Saturday, 29 September 2012

Nature's beauty, pure and simple

Just  had to share this picture with you all  :)


Full moon harvest moon

Tonight :)


Friday, 28 September 2012

Frugal Friday - chicken

A decent size free-range chicken really is a good buy and can be used frugally and wring every ounce of foody goodness out of it.  This week's chicken waas cooked on Tuesday, and 1 1/2 f the breasts were chopped and put into a lovely leek and chicken pie, using some rather elderly  puf pastry I found in the freezer, so that used that up :)  This afternoon I have stripped the carcass thoroughly, and chopped up enough meat for three adult portions of curry

Quite a frugal curry as usual, a chicken korma tonight for a change - easy and cheap as everything is alrady int eh store cupboard, and I have cream in the fridge for butter making so will take a few tbsp from that to finish the curry; will be served with boiled rice and naan bread.
After the curry was catered for, there was enough left for two round of granary chicken mayonnaise sandwiches, and enough wee bits for the sou - the carcass will be on the stove after supper, then potatoes and leeks added with the chicken scraps, plenty of black pepper, to amke a big pot of good soup for over the weekend.
The chicken cost £9.06 - 4 adult portions of chicken and leek pie, 3 adult curries, 2 rounds sandwiches and the base for about 4 pints of good soup. That's what I call good value :)

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Home-made mascarpone cheese

I've been meaning to have a go at this for a long time, and finally got around to it at last. The pic is what I had for breakfast this morning - granary toast with mascrpone, blueberries and a good drizzle of honey. Delicious is the only word I could use rreally!

This method, as it hardly warrants being called a recipe,  is my take on it after reading lots of different versions on the net, and it worked well for me. Do try it - not the cheapest of things, but you can quite often pick up cartons of cream reduced for quick sale, and the cheese itself will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge, covered.

1 large carton double cream - 600ml size
juice of 1 small lemon, or half a large one

Heat cream in a heavy based saucepan with the lemon juice until just under a good simmer - not boiling though, but almost - keep at this temp for about ten minutes, when the mixture will thicken. Stir constantly meanwhile, until it thickly coats the back of your wooden spoon. Remove from heat and leave to cool for half an hour. Line a sieve with 3 or 4 layers of scalded muslin (I used my cheese straining cloth, folded over) and place over a bowl; pour in the mixture and leave until cold, then put into the fridge to firm up and chill. There won't be a lot of liquid in the bowl. Turn out of sieve after 24 hours or so and put into bowl or similar and cover. Keep in fridge.
The taste, I found is much nicer than the bought tuff in plastic tubs. Use as above on toast, in baking, as a filling/icing for cakes beaten with icing sugar - it pipe very well when thick and stiff, all sorts of things.
 Or just eat it out of the bowl with a teaspoon........................   :)

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Yes, this is hard to watch...........

............ but is real and what is happening now in our seas and oceans. Do your bit to prevent it, as much as you can please x

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Autumnal thoughts

Well and truly into autumn here now - we've had the equinoxal gales the past few days, and some torrential rain very early yesterday, but not had it as bad as others. The sun is out and bright againt oday, it's lovely out there, even with the seasonal nip in the air, which I love  :)
Lots of seasonal jobs to catch up on - the last of the fruit to pick in the garden  which I'm grateful for as it's not been a good year at all for it. Will be off out in a wee while to walk round and get the last of it  safely in I have hops to pick from the bines too

Not sure if there'll be any more chutney, I really have enough to see me through another year - one of the autumn jobs is to sort through the preserves cupboard and see what needs using up, rotating, etc.
Kindling needs to be amassed ready for the woodburner, looks like that will be down to me as well, but that's ok, a slowly taking back the reins after being ill, and it feels better with each bit of work I reclaim.
Today I want to try making mascarpone cheese and I need to clear out the fridge and see what's what in there and cook what's needed to be cooked and used, clean the sheves etc.
Sadly I lost one of the wee ducks overnight; not sure why, but like with chickens, could be anythng at all; will need to get him buried in a bit find a nice spot for him. The chicks are ensconced hopefully safely in the greenhouse for now.
As usual, lots of tidying and de-cluttering to do - wonder if I'll ever get it all done? Not looking likely lol - too much temptation to just sit and knit; I need to get more stock into my online shop too. Think another day in the week is in order lol

Just a  little note to thank all my followers too - it's very much appreciated, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog. Back later with a mascarpone report  I hope!