Hi,I am a home edding mum who loves all things of a foraging/self sufficiency nature. Actually, my love borders on obsessional!Recently, my foraging adventures have combined 3 of my favourite things: roses, foraging and preserve making!I took the sprogs with me on a little excursion (along with my field guide, Richard Mabey: Food For Free handbook!) to a nearby public right of way footpath that is festooned with wild rose bushes.We collected a quantity of pretty rose petals (about 2 mugs full when packed in) … leaving the rose centres intact for the future hips, of course!We brought them home and sorted them out, liberating any critters that had the misfortune of hitching a ride home in the bag.Then we, or rather I, as the sprogs had now taken up electronic devices, dissolved 2 cups of sugar in half a cup of water and a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice. The rose petals were then tumbled inside the liquid and stirred for 30 mins.Cool slightly then pour into sterile jars.As you can see from the picture, you may either leave the petals in or remove them.If you leave them in, they float to the top and look pretty as a picture!All you need to do now is either drizzle the rosy gorgeous loveliness over fresh pancakes, ice-cream or hot, buttered toast! It is the most delightful jam I have made to date.Hope this inspires some of you to try nature’s bounty that is both fresh and free!JJ x
This is so simple and cheap, each year I make three batches and pop it into up to eighteen plus, previously drained (gulp, gulp, gulp) clean (I use sterilising tablets on them because it’s so easy) wine bottles. Store it upright, to prevent pressurised leaking, and feel free to start glugging it back chilled, anytime after six weeks. It’s delicious. Thanks to Angela and Sandra for passing it on.
2. Add the rind and juice of two large lemons. Don’t worry if the pips fall in, you’ll be straining it later. (Yes, that is a potato peeler)
4. Add four large flower heads or six small (after slicing off the chunkier bits of stem) I can never resist chucking in a couple more. See those thunder flies? Technically, this wine is not vegetarian.
Several water authorities announced drought conditions and imposed hosepipe bans. Like a spell, this has presaged in daily downpours of monsoon intensity. Time for “Anna Rock Punch”. Ukrainian Anna wore her immaculately coiffered grey waves pinned up. She embroidered her own exquisite folk blouses, smiled all the time and made interesting things to eat.
She put a rose hip tea bag in a cup with a spoon of honey and a small splash of cider/wine vinegar. She poured on boiling water and stirred. It’s so easy and so comforting, I make it when I want to cosset myself but can’t be bother to grind beans and rinse out cafetieres.
Never ring out a woollen bobble hat. Blot with a towel and reshape flat.
Julia is the sort of person who has dropped round a lasagne, two casseroles and an apple crumble, before the doctor has even finished diagnosing your incapacitating illness. She is there for everybody, all the time (though perhaps not Julia) She achieves this with two tiny tots and some bigger tots as well. She recently made us some apple jam that G is in ecstasies over and she kindly has written out the recipe especially for you, gentle reader. And so welcome to my first. Ever. Guest. Blogger.
Most weeks, most days I make my own bread. It is easy and gets rave reviews. Thanks to the (strong) white flour and a tip from Waitrose magazine, I’ve worked out how to make it with only a moment or two of kneading. It is not a flakey crusted, artisan sourdough but it is a bazillion times tastier than the average (even posh) supermarket loaf and it requires your active involvement for only 10 minutes. It turns simple suppers of soup or cheese and pickles into feasts and if you get the hang of it you can confidently add all sorts of ingredientst (my favourite is a hefty helping of dates and cinnamon for a musky, sweet loaf)
Let me show you how I do it:
All these amounts are approximate and therefore flexible, once you’ve made it a couple of times you won’t even need to refer to them.
2. Pour on two more cups of water and add about one kilo of flour and a heaped teaspoon of sea salt (Maybe try a bit less if you’re using table salt) Shake the bowl a bit and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave for however long suits you: ten minutes with a cup of tea, or two hours down the shops. The gluten in the flour will start to leach out, saving you kneading time.
3. Bring it together in the bowl and give it a minimal squishy kneading, until it’s mixed together into one big doughy lump that’s not too sticky and looks a bit like this. Though if you’re worried, err on the side of wetness. Those little yeasty creatures need damp. Grab that tea towel again and leave the covered bowl for anything between an hour to overnight/overday.It will puff up and look like this.
5. Preheat oven 200 C. Pop in your loaves. Depending on the size of your loaves check them after 20/25 minutes. On top you need a warm golden brown, on bottom a hollow noise when you tap it with your knuckles. Leave out of the tins and propped up/on a wire rack to cool (or they’ll be soggy)
6. I wish I could be there with you but please send me any questions I would be very happy to offer more help. Once you feel like you are getting the hang of it you’ll find inspiration everywhere. Slosh in some olive oil, sun dried tomatoes and rosemary. Mash in those elderly bananas from the fruit bowl. Paint the top with beaten egg before it goes in the oven. Use milk not water. Sprinkle on or in some seeds. Add a handful or two of oats. It’s the combination of simplicity and freedom that keeps you interested. The satisfaction of creating something so ancient and so necessary will fill you up.