Feeling autumnal

I love this time of year.  There is something so satisfying about picking fruit from the hedgerows.  Free is always my favourite price.

We just stopped the car on the way home from work as I spotted some sloe bushes – these beauties will soon be turning into sloe gin.  There were loads of sloe bushes and all of them had oodles of berries.  I might have to go back for more!

sloes

We’ve already picked a load of apples from the garden.  I had the idea of putting them through the juicer which meant we had loads of pulp which was turned into apple sauce, (add sugar and water, boil and sieve) and the juice is busy turning into apple mead. (I used this apple wine recipe but substituted honey for sugar).

mead

I’m planning on making a load of jams and chutneys over the next few days, I have a huge amount of ginger since we were lucky enough to pick up a small mountain of it from the reduced bin at the supermarket so I’m going to try making crystalised ginger, ginger honey, ginger curd and possibly ginger wine

Some of the jams/chutneys are destined for the Ramsey Crafters Christmas craft fair which is being held on my birthday.  It feels a bit early to be thinking about Christmas but it makes sense to take advantage of all the free food in the hedgerows, we had a busy morning yesterday harvesting willow from Sue’s garden and twisting it into wreath forms, we’ll be having a wreath making and decorating session at one of the Crafters sessions soon , hopefully these will have time to dry out nicely first.

wreaths

We’ve already had one craft session on christmas makes – we made some festive tea light holders from old glasses and jars.  They are really simple – just cover the glass in white pva glue, layer on tissue paper (the white ones are just tissues like you would use for blowing your nose the coloured one is cut up bits of coloured tissue paper) cover in more glue and decorate with sequins and/or glitter.  They don’t look like much until you put a lit tealight inside, but they are really effective when they are lit.

tealights

I have loads of ideas for Christmas makes, the next few months should be fun.

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Cranberry bread

Since I had the oven on for the beer bread anyway I decided to make another favourite – cranberry bread.  This is so sweet it’s more like a cake than a bread but it makes an amazing cheese sandwich

  • Half a cup of sugar
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 and a half cups of self raising flour
  • 1 small jar of cranberry sauce (about 1 cup)

Mix everything together in a bowl. Pour into a buttered loaf pan.  Cook at  175/350 for about an hour.  Remove from the tin to cool – although I’m not very good at that part and end up eating it still warm from the oven.

I’m sure you could swap the cranberry for redcurrant or apple sauce and it would still work.  I’m also planning on trying this with elderberry once I’ve picked some later in the year.

Hello world!

So people keep telling me I should try blogging.  I’m not entirely sure what I’ll write about – probably my various dabblings with crafts and recipes and writing and whatnot. I’m not promising to be interesting or different.

I’m hoping having a blog will inspire me to actually be more creative and give me a way to connect with other people who have similar interests to my own.

If you happen to drop by, please do leave me a comment, it would be nice to know who reads and what you think.