Tag Archives: cooking

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.

#vegan toad in the hole

toad in the hole, vegan

Our vegan Toad in the Hole turned out soft and light and delicious and filling and tasty. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did 😀

Partly cook sausages in oven at 200C for about 10 minutes:toad1

Batter made thus: mix 5 tablespoons of self raising flour with 3 tablespoons of gram (chick pea) flour, a pinch of salt and a pinch of bicarb. Beat in enough soya milk to make a creamy pouring batter. This quantity was to cover 12 sausages, adjust as needed. It would be far less ‘spongy’ if you used plain flour, but we like it like this 🙂

Pour over hot sausages:
toad2

Then it’s back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes until nice and solid:
vegan toad in the hole

Serve with gravy, roast potatoes and veg. Yum, yum, yum.

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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

Happy 2019!

Starting the year with a cooked brekkie. Square sausage sold in Morrison’s 🙂


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Get them while they’re hot!

christmas tree plates

Morrison’s Veggies in Blankets and Vegetable Tartlets. Labels below. Blankets are the favourite though they’re both very good!

Today’s recipe: Solstice Chocolate Refrigerator Christmas Cake

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Solstice Pudding Truffles!

raw chocolate truffles

Chocolate Truffles (rawish): Blend or food process up two handfuls of mixed nuts and 2 handfuls of raisins with a heaped teaspoon of cocoa. Roll the mix into little balls. We then put them in the freezer for ten minutes while we melted the white and dark chocolate in bain Maries. This meant the chocolate set really quickly when  spooned onto the cold puddings rather than running everywhere.

So: spoon the melted chocolate over the top and decorate with pumpkin seeds and chopped dried cranberry. Yum!

They are now nestled happily in the Christmas Dish 🙂

raw chocolate truffles

Recipe for today: mini pizza bites

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Christmas Frazzle

salt and vinegar twists

We’ve reached that pre-Christmas time when, regardless of how simple your planned festivities are, everything becomes really hectic. So: crisps on a plate. It is a festive plate though. And people are happily gobbling up their Tesco salt and vinegar twists as happily as they gobbled down the fancier snacks 🙂 Moral of the crisps on a plate? Don’t try too hard, don’t tire yourself out: enjoy Christmas.

Take a little walk on the beach. Breathe. Eat some crisps.

sunrise over the dunes

Today’s recipe: Gluten Free Mini Chocolate Yule Logs

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The Squirrel and the Sweets

squirrel nut bowl

Jameson’s Raspberry and Peppermint Ruffles from Home Bargains, as is the squirrel nut bowl, as is the amazing bargain of a vegan selection box for 99p below.

vegan selection box

Today we have two basic stuffing recipes for you from Frugal Living in the UK: Sage and Onion and Oatmeal or Skirlie

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GreenBay 100% vegan supermarket

Christmas Donut, Winter Trees

From the Co-op 🙂

We’re eating lots of carrot soup and reading The Telling.

And enjoying the beautiful low winter sun as it lights the trees…



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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