Sunday, 10 August 2014

Super Sunday Ignoring Bertha

It has been a couple of days since I posted, time just slipped away on Friday and yesterday I went to Cardigan. There is a branch of Aldi very close to James and Cerys and I walked to it in the afternoon. Oh WOW, big "on the vine" tomatoes for 69p per 500 g, Fat Plums at the same price, 4 packs of each fell into my basket. I knew that I had all that I needed at home for some jars of spicy sunshiney preserves.
Along with a massive bag of apples from the tree in James,s garden I was all set this morning.

The tree is just in front of the garden room that is at the very end of the garden, it was a bit of serendipity as the room has power and carpet and has become the perfect play room for Junior and Kaitlyn. It is in full view of the window and french doors so is perfect for the playroom. I will be pruning the tree in the autumn and letting more light in through the window.

I managed a close up to show the apples, they are an eating variety and are almost ripe, crisp and juicy and I will be back next week to pick some more. Luckily for me none of the family really like apples so I can help myself. They do like a spicy chutney for burgers and sausages though so a few jars will be passed over.

I made a small batch to try out a new recipe, I looked at a few and cobbled together one to use what I had in the house. 
900 g Tomatoes, chopped.
500 g granulated sugar.
200 mls red wine vinegar.
2 large red chillies, deseeded, I left 3 or 4 in each for some bite.
2 apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped.
A bit of fresh ginger as long as my thumb and twice as fat, peeled and grated, I discarded the fibres left behind.
6 fat cloves of garlic

I blitzed about 3/4 of the tomatoes, the chillies, ginger and garlic and put in my maslin pan with the sugar and vinegar, brought to the boil and added the apple and rest of the tomatoes. Brought to simmer and cooked for almost an hour, till quite thick but still with some liquid as it will thicken up on cooling. I wanted a slightly runny mix, almost like a very thick sauce, rather than a firm chutney. As you can see I got 2 & 1/3 Jars, I did put a good dollop in a dish to try, it was sooo good and will be better in a few weeks. I am getting ready to make a double batch later.

The plums are supposed to be "ripen at home" but for my needs they are perfect as they are. Plum chutney with just enough chllies, garlic and ginger to make it spicy but not hot. I make a variation of this every year and use it in sandwiches, with hot and cold food and in stir fries and just about every casserole that I make. It gives a hint of flavour that seems to boost whatever it is put with. I do not use a definitive recipe as I have different amounts of the ingredients each time, I just follow the Glutney recipe from Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall.

The day at Cardigan was quiet for me, unfortunately I had to take on of my painkillers and it sent me to sleep for over an hour, but the grands both had a nap as well.
James and his dad used the time well, there are 3 brick sheds in the garden and they emptied, cleaned and got all 3 organised.

The one on the right has a stack of ready chopped kindling wood, and a stack awaiting the treatment. There is an open fire in the lounge with a lovely tall fire surround. Mmmmm fire toasted crumpets.
The middle one will house all the tools, both for making and gardening, there are now rows of hooks in one wall complete with hanging hammers, spanners and so on.
This one will hold the over flow from the house, storage boxes, shopping bags, the barbecue and the small freezer and fridge, it took 2 to get them stacked and level. I bought them a frost free fridge freezer for the new house, there is also the old cooker as I bought them a new one. Both these appliances were promised ages ago and the money was earmarked, both have very good power use ratings and will be much cheaper to run, and as a "Brucie Bonus" they came in over £100 pounds under budget. The fridge and freezer in the shed will be used as and when they get the chance to buy stuff on offer.

I nearly forgot this.

The skirt is finished, posted, delivered and Fran wore it yesterday, she was delighted with it and loves the colour and pattern. So I claim it as my latest finish for my challenge. More tomorrow, I hope.

Reasons to be grateful.

1.  A lovely day spent with the family.

2.  My bargain buys from Aldi.

3.  Some yummyness to tuck away to add sunshine to winter food.

4.  My apple supply is assured for this year. whew.

5.  I am building bridges with Michael, who is working hard.

I should add that I have found some new blogs to follow and followed a few that I thought that I was signed up to already, my little grey cells must be drowning in the sea of colour, I need to work on that. I choose to blame the pain pills as they leave me foggy and fuzzy.
I did intend to live in this rented house while Im looked around for one to buy. As imperfect as it is I have fallen in love with it, it fits me well. Just the right amount of room, not so much that I can go wild and empty every CS in the area of fabric, big enough to swallow my stash, the sewing stuff that I brought with me and hold my new janome in its cabinet and the serger. I do have to move things around, the serger and my quiltmaster sit either end of the dining table and the little gem is under the sewing table tucked in a corner. It will all come good in the fullness of time, as long as it is by the end of the month. The treadle is in the far left corner and is the reason that I have been prevaricating over this room. I just can not make up my mind where I want to put it.

All of this means that if I am to pay rent, it is very very cheap,
(I know people who spend more on a night out than my weekly rent.)
 without raiding savings I need to brush the cobwebs off my frugal side and get busy with the calculator. 

I also need to get off my btm and take Ben out before I get the next batch of tomato chutney on the go. Have a good day, we have had the tail end of Bertha roaring and crashing around all morning but I have blanked her out.

BTW it has been super for me as I love making preserves as much as I love sewing and in between, chopping, dicing and stirring I have been selecting fabrics, pressing and cutting ready for tomorrow.
                          TTFN                                    Pam


  1. Hurrah .. got my laptop back ... ! Chutney looks yummy ... I need to catch up with your blogs .. it seems you have moved house!

    1. I am waiting for a few weeks before I try, but the sample that I kept back was delish. Yes I am finally in Wales an d my roots have taken nicely in the little while that I have been here.

  2. I`ve joined your blog membership and can`t thank you enough for your brilliant advice on how to rescue my jam that would not set. It worked a treat and my DB shall now enjoy his boozy plum jam all throughout the coming winter. That skirt you made looks fabulous. I`m sure that whoever received it will love it heaps. Nice to read that you seem to have found yourself the perfect home, even so you are renting. I wish you many happy hours preserving in the new kitchen!

    1. Welcome aboard, Francesca got her/my skirt on Saturday and it fits her so she has claimed it. I will be preserving later, I woke very early so decided to get up, sew through the fabric that I prepped yesterday and blitz through upstairs. My windows have only been closed twice since I moved in and the dust blows in quicker than I can move it. I am about to walk Ben and then start chopping and boiling.

  3. When you have Grandchildren you are allowed a Granny nap even if it's not because of painkillers ;)

    1. Trouble is that I wake up after a nap like a bear chewing a wasp, cross and hot, always have done. My Mum was just the same.

  4. Sounds like a busy time, & a good time spent with family. Hope the pain eases off,
    Vee x

    1. It seems to be diminishing, I have not had to swallow any more pills since then. I love spending time in Cardigan but would not live there, itis lovely but would be just that touch too handy. If you know what I mean.

  5. I love the apple tree. Apples are so versatile. You are a busy lady and so productive. It is inspiring. Since I just got a recipe from Rhonda's site, I'm headed into the kitchen to bake some rolls. Have a great day. Stay safe.

    1. Just read about the rolls, it is a happy day when something finally comes good.

  6. I have got behind in my blog reading and you have achieved so much since I last read your pages, only about a week ago. You are so productive and industrious I am very impressed. Love your cushions, the colours are so pretty. The pickle looks delicious too. Hope you can stay in your rented house (maybe you could put in an offer for it). Those pinnies look useful, I may try them. I am just starting a "Quiet book" for my soon to be 2 years old grandaughter and I haven't left myself much time. Have you seen them - they seem really ideal for my little one as she is never still and sometimes she could just do with some "chill out" time. Hopefully this book might be just what she needs.

    1. I am going to have a look and see, Junior and Kaitlyn are constantly on the go at times. I would buy the house but it is not for sale.

  7. The chutney looks good, I made some last year for the first time, it wasn't great! Will try again and hopefully this time with a proper pan it will be better :)

    1. The chutney looks and smells good, I did keep a dollop back to try and it was tasty, it should be better in a few weeks.


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