Michael spent time with his Dad while Francesca and I took J out to lunch and for some retail therapy, she had some very fetching frillies.
Dad was in need of some PJs , at least he wanted some bottoms. We were in Matalan and I spotted some Family Guy and some Always Grumpy ones in bright colours, so of course I bought him a pair of each, much better than boring stripes, and he laughed and promised to wear them.
I went through the jumpers and cardies and was sorely disappointed, flimsy and dull dull dull. A pop over to the menswear was more fruitful, I picked up a turquoise and a purple v neck for £14 the pair, very soft and fairly thick. While I was pootling about I spotted some really thick socks for Michael, he has feet like dead frogs, and picked up some of those.
I did not break the bank, I used some of my vouchers from work.
I have stocked up on our tea and coffee, thanks to Cottonreel who tipped me off, I went to Asda and hauled in this little lot.
7 jars here and 7 more in the cupboard should keep us going for a while.
I made a second batch of mincemeat using this recipe.
2 x 450 gm packs of mixed dried fruit.
1Kg cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped finely.
450gm shredded suet.
700gm dark brown sugar.
juice of 1 large orange.
juice of 2 large lemons.
8 tsp mixed spice.
1 tsp ground cinnamon.
1 tsp grated nutmeg.
All this went into the slow cooker, had a good stir up and was put on a low setting for 4 hours. Once the suet had melted I removed the pot and put to cool down, stirring every now and then to keep that melted suet covering evenly. When cold I stirred in 10 tbsp brandy, put into sterilized jars, put the lids on tightly and stored away in my cupboard.
I made Bubble & Squeak and very tasty it was too.
I made large "patties" and dusted them liberally with flour, then pan fried them in a little vegetable oil.
The flour gives them a nice crisp shell and a lttle salt and pepper mixed into it helps the flavour along. We had them with some bacon that needed using up, and I made blackberry and apple sponge pudding, yum.
I used the rosehips along with 3 apples from the garden and a bowl full of elderberries to make some syrup, neat this will soothe a sore throat and help a tickly cough. Diluted it makes a pleasant hot or cold drink and is loaded with vitamins.
I remember going out with my Granny picking pounds and pounds of rosehips to be made into syrup, it was started during the war and she carried on for many years after.
An eclectic mix of containers but my flip top kilner bottles, all bar that one, are in a box right at the back of the understairs cupboard. i put them there when I tidied it out, at that time I did not plan to make the syrup. I will dig them out and sterilize a few and decant into them, some will find their way into Christmas Hampers.
Once the juice had been strained off, sweetened, boiled and bottled I turned my attention to the pulp. I pushed it through a sieve and got 1 pint of smooth thick puree, I stirred in the juice of a lemon, a grated cooking apple and 1lb of granulated sugar, 1 tsp mixed spice and 1tsp cinnamon. This gave me a good amount of gloop which i brought to simmering point and, stirring every now and then, let it burp and belch away till it was almost the consistency of chutney. This went into hot sterilized jars, I got 2 full and a taster.
I owe this to DC at Frugal in Norfolk, once again it is something that I used to do out of necessity. I chose to do it this time and after scraping the saucepan out with my index finger, in the interest of economy, I will be doing it again. I expect to go foraging tomorrow.
I have raspberries that need picking so will add those in as well. I did wonder whether to make some raspberry vinegar but as I am the only one who likes it will pass this time.
Reasons to be grateful.
1. Francesca has found a house share for November, she just wants to go and have a look at it. She can almost taste her independence
2. More and more homemade goodies piling into my larder.
3. Continuing good weather prolonging the harvest of wild, free fruits.
4. Laundry done, ironed and put away in 1 day.
5. The sweet buzzing of bees, drunk on sun and pollen, all round my garden.
My sewing machines have sat idle for a few days and will be idle for the next few. I have work outside to do and some preserving to do inside. all too soon it will be cold, dark and dreary and then the machines will come into their own. I have gathered some gloriously coloured fabrics to brighten my days. I have some Christmas sewing lined up and have entered for another giveaway.
Sharon at Little Town Mouse is having a giveaway for some purple paisley fabric and I have my fingers crossed. I am not usually fond of Paisley but this is glorious and my fingers are twitching.
Time for tea, I am very late today so will wish you all a good night.