Jammymummy's Blog

Divine given creativity – recipes, knitting patterns and alike

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
recipe.

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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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Hidden vegetable time of year – hidden courgette

This is the joke in our house, the courgettes are fruiting aplenty so I have to hide them in pretty much every thing that I make to use them up – hence the Hidden Vegetable time of year.

I managed use up 4 today!  2 in Jackie’s Courgette slice, 1 in a Ratatouille Puff Pastry Slice and 1 in some Blackcurrant Jam. I didn’t follow the Blackcurrant and Courgette Jam recipe as I had a good amount of Blackcurrants for a batch of jam, but wanted 1/4 lb of something to just round up the weights, so I chopped the courgette finely and popped it in when I was softening the fruit before adding the sugar.

Today’s recipe was:

3 1/4lb Blackcurrants

1/4 lb Courgette

2 pints water

4lb sugar

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Frogs Spawn Jam – Gooseberry Jam / Guzgog Jam Recipe

Having carefully plucked the Gooseberries from the bushes, with only aAmphibians-Common Frog-spawncu-15-03-09 couple of slight puncture wounds from the vicious spikes, I have made a scrummy batch of Gooseberry Jam.   Such a shame it looks like Frogs Spawn… but it does worry the children that I might actually be telling the truth!   (mean mummy??! )

4lbs Gooseberries

12tbs water

4lbs Sugar

(Have a peek at my other Jam recipes to see how to make jam…. got to finish making an Elvis Wig so haven’t time to write it all up I’m afraid!)

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Allotments and Redcurrant and Rhubarb Jam

The allotment is finally coming in to itself; gone are the days of wondering why on earth (pardon the pun) I have the thing when I see how many weeds there are; here are the days of plenty – and currants-and-rhubarbslow growing weeds.

This week so far we have harvested 2lbs cherries, 1lb blackcurrants and 1.5lbs redcurrants – and they’ve not even got going fully yet.  I also was able to pick a bag full of Swiss Chard and Spinach.

So, yesterday I cooked up the first batch of Redcurrant and Rhubarb Jam.  I used the same recipe as Blackcurrant and Rhubarb Jam and substituted red for black currants.

Just seen an amazing recipe that would use this jam….. Rhubarb and Red Currant Jam Swirled Bread.  Can’t wait to give it a try!!

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Non-chocolate Blondies (using up left over Glace Icing)

As I’ve said before, it’s ingrained in me to never throw any food out unless blondies-2it can walk to the food waste bin itself- so much so that I ate a 2 day old peanut butter sandwich today, a little crusty around the edges, but not mouldy!

A little more tastefully I was also thrifty and was inspired to make something with left over Glace Icing – my daughter had made a rather generous amount for another of our daughter’s birthday cakes and it had been sitting around in the fridge for a couple of days.

When I first offered these to friends this evening, I called them crazy cake, as they hadn’t quite gone how I’d hoped, gooier, with a crunchy skin on top, and then someone said that they were blondies, Non-chocolate Brownies.

I’m afraid that I’m not a careful measuring type of a cake cook, so long as the mix you end up with has a gentle dropping consistency as you hold a spoonful of it over the mixing bowl to see how it drops off of the spoon, I reckon you should be about right.

Enjoy!

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