Thursday, 24 September 2015

Monday to Thursday

Welcome to Joanne, Lisa and Dr stevie  new followers to reading my ramblings.

I got quite a surprise when I switched on the computer on Tuesday morning to find the Marrow and Apple Chutney recipe was posted on Monday as it wasn't meant to be there until Wednesday. I'd written it a few days ago and had gone into draft to copy it onto the recipe page and must have pressed publish instead of save before switching off. So there were 16 comments to a post I didn't even know was there - Duh!


The Great Suffolk Pastry Bake
 When I'm making pastry it seems sensible to do several things at once. 5 pastry cases, 2 Apple and Blackberry Pies, 1 apple and apricot flan and a few mince pies with the pastry trimmings and the last of last years mincemeat. All my flan cases, pie dishes and casserole lids have been collected from charity shops and boot-sales over the years. Everything except the flan went into the freezer.

Finally, At Last, all the junk useful items Col put on Ebay  have been posted or collected. They were all bits from the workshop that he didn't want to take with him when we move and didn't sell at the yard sale and the car boot. He's added up the total income which is £121. Another useful addition to the winter kitty.
We had to go to Ipswich to take the gel bike seat cover back to Halfords as it wasn't big enough for my bike. While we were there we nipped into Lidl again for another joint of their delicious ham. At £3.97 for a 1Kg joint of real proper ham it's a bargain. I also bought some limes as they were reduced to 10p each. They've been popped into the freezer until I can buy a tin of lemon Mamade, which will become Lemon and Lime marmalade. I wish we had a Lidl a bit closer than 25 miles away.
There are 2 charity shops next door to Lidl so of course we had to pop in and I found these two for £1.49.
At the back is a pad of crafting papers but I was more interested in the 11 mini coat hangers which I can use for card making. I've got some peel off clothing stickers that I can use with them.
The book looked interesting, I'm currently reading one of Ronald Blythe's books - River Diary - about his and the churches year at Wormingford on the Suffolk Essex border.
On Amazon, one of the reviewers says of this book " You don't have to have any religion to appreciate his descriptions of life in his corner of Essex/Suffolk; his faith informs his life and writings, but he expresses it without proselytising, and places it in the context of the mainstream of English cultural life" 
I'm not clever enough to write like the bloke above! So will just say I enjoy his writing.I've read several of his books of essays and can recommend 'The Bookmans Tale'  to anyone who likes books and reading. In fact I think I'll order it from the library again to re-read.

The Autumn Equinox and the last swallows have gone. We had one family with 2 late youngsters nesting in the wood shed but today when I went in there I didn't get dived bombed as has happened every day before.
 In my Pagan Book of Days it says - depressingly-  "A time when darkness overtakes light, and nights grow longer than days" but it turned into a sunny day until 4 o'clock after several grey dreary ones.
Colin has been cleaning out the guttering - one of the advantages of being a chalet bungalow(or any sort of bungalow for that matter) is that the guttering can be reached easily. I spent the morning making bread and deciding on a recipe for red tomato chutney. After lunch Col took our elderly friend to see his wife in Norwich hospital again.
The Dahlias were knocked about by the heavy rain last Friday and now there's not many flowers left in the garden to bring in except these Sedums, I don't like to cut too many as they are useful food for bees and butterflies. Last week I got a bunch of flowers for £2 from Lidl but they only lasted about 5 days,  I must go searching round the field for some teasels and add them to some evergreens.


 This really is the last chutney I shall make this year.My usual recipe for using red tomatoes has lots of red pepper in but our peppers have been really poor so I looked through all the preserving books and then ended up altering a recipe for Red Tomato, Celery and Apple Relish. Mine became just Red Tomato and Apple Relish by increasing the amount of onion. I left out the crushed coriander and mustard seeds that were in the original recipe and added a tsp of chili powder instead.
I used 2 and a bit pounds of Red Plum Tomatoes, 1lb of onions and just over 1lb of Apple. 1½ pints of a mix of Red Wine and Distilled White Vinegar, 8oz white sugar, tsp paprika, tsp chili powder, 2 small dried chillies chopped.
The tomatoes had their skins removed by covering them with boiling water and were roughly chopped,(also removing the hard stalk end) the onions were peeled and chopped small. The apples were peeled,cored and chopped. Everything except half the vinegar was put into a preserving pan, brought to the boil slowly and then simmered for an hour.Every now and again I stirred the mixture and added a little more vinegar. After an hour and a half the relish was still not thick enough to pot up so I stirred in half a tube of Tomato Puree and kept stirring for another 10 minutes. I then potted into sterilised jars and popped on the lids. This made 5 and a bit jars but I have no idea what it's going to taste like or if it will be a good keeper so if you make it I suggest either eating within 6 months or processing in a hot water bath. The recipe book had two extra ideas for using this relish, one was to mix a little with sausage meat when making sausage rolls or to spread a little on the pastry case when making a quiche.

I seem to have been inside making things for weeks. Outside we've had quite a lot of damp or really wet weather and the garden has been neglected, lots of things have finished and need clearing and the strawberry bed is full of chickweed. I think I heard that the forecast is better for next week so hopefully we'll get out and get on with tidying for winter. We are rushing to the end of September far too quickly for my liking.

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