Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Autumn Colour


The clocks have gone back to 'old time' to herald the beginning of winter, I'm not sure how many countries actually do this. I always liked the idea of long evenings by the fire , curtains closed and I could knit in front of the TV, the eyesight does not lend itself to much knitting anymore but I still enjoy the cosy glow of the fire.

 The children look forward to Halloween, how many of you know that it is a very old pagan festival which had its origins in Ireland long,long ago?!You can read about it here

 The unexpected delivery of a bag of crab apples led me to doing something I had never attempted before, making crab apple jelly!
I had read some recipes over the years but the mention of jelly bags, muslin and jam thermometers always put me off. I Googled and came with  simple recipes on the BBC Good Food website.
 I used a white pillow case suspended from the ironing board (opened) .The fruit when cooled a little was put into the pillowcase, tied and hung from the ironing board for about 3 hours until it had stopped dripping. I had about 2 1/2 litres of juice from the 4 kgs of fruit.
Today I added  1 kg of caster sugar  and cooked as for jam and ended up with the above quantity which is about about 7lbs in old measurements I reckon.Another site advised  to use ripe nicely colored fruit, the ones I had could not be any greener so the lovely red colour was a complete surprise!
Half of the fruit was used for the jelly above, the other half is now simmering to make a Winter Spice Jelly, with the addition of cinnamon sticks,star anise,nutmeg, allspice, mace and orange peel.Its a spiced version which can be used with cheese and cold meats like a chutney.
Sounds like Christmas to me!



10 comments:

Betty W said...

My neighbor use to make crab apple jelly. It was good. Our time changes in about a week from now. Grandkids are already for Halloween here and each year I remind them where the holiday came from. Actually it was a different story when they first brought it to the States.

Peggy said...

Hi Betty,thanks for looking in and leaving a comment I have been a very bad blogger of late!
Yes, it used to be All hallows 'Eve, the evening before all Hallows or All Saints day as it is known now, I think Hallmark and other card/decoration companies have a lot to answer for!

Ann said...

That jelly does look delicious, I love making jelly. Did you read that our bought jams are going to have even less sugar? The article I read said we'd end up with horrible brownish jam, lucky we can make our own isn't it.

Jo said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I've never made jelly, I can't stand the thought of faffing about having to strain the fruit, jams all the way for me. Yours does look delicious though. I love the BBC Good Food website, there's so many great recipes on there. I'm looking forward to the clocks going forward again. I do like to hunker down on an evening, but it's just too early in winter. I've got a long wait, haven't I?

Peggy said...

Ann, they will probably have less natural sugar and more added sweetener!making your own means you can at least taste the fruit!

Peggy said...

Jo, I have never bothered with it before for the same reasons as any recipe I read seemed to make a big thing of jelly bags and muslin etc.I used a white pillow case and just tie it anywhere it can hang freely and let it drain into a container, job done!
I love the long evenings when the gardening begins a new season.

Kathleen said...

It looks very Christmassy,and a lovely colour too!

W. Latane Barton said...

Oh my goodness, crabapple jelly... yum. And, it looks divine!!

Matron said...

Yes! the colour of crab apple jelly is jewel-like! Hope you enjoy it. Happy New Year!

Marie said...

What lovely jellies and I must try the recipes! The Halloween info is fun as well. Thanks for both! Let me know how the jellies tasted. They really do look festive!