This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Newspaper goodies

£5 off a spend of £50 in Aldi (plus 10 other coupons) in today's Daily Mirror

£5 worth of free fruit and veg in Morrisons with today's Sun if you spend £10

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Oh, dear . . . . . . : )

My son-in-law sent me these.  I'm not sure where he got them from to give credit where it is due.

This made me giggle...

Monday, October 06, 2014

Back at work again

I've been back at school for a week now after having been off 2 1/2 weeks with a bug.  It is hard work being back and I was really thankful for the weekend.

Yesterday we had a family get-together.  Three members of the family have birthdays within a three week period so it was agreed to have one get-together to celebrate this year.  It was lovely to see my new little granddaughter because, being poorly and not wanting to pass anything on, I hadn't actually seen her for the whole of September. She was so different!  Last time I saw her she was a typical little newborn baby and now she is a chubby cheeked little person who is awake lots and laughs at you.

I'm so pleased that my family seem to enjoy each other's company and like to get together for celebrations.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Granddaughter again

This is my granddaughter at 6 1/2 weeks old.

Gemma Law's photo.

Not that I am a biased grandmother or anything (much....)


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Smile : )

I was sent this in an email this week and it made me laugh - so I thought I would share the fun : )



Friday, September 19, 2014

Beechgrove Garden

I've been reading Frugal in Norfolk's blog and she recommends Beechgrove Garden from BBC Scotland.  I never really took to Gardeners' World as it was never quite practical enough for me.  I've just watched last week's episode on BBC iplayer.  It was really interesting.  They publish (online) a fact sheet to go with each episode and last week there was an extra one on keeping fruit and veg fresh.

There were loads of hints and tips which I had not come across so I'm giving this Keeping it Fresh booklet a plug.  Unfortunately I haven't quite managed to work out a direct link to it.  So google Beechgrove Garden and click on the website link for episode 20 which went out on 11 September 2014. Next to the factsheet link, there is a link to this booklet.  Sorry this is long and convoluted but I promise that it is worth the search : )


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pickle recipe

This recipe is for one of our favourite pickles.  It is not expensive to make and you can play around a little bit with the quantities and it will still be fine.  I found the recipe originally in a book from the 1970s by Alison Burt called "Preserves and Pickles".  I thought I'd share it because it is so easy.

It is a recipe that gives an amount of "prepared apple" which I really like because you can use windfalls.  If you only have a box of windfalls then it is a bit difficult to judge how many bits of reasonable apple equal the amount of whole apple in the recipe.  My ancient jam recipe book (HMSO book from the 1960s) also tends to take the "prepared apple" approach. 

Sweet Pickle with Apple

2 lbs apple (prepared)
2 cucumbers
4 large onions
1/2 pint brown malt vinegar
8 ozs white sugar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon each ground ginger and turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Peel cucumber and cut into 1/4 inch dice.
Peel and chop onions finely.
Place prepared apple, onions and cucumber in a pan with all the remaining ingredients.
Bring to the boil, stirring all the time to make sure the sugar is dissolved.
Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Put the pickle into hot, clean jars and seal immediately.

Notes on how I did it this time:
I didn't have any turmeric so I left it out.
My celery seed has a price label of 40p and it must be ancient - so I was generous with it.
One of my cucumbers had gone off so I just used one.
My onions were what I would have called "medium" so I used five.
I had a small amount of spiced vinegar left from last autumn's preserving so I used that.

I've had a bug and am off work so I couldn't face standing to do all that chopping and I used the food processor to chop it all.  Next time I might use the grater attachment as processed cucumber was a bit of a mistake...  All the previous times I've made this pickle, I've chopped everything finely by hand and it does give a nicer looking pickle but the key thing is the taste.  After all, when the pickle is in a sandwich, I can't see whether everything is neatly chopped or not : )

This pickle will be ready to eat before Christmas.  It is sweet and tangy and is wonderful in a cheese sandwich.  If you like your pickle hot and spicy, then add something to pep it up.  It is a very tolerant pickle. It also keeps well.  I've got a jar from the batch I made three years ago and it is just lovely.

Edited to say that this quantity made 8 jars this time.  The jars were all smaller pickle jars that would have held about 12ozs or a little bit less.

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