Thursday 15 December 2016

Apple and Honey Chutney, present making and bird flu update

Hello All
The chickens are getting used to their prisons, but continue to try to push past me when I go into feed them! I am certainly using more food as they cannot find find the extras that free-ranging allows. I am spinning out the apples, marrows etc and David has the workshop oven lit each day to cook up vegetable peelings, which he is mixing with the gash flour from the mill.
 I have been interested to see how people have been approaching the difficulties.  Dawn at "Doing it for ourselves in Wales" seems to have all bases covered, she has even stopped feeding the wild birds, which is something I hadn't considered. Dawn is a smallholder with much experience, give her a read if you haven't visited her before.(I still don't know how to do a link)

A present for the man who has all he needs -
I have written before about my annual quest to find a present for a friend who has all he needs (and more) He always buys me books from a charity shop and I always make him something. For example, knitted dishcloth, dusters from old shirts and home made polish from out beeswax, an apron with a picture of his current house on the pocket, a tea cosy embroidered with a pic of his old house. You get the idea. This year |I have made him a dundee cake which I am putting in a tin on which I have stuck a label that resembles a bookplate. He is a serious collector of bookplates, owning thousands and adding to his collection all the time. Bookplates always have an illustration of some sort, the book owners name and often the words "Ex Livre" - meaning "from my library". My latin is non-existent and I have been trying to find the latin for Kitchen, but have had to settle for "oven". I know he will get the joke. I am also making him some stuffed dates, which I will make nearer the day, though I did make some almond paste yesterday for one of the fillings. I am not in the least bit worried that he will read this before the day as he can't even use a mobile phone!
This guy will also get a hamper from my granddaughter. Each year she makes preserves, cookies etc to put in her hampers which she gives to all the(older) adults in the family and friends. One of the preserves she made this year was Apple and Honey Chutney. This is a new recipe for us, with nearly all the ingredients grown here on the smallholding. Here is the recipe
Apple and Honey Chutney
12 Apples (pippins) we used large jonogolds
6 green Tomatoes
 2 large onions
3 peppers (I used both green and red)
Half cup of dried fruit (we used chopped dates)
one and a half tbs mustard seed
one a three quarter cups Honey
3 cups vinegar (we used cider vinegar)
one and three quarter tps salt
 "  "          "         "       "  ground ginger
  "             "          "       "      "      Allspice ( we didn't have any, so used nutmeg and cloves)
 2 cloves crushed garlic
Chop fruit and veg how you like it (some people like it really chunky)
 Put everything together in a pan and cook slowly until thickens ( so a view of the bottom of the pan can be seen when a wooden spoon is drawn over it) This took over an hour.
Put into sterilised jarts and seal.

Has anyone else had a surge of Russian readers again? At least somebody loves me - I seem to be losing followers on Google again (while the Bloglovin numbers grow steadily) Is it something I said?
Still unseasonably warm here. Off to post local Christmas cards and letters from the Civic Society and won't need hat and gloves methinks.
Back Soon I hope (yes I know I'm rubbish at regular posting)


  1. That sounds like an interesting chutney, not come across it before. I'll copy it out.
    Yes I've had lots of visitors From Russia again. I think they scan somehow for the word Russia. I hope they like reading about life in Suffolk!
    Not so warm here today as we have damp mist sitting over us

    1. The recipe is from a book of honey recipes I found in a charity shop years ago, but have never really got around to using.
      It is dull here but not really cold.

  2. Hi Gill
    Ditto the chutney - will try that, thanks for sharing. Also had some very strange posters, I haven't looked at their origin yet though.
    I wish it was cold. Here in the north east it is dropping to 6C at night and staying in double figures 10/11 most of the day. Although I'm pleased the field is still growing, I really don't like it. I like to see the seasons change.
    Re the bird flu, ours are all in the barn and doing my head in!!! They are pooing everywhere and making a mess of the places they aren't supposed to be but they are all together so pecking order still seems to be getting established!
    I follow you in blogger as that's all I know how to do :D

    1. same here with the chickens in the barn. We were going to get three pigs next week, but can't now as they would have been kept in the barn and in pthe past we have found out that pigs kill chickens that fly into their stys!

  3. The chutney sounds wonderful! What a great gift.

    Blogger (Google) keeps messing with the followers gadget and every time they do the number of followers goes down. :(

    1. I am experimenting with honey recipes from an old book, hoping that I can substitute for sugar.
      Am following your posts on preserving eggs with interest. I have only ever pickled or put down in waterglass.

  4. Like the idea of those home baked presents. Often they are much more appreciated than things we have trailed round the shops looking for.

    1. Oh yes indeed. Those receiving the hampers always look forward to seeing what they contain each year

  5. I love Dundee cake. I have to be stopped from picking the almonds off first! Naughty Sol, lol

  6. I think long-term inactive followers are automatically removed. Don't worry, it was nothing you wrote!

    1. Phew! never sure really.I didn't know that, I guess I have been removed from some I have followed too.

  7. I thought the Russian readers had 'evil intent' ;) at one time, not so sure now, maybe they get led to the blogs by someone mentioning an 'English blog'we are in fact being studied for our way of life, students maybe. My chickens are fed up being in the run, have been looking for a suitable woodchip for their runs, but all I can find is wood shavings.

    1. I have some wood chip coming this week from a local tree surgeon. You could give one a ring. They are coming in a ton bag so I have to make room for that, but it will soon go down!.
      Perhaps we should speak to the Russian readers directly through the blog an ask them!

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