced SO many apples, so many that a branch snapped under the weight! They’re perfectly ripe now so we’re busy juicing and making pies and chutney. And just eating them… that’s probably the best. Badger and deer are clearing up the windfalls.

We’ve also been enjoying semi-blended soups just now consisting of ingredients such as tatties from garden, carrots, leek, garlic, broccoli, parsnips and peppercorns. Similar to this root soup recipe over on frugal.

Also: these are very good 🙂

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breakfasts and All Plants

Breakfast at home (on our new pallet table!) and the Vegan Fry at Food Story in Aberdeen:

It’s great to eat a really good meal prepared by someone else sometimes, isn’t it? allplants deliver 100% vegan meals directly to your door!

The details: customers can select six dishes from their menu of flavourful dishes like creamy Cashew Mac, Golden Sesame Satay and BBQ Burrito Bowl.

  • 100% plant-based (no animals products) and made with healthy whole food ingredients, like vegetables, fruit, mushrooms, nuts and seeds
  • Chef-prepared – simply heat and enjoy
  • Flash frozen to lock in taste and nutrients with no chemicals
  • Delivered directly to homes and offices across Britain
  • Available in portions for one (380g) or two (760g)
  • Gluten-free and high-protein options available
  • New dishes added monthly
  • Available as a one-off order or subscription – customers can pause, delay or cancel their subscription at any time
  • 100% recyclable or reusable packaging, with free CollectPlus returns label for packaging included
  • Check them out here


Eating and Reading in the Garden

Eating: porridge with Moo Free Baking drops. So like milk chocolate those wee drops! Amazon and Goodness Direct both have them.

Reading: The Cooking Gene. A journey through African American Culinary history in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty.

Was not expecting to find vegan recipes in this extremely informative title, in fact did not know it would contain recipes at all and bought it to learn about slavery, but African Soul Fried Rice sounds good! A great mix of autobiography and history.

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