Saturday, 30 October 2010

Autumn busy-ness

I've made a delicious jelly to add to my other Christmas foodie gifts stocking up in the pantry. I've used Bramley apples but and cooking apple will do.

 Mint and Apple Jelly
900g Bramley apples
granulated sugar
45ml chopped fresh mint

Makes 3 x 450g/1lb jars 

  1. Chop apples roughly and put in pan.
  2. Add enough water and cover, leave to simmer until soft.
  3. Pour all of the apples and water into a jelly bag, being careful not to squeeze the bag. Suspend the bag and place a bowl underneath over night.
  4. Measure the amount of juice that drains from the jelly bag. To every 600ml of juice, add 500g granulated sugar, and stir into the juice.
  5. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar then bring to the boil. Test for setting by pouring about 15ml onto a cold plate and allowing it to cool. If a wrinkle forms on the surface when pushed with a fingertip, the jelly is almost set. When a set is reached , leave the jelly to cool.
  6. Stir in the chopped mint and pour into sterilized jars using a jam funnel. 
The jelly will keep unopened for up to a year. Once opened , keep in the fridge and consume within a week.

If you've still got some apples from your own trees because they've kept so well from your wrapping them carefully, please let me know what you used. Thanks.

This was easy to make and while I waited for it to reach setting point I was able to rake the leaves outside!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Preparations for Christmas

Spiced Christmas Pears
It is the time to start preparing for Christmas, and as we have a pear tree in the garden I decided to make this preserve which is apparently very nice served sliced with cold meats and cheese.

Spiced Christmas Pears
900g pears
600ml white wine vinegar
225g caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
5 star anise
10 whole cloves
Makes 900g
  1. Peel the pears but keep them whole leaving the stalks on. Heat the vinegar and sugar, stirring until the sugar has melted. Pour over the pears, poaching for 15 minutes.
  2. Add the cinnamon, star anise and cloves and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove pears and pack tightly into sterilized jars. Simmer the syrup for a further 15 minutes and then pour over the pears so that the cloves and star anise are packed tightly with the pears. Seal the jars tightly and store in a cool, dark place. 
The pears will keep for up to one year unopened. Once opened, store in the fridge and consume within one week. 

These will make a pretty foodie gift at Christmas, just make sure you have the will power not to gobble them before it's time.

Monday, 18 October 2010

That Monday feeling

It doesn't seem to matter whether the weekend has been relaxing or super busy, Monday is always hard work.
I also have great intentions for Mondays, but should know by now, that I never feel like doing much at all on Monday eve.
Yet, here I was again this Monday evening, trying to do too much.

I came home from work and did some laundry, then I did some research for the cake I'm baking and decorating for my Hubba's 30th on Saturday. I next managed to talk my Hubby into getting the bus to his meeting this eve so that I could purchase said cake items and then join the Monday group of Croydon Running Sisters . All was going well, until, I discovered the final stretch of road on my way closed. So, not knowing the area well enough to find another route and without enough time, I decided to head back home.
I did think I might make my kitchen look a darn sight better than it does now...a few pans and plates adorn its counter-tops, I could also fit in a fitness video, as I am after all in the right clothes. However, before any of this I think I will update my blog and make some changes...

Several hours later...and I have totally changed it's layout, template and deleted its old posts.

Time for an early night...the kind that gives you beautiful skin? No, it's past that, however, I do have a blog that is finding it's niche.

How have I been a truly good woman today? I have kind of, as I let the Hubby have the car in the end ;-)