Pear Jam

Jam is more difficult than I though to make and it did take me quite a few attempts but having a Pear Tree made me motivated to do it. It is completely worth the effort though. The trick seems to be in the setting of the jam. You need to boil the jam enough that is sets or you end up with jars of jelly, which actually with some peanut butter is not necessarily a bad thing.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg fruit (Any you like. I even like buying bags of cheap frozen mixed berries and using them)
  • 1kg jam sugar (has the pectin enzyme to make it set)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Vanilla (1 tbsp essence; extract or fresh pod scraping them black bits of with a knife)

Method:

  1. Boil ingredients together for about 20 minutes.
  2. Put a plate in the freezer in parallel.
  3. After 20 minutes put a drop of jam onto the plate and if it starts to solidify and form a skin so setting it’s ready. If not keep boiling until it does.bcec95038a4005942b8979a014129f3b_free-pear-tree-clip-art-pear-tree-free-clipart_467-577.png
  4. Sterilise jam jars (old or new) buy pouring boiling water over them in the sink and the lids or use your dishwasher to clean them.
  5. Pour into jars and store for about a year.

For the jam jars: (http://www.ebay.co.uk/)

Elderflower Champagne

Elderflower Champagne

This is the simplest and cheapest recipe to make your own alcohol and also it’s super lovely; fragrant and is fizzy. With the fashion for ‘Prosecco’ at the moment this made excellent Christmas gifts for my family and I’ve also heard of people making it for the start of their wedding reception as a cheaper and more personal version of ‘Champagne’ to toast with.image01

You really don’t need to buy any expensive home brewing kits for this one but if you do buy one, you can always move onto different hedgerow varieties such as ‘Nettle Beer’ or even store boughts kits which are great fun to try out.

Also, if you really get into making alcohol at home it’s a good idea to buy a hydrometer (even supermarkets sell these now) as it will tell you the percentage of alcohol you make but if you are just trying a few basic recipes it’s not really worth it.

Ingredients:

  • 4 litres hot water
  • 2 litres cold water
  • 700g sugar
  • Juice and zest of 4 lemons
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 15 elderflower heads
  • Pinch dried yeast
  • Large bucket or professional fermenting container (You can buy online)
  • Some bottles. I like the ones with the pressure release tops as Elderflower wine can produce a lot of gas so it’s a bit safer than screw top or sealed glass bottles (http://www.ebay.co.uk/)

Method:

  1. In Springtime head to the local park and look for the Elderflower trees. They have a spray of flowers out from one stem and the leaves have serrated edges. They are best when they are white and pick heads from about shoulder height, that way you’ll ensure you get an Elderflower and nothing toxic as Elderflowers grow from bushes and not directly from the ground. Collect around 20 heads cutting them off with scissors/shears.download (1)
  2. Dissolve the sugar in the hot water.
  3. Add the cold water and the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Stir.
  5. Leave to ferment with either a pressure lid or a piece of cloth covering the top for about a week. Stirring occasionally.
  6. After a week the sediment should have sunk to the bottom so decant either very carefully with a jug or with a syphon (tube or pipe straw).
  7. Pour into bottles and seal.
  8. It can be drunk immediately or kept for a couple of months.

I’d also highly recommend The River Cottage method as that’s the first place I ever saw someone make this lovely brew (https://www.rivercottage.net/recipes/sparkling-elderflower-wine).

Pom Poms for Molly Moo Cat

As promised earlier in the week I said I’d share some of my crafting activities for Molly Moo Cat.

I was taught how to make pom poms by my mum when I very little but not until fairly recently that they came back into fashion. I’ve seen little plastic tools in shops you can buy now to make them but I’ve never tried them.
The traditional method is to get some plain flat card such as the back of a cereral box. Cut in half to make double the thickness. Place on a flat surface and draw around something round such as a wine glass or bowl cut a circular shape. This will be the size of your pom pom. Place a smaller circle such as an egg cup in the centre and draw around. Cut out the two rings of cards. This is your base.
Grab a ball of wool and cut into long strips. I use the wool that is made up of rainbow colours so you get a mix of colours. Tie a piece of wool around the each or the ring and then loop the wool through the centre and around the outside and then repeat over and over. The aim is to cover the rings with wool until there is no more room in the centre circle. Keeping the wool in strips means you can squeeze the residual wool through the centre hole. image2
Once it’s full up grab some scissors and cut around the edge of the card pushing the scissors between the two rings. Do it carefully and keep the card together. Grab an extra piece of wool and wrap it around the card between the two pieces where you just cut and tie in a tight knot. Therefore, you have tied all the pieces together. You can now remove the cards and fluff up the pom pom into a nice round shape. Use some scissors to cut off any extra fluffy bits and make the pom pom really round.
Now technically pom poms made of wool are not meant for cats so you really shouldn’t let them eat the wool but my cat loves to play with them and push them around. It’s a good tip to leave the last wrap around piece really long as you can dangle the pom pom from their scratching post or any other fun spot.
Repeat until you have a house full of pom poms and a happy cat…

 

Mosaic Table

As I suspected I had some left over mosaic tiles from when I started making my mosaic plant pots so I started covering everything!

https://modernmrsbeeton.blog/2017/04/04/mosaic-plant-pots/?iframe=true&theme_preview=true

I ordered some more tiles and more glittery grout from eBay (www.ebay.co.uk) and went hunting around the house for something more significant to cover and I found an old glass table with a metal base in the garage. I think it was in the house before I bought it but it was quite dated and I didn’t really love it. I went searching online and bought some glue that would stick to glass. I found this article from Hobby Craft (www.hobbycraft.co.uk) on different glue types which you might find useful.

http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/supplyimages/wf1002/how-to-which-glue.pdf

From everything I’d read you are meant to place all your tiles out before you start to make sure you have enough and the pattern works but I had so many tiles I just went for it. I stuck my favourite mirrored tiles in the centre and they were slightly raised so seemed a better place on a table if you are going to attempt to balance a glass of wine on it later in the year!

Then in waves I added more glue and stuck the tiles down in a circular fashion. It takes quite a while so don’t add too much glue at a time as it will dry and prepare to do it in two sittings unless you have a whole Sunday afternoon free.

Once dry and like I did with the mosaic plant pots mix your grout with some water so it’s the consistently of toothpaste and smooth over the tiles. Everyone recommends using sponges to really push the grout in but I used a paint brush and did it in two waves drying in the middle.

Don’t let the grout dry too much on top of the tiles and wipe off with damp kitchen roll after about 10 minutes or it’s really difficult to scrape off later. Once completely dry use some glass cleaner to really shine it up and voila…summer wine table!

 

 

Modern Mrs Beeton Part 1: Book Now Available

If you’d like to read some more from The Modern Mrs Beeton I’ve started publishing my blogs in part form, just as the original Isabella Beeton did.


Each part contains around 40 different blogs in the areas of cooking; cleaning, gardening, crafting, and organising.

  1. Part 1: Managing a budget; and how to clean anything with baby wipes. Making mint sauce; perfect roast potatoes and cupcakes for Halloween. How to pant our seedlings and label them correctly. Basic vegetable growing and crafting candles through to Pear Wine and Elderflower Champagne. Lots more.

Digital Kindle

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/1545157081/ref=mp_s_a_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1510152305&sr=8-13&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=modern+mrs+beeton

Paperback Version

https://www.amazon.com/Modern-Mrs-Beeton-1/dp/1545157081/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1526891788&sr=8-4&keywords=modern+mrs+beeton

Further additions will follow shortly.

 

Cheat’s Sausage Rolls

Cheat’s Sausage Rolls

I adore sausage rolls but I’m not a fan of the shop bought ones. I am however a fan of cheating by making homemade ones. Who has time to make puff pastry anyway. You can also make these as a whole in advance and freeze them so when anyone arrives you can quickly pop them in the oven and instant gorgeous snacks.

Ingredients:

  1. Cover your baking tray with a tiny bit of olive oil just so the sausage rolls don’t stick.
  2. Set the oven to 180 degrees c.
  3. Using scissors cut the skins away from the sausage meat leaving the sausages intact.
  4. Open up the puff pastry packet and let it defrost in the fridge until cold but pliable.
  5. Position the sausages on the pastry in long strips with enough pastry on each side so you’ll be able to wrap the sausage.
  6. Slice down the pastry and wrap the sausages.
  7. Cut the sausages into small snack sizes or larger lunch size.
  8. Brush the pastry with the egg wash.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  10. Serve warm.

Sausage

If you really want to make them fancy you can add spices or fruit to the sausage mix. Apple sauce or sage spices work really well.

image65

 

Latest Book: The Super Simple Wedding Planner

One of the areas I’m focusing on at the moment is Wedding Planning. I’m getting married next year and I found the information our there to be very complicated and didn’t really give you a lot of concise information on what you actually needed to decide. Therefore, I’ve written a planning book to help anyone looking to plan a wedding.

If you are interested in that type of advice please find copies on Amazon in paperback form.

 

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