Jammymummy's Blog

Divine given creativity – recipes, knitting patterns and alike

Seasons across the globe

It seems so strange to me here, in Britain in the early spring, to have people searching for fig and apple jam recipes as is a common search at the moment- the marvel of the world wide web.

Here the seeds are just beginning to go into pots in the greenhouse, too early to go in the soil in our climate; the leaves are slowly starting to uncurl on our Quince tree, it will be weeks until the flowers unfurl like ballerinas’ spinning dresses; the Parsley is just beginning to set new shoots; the Spuds are chitting and the days are getting warmer and longer.

To those of you who are in the harvesting time of year, have fun eating and preserving the fruits of your hard work!quince-bud

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Another vegan and sugar free recipe – flapjack

This Easter weekend we are seeing my sister who is trying a vaguely vegan and sugar free diet (for health reasons) , and my nephew who is properly vegan.  I thought that I would make some flapjack to share with them, and adapted my mum’s flapjack recipe to make something for both of them.

Using stevia, maple syrup and raisins for the sweetness, I hope that you enjoy making this flapjack recipe – or granola bar if you live on the other side of the pond!

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Crumble Topping – sugar free and vegan

Unable to find a vegan and refined sugar free crumble recipe that really hit the mark, my sister made this up for one of our Christmas puddings.

Unbelievably scrummy: the apricots had been prepared and frozen by my mum: picked by my brother from his tree in the Czech Republic and driven 886 miles when they came over in the summer to see  us all:  I did my part by having seconds.

I know that it isn’t truly sugar free, but it is free of refined sugar and is certainly more healthy for you than an average crumble.12404327_10153806844459407_1353834000_n

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Vegan and Sugar free Christmas Cake


I’ve not developed this recipe myself, but my mum just found this recipe online and I wanted to share it as a Christmas Cake alternative for those people that have a vegan/sugar free diet requirement.

Christmas Cake idea

To make it look a bit more Christmassy I popped it in a 6″ round tin, and it only took an hour to cook rather than the time they said – my nose told me it was cooked before (see previous posts about cooking by smell!)

The photo shows it part way through it’s cooking, and there won’t be a finished photo until my sis has had some at Christmas!   As it hasn’t got all the sugar that normally helps a normal Christmas cake to keep for so long, I am going to pop it in the freezer with the Quincemeat that I have made for her mince pies and bring it out the day before.  Made sugar free, with vegan suet and lots of mixed spices…. the proof on these will be in the tasting!

IMG_20151221_122021114 (2)

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Christmas Jumpers on a serious budget

Our girls’ school upped the anti this year, and instead of just something Christmassy on their heads; antlers; hats or, as I saw today, a plucked turkey or Christmas pudding.   This year they were invited to wear a Christmas jumper as well.   I may well have been a little bit bah humbug, but when I saw the price of Christmas jumpers in various shops, I thought that I would adapt a jumper for each of them to make it Christmassy!

One wanted a robin on it, one a snowman, and one the baby Jesus in a manger.  Fun times and I was grateful for DK oddments,  a 4.5mm crochet hook and a little bit of creativity!


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Date, Pecan and Oat Cake/Tray Bake – vegan, sugar and fat free recipe

IMG_20151116_125034325Sometimes our health and the health of those we love leads to change.  Sometimes sugar and animal protein free baking can help with specific health conditions, but the recipes haven’t been all that forthcoming for me.  So, I made this up the other week for someone special.

This is nowhere near as light as a slice made with sugar and eggs, BUT it is super good for you (unless you are allergic to gluten or nuts).

Date, Pecan and Oat Slice Recipe is right here.  For other free from recipes, please go to this great website.

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Czech out these slippers – free knitting pattern

close slipperAfter about a year of not quite getting around to it, I have finally put up a pattern for the slippers that my sister in law’s family give to guests when they stay as it is polite to remove your shoes when you visit.

I had thought that it was a tradition for the whole country, and have jut been informed by my brother that it’s just a lovely thing that Michelle’s family do.  Nevertheless, they are a quick and easy slipper to have by the front door for friends and family who come to stay on a cooler evening/day to keep their toes toasty warm.   They are not non-slip, so you’ll have to warn your friends to be careful if they are running around!

Czech these Slippers out HERE.

Socks models own!

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Foraging Fun in the Forest – Cauliflower Fungus

DSC_0608Two years ago my husband came home with what looked like a cross between a sea sponge and a brain.  After a bit of research we worked out that it was an edible cauliflower fungus, and tasty! A friend just said that it smells like a forest when it’s been raining….mmmmm…..

Today, my husband brought home this beauty from the same place,
7 lbs of fungus.   We’ve already eaten some just fried in butter.

Tomorrow the dehydrating begins.   I dried some 2 years ago, but I think that I did it a bit too long although it did keep even until now.  This year I’ll try again in the oven ( dehydrators look really expensive for ones that don’t break within weeks)….. here’s hoping it works better.

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Foraging Fun in the Fields – Damson and Apple Jam Recipe

Whilst out walking in the fields yesterday, I came across a bumper crop of Damsons.   For the last few years I have either missed them, or the fruiting hasn’t been anywhere near as good.  This is a good year!!

Not wanting to be too greedy, and also only having taken two ice cream tubs for Blackberries with me, I only pocketed (literally) one and a half pounds of the fruit so that the next forager could be as blessed by the bounty.   This would only have made about 3 jars of jam, so to bulk it up, I used an equal weight of apples that I just happened to have sitting on my kitchen floor.

I have written up the Damson and Apple Jam recipe here  but here are a few extra little pointers, should you so wish.

You can either stone the Damsons before cooking, or scoop them off as they cook.  I prefer to use a cherry/olive pitter to stone them before cooking so that there aren’t any that escape my eagle eyes for odamsonsne of my kiddies to then hurt their teeth on. If you haven’t already got a Cherry Pitter, I can strongly recommend getting one.  This is the one that I have, and it’s been serving me well for many years.  Obviously if you do not stone them before, you will need to add about an extra 6 oz in damsons to the initial mix.

Some people always chop apples into lemon or salt water so that they don’t go brown whilst you are preparing them all.  I didn’t bother with this jam as the damsons will colour the jam beautifully.  Much easier and cheaper.

In some recipe books it says to add the stones to the pan whilst boiling, this helps get as much pectin off the fruit as you can.  The best way that I have found to do this is using a ball and chain tea diffuser like this and make sure that if you buy one, it is a large one.   The added bonus of this is that you can then pop the diffuser in a large mug, pour some boiling water on it, leave it to soak for a bit, and you have a delicious fruit tea. How about that for thrift?!

Anyway, if you happen to find some Damsons, I hope that you enjoy this

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Seasonal eating

I’m still in two minds about whether to keep the allotment or not, I’m sat here with lots of jobs to do at home thinking that I shouldn’t really be doing this, but actually picking the veggies and fruit at the plot.   Cabbage, lettuces, french beans, courgettes, squash, beetroot, blackberries, parsley, tomatoes, all ripe for the picking.allotment 2008

Was a bit surprised just now though to see that Nigel Slater has a section in the Guardian for Blackcurrant Recipes, mine were all over about a month ago.  I know that I live in the south east, but surely for those of us who grow our own, they must all be over now?? ( They look delicious though for 11 months time.)

Courgette and french bean recipes are what we need this week Mr Slater!!  Or ways to use up wind fall apples…?

A starting place to look……here

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