Wednesday, 16 December 2009
In basic terms, you will need apples, soft fruit or berries and honey. The photos in this post were taken in late November when I made fruit leathers with hawberries, just about the last wild fruit I could find growing near out village. In the late summer I also made leathers with blackberries.
The quantities I used in November were:
1 kg apples (wild eating apples)
Chop the apples and add to the jam pan. No need to core or peel. Remove as many stalks as possible from the hawberries and add to the jam pan. So dryish berries like haws, add a couple of glasses of water. You are unlikely to need to add water if you are using soft fruit like blackberries as they contain plenty of moisture.
Heat the pan and leave to simmer until the fruit is a soft pulp. Press it through a sieve and then add the honey to the puree.
Then put some baking parchment on a couple of baking trays and spread the puree thinly over the paper. Put the trays into the oven at a very low temperature, 60C, and bake for about 10 - 12 hours (yes, that long!)
When they are done, you should be able to peel the leathers from the paper. They have the texture of leather and are translucent.
They can be stored by being rolled up in the baking parchment and stored in a cupboard or box. You can cut puts off of cut them into shape and hang them from the Xmas tree before eating them.
I don't have any of my own but I can imagine kids loving these. Parents concerned about cramming too much sugar into their children can hand these out guilt free!
Monday, 14 December 2009
We have, admittedly, not been 100% successful with growing garlic. I planted some of the winter variety in pots on the wall in our garden in London. Though they grew, the bulbs they produced were tiny. I suspect the soil quality was poor. I therefore never bothered to harvest them and my plan was to pit all the contents of the pots onto the compost heap. I am now having second thoughts. I spotted this morning that all the garlic was growing. I'll leave them to continue growing but will add some compost to the pots.
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Having just set up a small business to do photography and make videos, I hope to get on with more of my self-sufficiency work shortly.
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