Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Autumn Colour

The clocks have gone back to 'old time' to herald the beginning of winter, I'm not sure how many countries actually do this. I always liked the idea of long evenings by the fire , curtains closed and I could knit in front of the TV, the eyesight does not lend itself to much knitting anymore but I still enjoy the cosy glow of the fire.

 The children look forward to Halloween, how many of you know that it is a very old pagan festival which had its origins in Ireland long,long ago?!You can read about it here

 The unexpected delivery of a bag of crab apples led me to doing something I had never attempted before, making crab apple jelly!
I had read some recipes over the years but the mention of jelly bags, muslin and jam thermometers always put me off. I Googled and came with  simple recipes on the BBC Good Food website.
 I used a white pillow case suspended from the ironing board (opened) .The fruit when cooled a little was put into the pillowcase, tied and hung from the ironing board for about 3 hours until it had stopped dripping. I had about 2 1/2 litres of juice from the 4 kgs of fruit.
Today I added  1 kg of caster sugar  and cooked as for jam and ended up with the above quantity which is about about 7lbs in old measurements I reckon.Another site advised  to use ripe nicely colored fruit, the ones I had could not be any greener so the lovely red colour was a complete surprise!
Half of the fruit was used for the jelly above, the other half is now simmering to make a Winter Spice Jelly, with the addition of cinnamon sticks,star anise,nutmeg, allspice, mace and orange peel.Its a spiced version which can be used with cheese and cold meats like a chutney.
Sounds like Christmas to me!