Jammymummy's Blog

Divine given creativity – recipes, knitting patterns and alike

Fair Trade yarn an amazing aspiration

For the last 6 years I have been living a little bit of life vicariously through a wonderful friend of mine.  I love my life, but I love the fun things that other people get up to too.

My amazing friend Suzanna James is a designer of beautiful sustainable knitwear, and has been working for some time on setting up a fair trade yarn cooperative in Peru, and has been shortlisted for a design competition that would help her get one step closer to achieving this.

If you have a chance in the next 2 days, please like ( thumbs up icon) her page at the bottom of this link.

Suzanna James

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Foraging fun – medlars

A couple of years ago, one of my husband’s customers said that we could help ourselves to some Medlars in her garden.  Having not previously preserved them I had a little read up on what you can do with them, and made some Medlar Jelly: deliciously golden coloured jelly which goes beautifully with cold meats.   The Medlars naturally have a Christmas spice flavour, not too dissimilar to dates – but a little bit more messy to eat.

IMG_20171114_143747694.jpgThis year was a bumper crop for the tree and his customer had more than enough again so kindly said that we could have them.   So for a couple of weeks the Medlars were sat on a tray in the kitchen bletting away and I was treated to wafts of Christmas smells each time I walked by the ripening fruit.

This year, I have tried a couple of other recipes a well.   Inspired after seeing my sister-in-law who had been to a fancy food fayre and having some her house, I have made some Medlar Cheese: and I have also tried my hand at Medlar Liqueur and Medlar Vinegar.  The first time I have dabbled in the world of cheeses, liqueurs and vinegars!



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Foraging fungi fun – Parasol Mushrooms

IMG_20170827_160532421My husband went for a slightly off piste walk with the dog the other day, and came across a treasure trove of mushrooms.  Not having picked these before he came home and checked a book and the net.  Having seen that as long as we don’t pick any smaller than 15cm wide we were pretty safe,  off we went the next day with a couple of good friends and the kids to see what we could find.

What a treat, some over a foot tall and nearly a foot wide.   Trug full to bursting we set off back through the woods to home.

That day we sampled their delicacy by cooking some with a wild garlic butter wash over a wood fired BBQ.  The next day I made a rich and creamy Mushroom Stroganoff.  What a delight.

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That courgette time of year again – Glut time

So, last year I planted four courgette plantsImage result for courgette plant– all four got eaten by the slugs.  I planted a second lot of four – they too got eaten by the slugs.  No glut last year!  Organic allotmenteering at its worst.

This year, I planted seven plants so that if the slugs chose their favourite four, I would still be left with three….. but due to a hot dry spring, the courgettes prevailed and I am in serious glut land!

As happens in these events, I am hiding it in all food!  The usual places- soup, courgette and mozzarella slice, ratatouille, ragu sauce.

This year a new place – Chocolate cake! mmmmm

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Rhubarb season

I love this time of year, fruiting is well on the way, and the rhubarb is a plenty.  One of the great things about rhubarb is that it is so easy to freeze; pick, rinse, chop, pop in freezer bag or recycled ice-cream tub, and put in freezer.

Another amazing thing is that it tastes so yummy!   This is one of my fail safe recipes, and a super quick one at that if you want a seasonal cake (or you can just throw in some defrosted rhubarb for a taste of summer  when the evenings draw in).   I’ve adapted a good housekeeping recipe so that it is much lower in refined sugar, using light soft brown sugar and runny honey – so with the natural sweetness of the rhubarb this is just right for my palate.

never rub another mans rhubarb (2)

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Jams and pit latrines

Every year is the same, but this year was far worse….. Time to sort out what to do with the jam from last year that we haven’t eaten, sold or given away.   This year I still had over 60 jars of jam, all from last year, but totally edible for at least another year – the nature of a preserve!!  They were the jars that had wonky labels, or the original labels still on them with too sticky adhesive to remove when reusing.  I had an idea….


I went on to the book of faces, and popped a little note up saying that I was going to sell them off for a £1 a jar and the money was going towards twinning a toilet in Uganda.   I thought that I might sell about 20, and then would top it up with our own cash to make it up to the £65 target.    Well, the next couple of hours were super busy, taking orders and bagging them up.   Some people were generous and gave me more than I had asked for as well, so it’s great that I can now twin a loo and help a community in rural Uganda all from other people being prompted to give to an amazing cause.

We first started toilet twinning a couple of years ago when there was an outbreak of Ebola in Western Africa, and our family decided to help a community by providing a toilet for them to use.  It’s lovely to pop to the loo and see that you have helped other people with something so simple and basic as a toilet.


Toilettwinning.org has many countries that you can sponsor a loo through, but Uganda is my country of choice as I visited there a couple of times in the 90s.  I have vivid memories of desperately needing the toilet in one town, and the only ‘toilet’ there was a mud hut with a holey and rusty corrugated tin roof.  There was no toilet, no hole in the ground (as was the norm where I had been staying), just drying faeces all over the ground that I had to step around before relieving myself.   Other times I had to go to the pit latrine in the night and flick the cockroaches off of my legs whilst in there.  No-one should have to do that anymore: let’s share our wealth with those far worse off in the world.    Even if it is jars of jam that are sitting under the stairs from last year.

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Tribes + Society

I recently had the pleasure of working with the wonderfully talented Sophie from Tribes + Society and the beautiful Sabrina Naz. Horsethief Canyon was the perfect location our photoshoot, it truly …

Source: Tribes + Society

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Return of the blog.

Some beautiful creativity here

a travelling thread

Today I picked some wild flowers that I nearly walked into whilst walking along the pavement, here, at home, in the UK. Sam and I returned in a unexpected hurry from our travels and I didn’t quite feel like writing about the sudden end to our honeymoon days of roaming the earth freely what with a bit of a hard reality that we’d returned to. We have a flat now in England, and we go to work, and we come home, and I run around like a crazy knitting lady trying to finish things in time for a show, and it’s all very normal and that’s odd! It’s almost as if we never left. Anyway,  I’ll write more about our travels another time. Today is a day where I feel really inspired and had to find something else to make (apart from my knitted jumpers, more on that later) and…

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Wild Garlic Focaccia Bread Recipe

I love foraging, and have decided that I shall do even more of it this year.  Why waste any of the bounty of creation?!   So far I have had a nibble of some Jack by the hedge, and am picking wild garlic at any point when I have got time to make something lovely with it.

Last year I made Wild Garlic Pesto and lots of Focaccia.  This year I have made some garlic butter which I have in the freezer, and a lot more of the Wild Garlic Focaccia!  It always goes down a treat with a family meal and freezes so well.IMG_20160502_230856278DSC_0867

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Snake recycled jeans draught excluder idea

IMG_20160404_130941122I finally got my trusty Lidl sewing machine out today to finish making a couple of pairs of old jeans into a draft excluder for the door through to our garage  (they’ve been sitting around for months waiting to be done).

So that it is easily washable – many wellies and filthy work boots will kick it over the weeks – I have made a removable cover and a hook fashioned from the snakes tongue so that it can be hung out of the way.

Just an idea to get your creativity flowing!!   I made mine square for maximum draught exclusion, but you could shape the head and tail if you wanted, or put a mono-brow above the eyes as one of my daughters wanted me to do!!


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