• 22Aug

    Blackberries

    Me and my children gathered these blackberries on our way back from the library, I had meant to bring tubs but had forgotten and was sad about this as we passed a rather abundant patch of briars when my 7 yr old had an idea – we drank the water out of her water bottle and the babies beaker and then filled them with black berries. When we got back I rinsed them and froze them reasoning there wasn’t enough there to do much with.

    A quick tip is if you find they have lots of grubs or maggots in them then just give them a little soak in a weak solution of water and table salt, this extracts the bugs!

    So having assessed the local forage a bit better this year than I managed last year, I have decided that I want to attempt black berry wine for which I need a lot of black berries – looks like we are going to be out picking most days!

    Jean has requested crumbles and Mary cakes – I like to make ‘blood’ pies for halloween as well which I freeze. I think my main limit is going to be freezer space. We also spotted elderberries, rose hips, sloes, damsons, crab apples and haws so all I need for hedgerow jam is some rowan berries! People have been asking me if I am going to make it again and having already received a lovely jar of black current jam from one friend I feel I should get cracking!

    I am still sadly awaiting an allotment but some of the best forage I found last year was along the pathway next to them last year.

    I am still sorely missing the Perri Pear tree though that I used to get the pears from at the old house but I have just discovered that there are such things as community orchards so I am hoping we can get involved in same way with these things.

    My favourite book for forage is still Food For Free by Richard Mabey – I have a very old copy but there are upto date ones with photographs and stuff.

    The recipe I use for hedge row jam comes from a Womens Institute book.

  • 19Aug

    mini vegan banana bread

    Ingredients:

    3 really ripe bananas (if you do not have ripe bananas freeze unripe ones and then defrost them – they will turn brown)

    150 g/5 oz of soya or veg oil marg/spread

    150 g/5 oz of sugar

    175 g/6 oz of self raising flour

    1 teaspoon of vanillia essence

    1/4 of a cup of frozen red currents

    Method:

    Pre-heat oven to gas mark 4/180 degrees C/350 degrees F, mush the bananas up in a bowl, combine them with the flour, sugar and marg until creamy smooth. Add in the frozen red currents – if they are not frozen they will just squish into the mix turing it pink.

    Put in cake cases, filling them to a third and place in the oven for half and hour/30 minutes.

    Remove and place on a cooling rack.

    If you wish you can make up a sugar icing to poor on the top or use red current juice mixed with sugar and leave to dry giving a crunchy topping.

    Filed under: Cakes
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  • 19Aug

    Cakes! Creativi Tea

    I have just hosted my second ever Creativi Tea – an event were people come to our house for a day of creative pursuits – we make things, bake things, and create things. I was a little out of practice with cakes but made some lemon rose cakes, plant pot cakes which were plain vanillia with flower toppers and last but not least my improvised mini banana bread with red currents, in berry cases from Lakeland – these were the vegan option.

    mini vegan banana bread

    I put out my one remaining butterfly food tray with crisps and did my standard plates of sandwiches – a couple of people have asked if we can do cake decorating at the next Creativi Tea which might be fun :)

    rose cakes for Creativi Tea