Tuesday, 5 October 2010

How Goes Your Preserves?!!

Well Hello!!!
And Cheers!!!
Here's a Welcome to the Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness!
Are you all ready? I hate to say it but the nights are drawing in, there is a damp chill in the air, how is your Preserve shelf/cupboard?
I do like to make the most of Mother Natures bounty, although I never do as well as I might - full of good intentions but - well - you know how it is, Life just gets in the way!
Hubby P is still off work and life pretty chaotic - or rather 'different' should I say. Any kind of shoddy 'routine' I may have had when he was out at work - as far as housework-y tasks - has rather gone out the window.
But Hey! I managed some squirrelling away of Autumn-y goodness.
Cheers! Here's some nice healthy/Good for You/Flu fighting Elderberry Cordial.

As you can see Hubby P and I gather lots of Elderberries - the trees were so heavily laden, lets
hope the old folk lore is wrong. The one that says that if the trees and hedges are laden with fruit and berries we are in for a very hard winter.

They looked so pretty - like tiny jet beads - just bursting with goodness!

I gave them a good simmering with lots of nice spicy things (nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and the like) - strained through a cloth and heated up with sugar and honey - added some Brandy, and bottled. ( Let me know if you want the proper recipe).

Elderberries are supposed to be excellent at fighting or preventing colds and flu. A Lady virologist (I forget her name - hopeless with names!) has done lots of research into and around the flu - and her research suggests Elderberries have all the best flu fighting whatnot's!
The cordial - it is recommended, should be taken as a hot toddy last thing at night - sipped from a pretty glass/china cup in bed with a good book (well it did say taken last thing at night, as a hot toddy and in bed - but what the heck - a pretty glass and good book must just help a Girl relax - thus immune boosting and flu fighting!

I have honestly made some effort with the Preserve cupboard although I must admit I have not picked a single Blackberry this year - shame on me! And now its too late - the Devil is in them all (folk lore again - no picking blackberries in October - the pectin is greatly reduced, no good for jam, or so the saying goes).
I pulled a few of the jars out of the cupboard to see what I had achieved - a paltry selection I am afraid! - and Please!! don't look at the shoddy, hastily written labels - or no labels at all!

I managed a few jars each of Strawberry jam, Damson jam, Apple Mint jelly, the Elderberry cordial and a bit of pickled beetroot. Its just a good job we have the luxury of shops and all year round availability of all foodstuffs - or our diet this winter would be dire!
Housewives in the 'olden' days - or wartime even must have been so organised, puts us to shame!

Of course Hubby P not able to work at the moment does have implications financially - that's a nice way to put it!

Frugality, thrifty snippets, make do and mend - all needed to help ends meet.

We went shopping this evening - just around the time they were reducing the price of today's bread and whatnot - how I just love those little yellow stickers!

Just the thing to have with my Beetroot soup! Have you tried it?
If not I urge you to - a funny colour I know - Hubby P took some convincing (and was a little disconcerted - to say the least - the next day when he 'hum - went to the little boys room' - beetroot does come out the other end still pink!) - but he's a convert now.
It really is rather yummy and so easy to make - real hearty, Autumn-y soup!

And to finish - just a 'real pic'. I know we on Blogland all like to show pretty pic's - and its a delight to see them, but we are all real - or I think we are?
We all have down days - weeks - months? life takes over/gets on top of us - just look at the chaos I am living in at the moment!

This is my sewing corner - my poor sewing machine is buried!
Oh for an hour to sew!
Mind you I will have to find the machine first!
At least we are all hale and hearty - here's wishing you all well -
xxx Take care for now xxx