Monday, September 22, 2014

Fig & Ginger Jam & Quail all in a weekend

Well it doesn't matter how much we trim the Fig tree it just grows and grows and this year is no exception. Usually the birds eat most of them and friends are always invited around to take what they like and this year I decided to try and find some recipes for the figs. Yesterday whilst googling I found Fresh Fig & Ginger Jam over at Lavender & Lovage from Karen who is a writer and food developer and who also has a home here in SW France , this is a fabulous blog for recipes and there are so many others that I am going to try. I made the recipe just like it said, cutting the figs up and adding the sugar and leaving for 6 hours and then finished it off yesterday afternoon, we have just tasted it even though your supposed to leave it for three weeks to mature, so in three weeks it should taste even better and hubby said it's the best jam I have made yet, the ginger really comes through and the little chunks taste lovely, I managed to get 5 jars and plan on making this again before the birds get all the figs. Recipe is here http://www.lavenderandlovage.com/2011/09/fig-tree-auberge-and-fresh-fig-and.html





We have also decided to keep Quail, they are so cute and they sing so beautifully
We bought three at the market last week and another three from Jenny & Peter who have
a fabulous place and keep pigs,chickens,sheep,ducks,quail,rabbits,goats and more
and this morning we have our very own Quail eggs yay






Annie Sloan painted pictures for Jackie


The Table and chairs and the garden chair are Paris Grey and clear waxed.     The second table base and the seat is Louise Blue and old white topon table  again waxed in clear. The little table is old white and waxed with dark wax the same for the fire surround.   And last of all is the kitchen done in Duck Egg Blue and waxed with clear  












Friday, September 5, 2014

Jammy Dodgers and Lemon Curd

Made these Jammy Dodgers and Lemon Curd this morning recipe from Marie at the
English Kitchen the Lemon curd is divine, my biscuits are from a recipe at Morrisons http://www.morrisonsmag.co.uk/march_2013/jammy_heart_biscuits











Then we had a fabulous meal out with our wonderful friends from UK, a perfect day, oh and the weather is beautiful, clear blue sky and so warm, my favourite month here

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Mirabelle Plum Jam

I do like to take a break from the computer at the weekends and this week the Mirabelle plums are so ready
I decided to have a go at jam as there was so many
Here is the easiest recipe I have ever found and it makes the most perfect jam


The Mirabelle is a specialty of the French region of Lorraine, which has an ideal climate and soil composition for the cultivation of this fruit, although we live in the Deux Sevres and it grows so well here.   Indeed, the fruit seems to have been introduced into France in the 15th century . According to legend, however, it was Alexander the Great who first introduced this fruit to Europe.







Ingredients:

2kg Mirabelle plums 1kg granulated sugar 

Halve and stone the Mirabelles  then place in a bowl and pour the sugar over the top. Turn the fruit with a spoon to coat in the sugar then cover the bowl and set aside to marinate over night. The following morning, scrape the fruit and sugar (along with any juices released) into large saucepan.   Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 105°C.
Test for the setting point by spooning a little of the jam onto a plate that has been chilled in the fridge. If the jam forms a skin when you move it with your finger then it's reached the setting point. If it does not then you should continue boiling for 5 more minutes and test again.

Ladle the hot jam into jars that have been sterilized and baked in an oven pre-heated to 100°C for 10 minutes. Seal tightly with lids then set aside to cool and store for at least 1 month in a cool, dark, cupboard, to mature before using.

I found that the halved plums were a little big so after the jam had cooked and cooled for a few minutes I got the scissors to them and cut them whilst in the pan into smaller bits.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Lot Valley

Château de Castelnau-Bretenoux

The castle was restored - and lived in - by the 19th century opera-singer Jean Mouliérat







The Dordogne
 Maisy started off with them but changed her mind half way and we had to find a way
down to the river bank to rescue her 


                                        
                                        Rocamadour




                                              Prehistoric Park, La Cave 

 
Near Rocamadour  – For the family especially if you are a dinosaur fan. Walk through a forest spread over several hectares (pushchair friendly) and walk back into the past with life size dinosaurs around every corner. A great fun trip with the chance for a photo in a dinosaur’s mouth at the end 




After the park we went and visited a shop full of chocolate where you could taste before buying, chocolate heaven

                                                                                                                                                                                             

    
Figeac Medieval Town

This is in the village of Cornac where we were staying a village of artists, around each corner you would find artwork like this on each building and we were staying next door to an amazing sculpturer this was in the garden next to us
click here

You can see more of what we saw here



Book Recommendations

I have just got back from a lovely week in the Lot Region in France and managed to read a couple of books that I really enjoyed
First one  A Thistle in the Mist by Megan Denby, there are quite a few swear words really rude one but if you can get past this then a fabulous read, this lady has a brilliant imagination





The second one is What the heart keeps by Rosalind Laker


What the Heart Keeps




I found these on a site for free books for kindle but I am afraid they are no longer free but you can find more here at www.dailyfreebooks.com
Happy reading

Monday, June 30, 2014

Today it's Redcurrants

Well the cherries are nearly finished and the Redcurrants are just right for picking


I found a recipe for Redcurrant and Red Onion Relish, but boy does it pong when making it, I think it was the Red Wine Vinegar that made the smell, Maisy came home for lunch and said she could smell it from up the road. managed to get 2 and a bit pots

Then I found another for Redcurrant & Rosemary Chutney, this gave 7 pots and took slightly longer to make, the colour is amazing

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Custard Buttons


Today I made Custard Buttons from Marie's English Kitchen, they are so yummy, although mine did not turn out like a button mine were slightly bigger and I only managed to make 12.

You can see the recipe here  Marie's English Kitchen
 


Living in France I was unable to get hold of any vegetable fat so I used all butter
and I added Jam to one side of them as well as the cream, I shall certainly be making these again, and again and again





Monday, May 26, 2014

Say it with Words

Brand new Cd from Ooh la la featuring the beautiful artwork of Marie Rayner, to be launched on Create and Craft Monday June 9th 3pm with Kathryn Sturrock as guest presenter

We first met Marie through her love of cooking, she has her own blog called The English Kitchen and all of her recipes are tried and tested by Marie herself, I have to say we have all put a little weight on since finding her.

Then I discovered Marie loved to draw as well, when she sent out a recipe eBook with artwork she had done.  We were so pleased when she agreed to let us use her artwork and the rest is history.

We hope you love it as much as we do, my grand daughter Maisy certainly does this is her card she made for Mother's day in France yesterday, the image is from one of the digi images that she coloured in herself, she decided to put the quote on a separate piece of card just in case.