Thursday, 30 April 2015

Rhubarb, Apple and Date Chutney

Rhubarb always reminds me of being at my grandparents house - my brother and I would race to see who would pick the most rhubarb from their garden. We would dip it in sugar and eat it raw - not sure I really enjoyed it but Grandma used to make the best rhubarb crumble.
I have a lot of rhubarb in the garden and have been wondering what to do with it all apart from good old crumble - Also Stephen doesn't like rhubarb so I needed some way of disguising it! Then inspiration struck - Chutney! He'll never know! You can't taste the marrows in Harvest chutney!

 I dug out my mums recipe she uses for Harvest chutney and halved it  for 2 reasons , I didn't have a big enough pan and just incase it all turned out wrong ( had a nasty experience making Rhubarb and Ginger jam - made moutains of it and it tasted awful! Had to throw it away felt so guilty what a waste so didn't risk it this time.)
I made use of what ingredients I had to hand - frozen ginger pellets that have been lurking in the freezer for a while, frozen cranberries that have also been in the freezer waiting for a staring role in something delicious! Also I used a mixture of demerera, light brown and dark brown sugar as I didn't have enough of one sort!

It is an easy peasy recipe and just required a lot of chopping but I find that very theraputic - plus as I had halved the recipe there wasn't that much to chop - also you don't have to be so precise!

Here it is bubbling away. You can mainly see the cranberries - there is rhubarb in there!

I managed to make 3 large jars and and a small jar which is perfect to begin with - it needs a month to mature so if it is good then I will make lots and squirrel it away for christmas hampers!

Ingredients - makes about 3 and half jars

  • 6 Pellets of frozen ginger
  • 150ml red wine vinegar
  • 250g eating apples, peeled and finely chopped
  • 100g Chopped dates
  • 100g frozen cranberries
  • 1tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1tbsp curry powder
  • 20g light muscavado sugar
  • 350g rhubarb sliced into small chunks
  • 250g red onions chopped
  • 2tsp salt

  • Method
  1. Put the onions in a large pan with the ginger and vinegar. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the rhubarb, plus 2 tsp salt to the pan and bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 mins until the apples are tender.
  2. Stir in the rhubarb and cook, uncovered, until the chutney is thick and jammy, about 15-20 mins. Leave the chutney to sit for about 10-15 mins, then spoon into warm, clean jars, and seal.  Keep for at least a month before eating.

By the skin of my teeth I am entering this into the Great British Rhubarb Recipe Round-Up that is being hosted by Karen from Lavender and Loveage and Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen - Have a look at the other recipes - so many things you can make with rhubarb!

Blog Hop and Linky Party: The Great British Rhubarb Recipe Round-Up!

Saturday, 25 April 2015

A simple tote bag

Hello neglected blog ...... Where does the time go? Oh I forgot I have 2 children under 3 keeping me busy! But I have found the time to do a little bit of sewing....
I got a sewing machine for Christmas and have been busy playing with it! I enrolled on a learning to sew course in January at Carolyn Rose Sewing School in Leamington It was 2 Sundays and I could take Henry with me as well! Bonus as I am breastfeeding so can't leave him for long periods of time - On my first Sunday I was told that there were going to be a couple of other people but they cancelled at the last minute so I had individual tuition! And to top it all Henry slept throughout both the Sundays so I had some me time! I loved it - The project was a tote bag ( I love a tote bag - have gazillions of them!) I learnt so much from how to draw the pattern , pressing the fabric, where to put the pins, sewing a zip, making pockets and sewing a button hole using my machine ( OMG how easy is that! I was so proud of myself!) .... I was so pleased with myself when I had finished that I bought some more fabric and had another go a few weeks later so that I wouldn't forget all that I had learnt. This time I didn't do a pocket inside but I did line it again I feel like such a clever clogs!
Here is the finished article - the first bag

It is a lovely green and white spotty fabric with a front pocket ( notice the lovely spotty button! I'm very proud of that!)
And then inside the bag there is another zipped pocket - this is a shot of the bag inside - looks a bit weird! I opened the bag and took the photo! wasn't too sure how to show you otherwise!

For my second bag that I did at home I decided to dispense with the pocket inside and have a go at lining it - using the button hole foot on the machine took some getting used to - I had to watch a lot of YouTube videos before I managed to get it right.
Here it is ....

This is a flowery one with a spotty button ( love a spotty button) and to carry on with the red spots I used this for my lining fabric... The lining was a bit fiddly but again I had a look at YouTube to sew how to do it ( They always make things look so simple!!!)

I was really pleased with both of the bags but more impressed with the second one as I did it all by myself and it has given me a lot of confidence in attempting more projects.
So everyone will get a bag from me for Christmas! ha ha ha - I have been busy sewing lots of other things that I will post in the next few weeks..