Monday 29 August 2016

Blog Break

At the moment we are all reeling from the shock that my dear nephew ended his life on Saturday.  I wanted you to know that I will not be around for awhile as I will be supporting my family.

Tuesday 23 August 2016

Tomato Relish

Relishes tend to be half way between a chutney and a pickle, using the same kinds of fruit and vegetables although the texture tends to be different.  I have used a lot of different recipe books over the years and adapted a lot of them to suit my needs, it seems to work.  A lot of you asked for the recipe for the tomato relish I made last week so here it is.

This uncooked relish will mature in the jar and you will be able to eat it after about 6 weeks giving you a really fresh Summery taste.  It will make about 5lbs.

4lbs ripe tomatoes
11/2lbs onions
1 tablespoon salt
3 celery sticks
1 large red pepper
1lbs caster sugar
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
3/4pint distilled malt vinegar (white)

De skin the tomatoes and onions and finely chop, mix together in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and leave overnight.

Rinse the tomatoes and onions through a colander and leave to drain.
Finely chop the celery.  De seed the pepper and finely chop.  Mix together in a bowl with the sugar mustard seeds and vinegar.
Add the tomatoes and onions and mix well.
Ladle into clean sterilized jars and cover.
Label with contents, leave to mature for 6 weeks and enjoy.
I had a stroll around the local car boot sale yesterday and got lucky with some more preserving jars.
This box of three was bought for 50p.
20 small jars were secured for 5p each, £1 in total.

I think they are empty baby food jars so quite small but perfect to make some pickles/jams for friends/neighbours for Christmas.  Covered with a nice checked cloth or burlap they will look pretty and let people know we are thinking of them.  Made with love.
Thank you for all your lovely comments about the rag dolls/tooth fairies.  I have yet to make one for a boy but I am going to make for Hector.  A rounder face, short hair and boys clothes should do it.  I will let you see how it turns out, although it may be a while as I have a lot of gifts to make.
Thank you for all your suggestions regarding the white stripes on my feet, I have been in the garden minus the flip flops and intend to get some fake tan when I go shopping and give it a try.  The sales are on at the moment so I may take a look for a fancy pair I would then be ready for next year.
See you soon.

Sunday 21 August 2016

Thoughts Of Christmas...

The harvesting and the preserving continue.  There are several more jars of pickled beetroot done and a swap made of beetroot for apples with my neighbour.

The apples have been cooked with cinnamon and sultanas to make a couple of fillings for pies or crumbles.
Packed into the freezer for a busy day.
Tomatoes and onions were left overnight to make tomato relish.
Celery and red pepper added to make a delicious taste of summer.  One of the easiest ways I know of to peel the skin off a tomato is to stand them in boiling water, the skin comes off in no time.

The taste of Summer in a jar...

I have also been busy on the crafting front making some stocking fillers for the girls.  A rag doll and a couple of tooth fairies.

I know its early to be talking about Christmas but I don't like the panic and stress it causes when I am under pressure.  I enjoy taking my time and making a couple of gifts here and there.
Honey is getting Christened in a couple of weeks time so I tried on my outfit today.  Woe is me my shoes look ridiculous.  I have been wearing slip flops most of the Summer and have caught the sun leaving white marks across my foot.
Not a great picture but you get the idea.  Not a gorgeous sun kissed foot but one that looks dirty.  I have tried putting some make up over the white bits but it rubs off onto my shoe.  Any other suggestions would be most welcome.
See you soon.

Friday 19 August 2016

Summer Bounty

Autumn is fast approaching, there are signs everywhere.  Temperatures are dropping in the evening and the nights are closing in getting darker so much earlier.  The farmer at the back of us has started his harvest working long into the night to beat the rain forecast for later in the week.

Hay bales are in abundance at the moment and can be seen everywhere, a rich reward for all the hard work.

This is the view from my dining room window, I spend many a happy hour watching the horses.
We too are starting to harvest the garden, a reward for all our hard work.  Mother nature at her finest.  The beetroot has been a huge success.
It was very quickly cooked and pickled ready for the Winter store cupboard.
We have also harvested the early leeks, they have such a strong smell I am so looking forward to the first taste of the season.
Sadly our tomatoes have been a complete disaster this year.   So this morning we promptly set off to a local car boot sale in search of some tomatoes to make chutney.  We didn't have to search hard they were been sold on a lot of stalls.  7Ibs were brought for £2 along with 10 peppers for £1.  Some of the peppers were chopped and bagged for the freezer, the perfect addition for soups and sauces.

I went on to make a batch of tomato chutney and some tomato and red pepper soup.

The taste of summer preserved for the long months ahead when the Summer will very quickly become a distant memory.  Have you started preparing for the Autumn yet?
See you soon.

Wednesday 17 August 2016


Thank you for all your lovely comments on my last couple of posts.  It is always a delight to share my family visits, we are blessed with the wonderful relationships we have with our daughters and consequently with their little families.  After the hustle and bustle of one visit after the other throughout the summer things are a little quiet around here at the moment.  It did take a couple of days to get on top of the house and the mounds of washing, still some work needed on the garden, but we are almost there.  A little crafting here and there is starting to creep into my daily life once more.

Whilst Victoria and the boys we here last week we had a trip into Skegness to have a look around the lifeboat station.  The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea.  There are 235 lifeboat stations throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland some of them allowing visitors.

The RNLI is a charity that relies on the goodwill of the public and contributions.
There are lots of ways to donate including joining one of the biggest lifeboat crew ever and that is to become a part of the Storm Force crew a RNLI club for children, suitable for children aged 5 - 11.  We are considering this as gifts for the Grandchildren as they become old enough.
We did have a little fun on the lifeboat ride.
Wilbur to the rescue...Granny in distress!!!
It was well worth the visit with lots to look at and loads of interesting information.

They certainly do an amazing job, every year RNLI lifeboats are called out more than 8,000 times and rescue on average 23 people per day.

There are approximately 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members, both men and women.
There are also lifeguards patrolling over 200 of the busiest beaches in the UK and channel islands.

They certainly do an amazing job.    I have never been in distress at sea thank goodness but I am certainly thankful they are around. 
Take care.