For a little while now we have been taking our baking inspiration from the 1970's Good House Keeping cook book, as foodies our interest in baking and cooking is not limited to the present. So we were really happy when we recently found a small book of 'Receipts' published in 1842, as recipes were called then. Its fascinating to see how cooking and baking has changed over the years, the basic methods are familiar but the quantities sometimes used are quite large. Cakes were much richer then with some using 1 pint of treacle or 12 eggs. The blancmange recipe requires four calf's feet, which is not very appealing or practical!
But the recipes that have not changed are the basic methods of preserving, so we thought we would try 'Preserving Cranberries' from the 1842 'Receipt' book. After translating 'gill' and 'pound' measurements, the proportions are equal weights of cranberries to sugar, with 142ml of water per 450gr of sugar used. We used 300gr of cranberries and sugar with 100ml of water. Its a very simple and quick recipe, firstly wash your cranberries, then gently dissolve the sugar and water in a pan on a low heat. Then add your cranberries to the pan and boil them slowly, stirring regularly for about 15 mins or as the book says 'until they are quite soft and of a fine colour'. Pour warm into your hot sterilised jars and leave to cool. The result is a beautiful rich red preserve which is perfect for your Christmas dinner or just with some nice bread and butter!
If you would like to learn more about preserving techniques and for recipe inspiration, take a look at the wonderful Newton & Pott and become a modern preserver.
With the change in seasons and the darker nights, it is definitely time for some winter warming food. These beautiful shots are by Wallflower Kitchen of Aimee's delicious Maple Roasted Parsnip and Celeriac Soup. We love the moody vibe of these photos and you just want to dive right in to the comforting soup! All beautifully served and styled with our stoneware everyday bowls and dessert plates.
We first came across Aimee this time last year whilst searching the internet for a Coconut Treacle Toffee recipe, which by the way is amazing! It's made only with coconut ingredients but in fact tastes just like treacle toffee! Another perfect recipe for this time of year.
Wallflower Kitchen creates amazing vegan recipes, whether you are a vegan or not, and just food lovers like ourselves then we highly recommend taking a look at Aimee's blog for inspiration.
We are big fans of The Great British Bake off and as it's the final this week we have a baking (& bananas) themed post. The lovely Edd Kimber who was the winner of the first series has been enjoying wearing our unisex denim apron. Perfect for all bakers and makers with its simple design and big front pocket.
Edd has a fantastic You tube channel 'The Boy who Bakes' with handy baking tips, and delicious recipes. The one that caught our attention is his The best banana bread as we are always on the look out for banana based recipes (slightly hooked on bananas). Edd also has helpful instructions on how to quickly ripen bananas so you never have to wait to make banana bread! If you're as bananas about bananas as we are, then take a look, happy baking!
It's that time of year again and last weekend we were fruit picking and jam making in the beautiful East Sussex countryside. Like last year we went when it's not peak season (maybe next year we will get our fruit dates right) but we still managed to pick enough plums and blackberries to make 12 pots of jam. In the next few weeks there will be plums aplenty and the wild blackberries should be perfect for picking.
We used classic jam recipes from our friends fifties preserving book. There are no pictures and the recipes tend to be short but it gives you all the basic instructions for making a good jam. Our favourite is the blackberry jelly which is a beautiful deep colour and is perfectly smooth. To mix it up a bit we also made a batch of red plum and yellow plum jam, luckily it was a windy day so we could easily pick up all the fallen ripe plums. We also made a plum tarte, which was incredibly easy and delicious (especially simple when you use frozen puff pastry). It was a plum themed weekend!
Thanks to Kate Sherman and her family for a fun weekend of fruit picking and jam making. They will be making the most of the ripe fruits over the next few weeks to batch make their yearly supply of jam!
If you would like to learn more about preserving techniques our lovely friend Kylee from Newton & Pott is running four different masterclasses throughout September in London. Take a look at Newton & Pott and become a modern preserver.
This is a little late post.....We have been followers of Littlegreenshed for a while, so we were very excited when Lou featured minor goods on her wonderful blog in June, 'Simple Living / minor goods considered homewares'. Lou shares our love of ceramics and she took this beautiful moody shot of her minor goods collection, including our stoneware bowls, plates and vintage citrus squeezer.
Littlegreenshed is a lifestyle & travel blog written by Lou Archell, a writer, photographer and mum-of-two. Littlegreenshed features; travel & adventure both near and far, botanical inspiration and practical advice on simple living. Take a look at Lou's inspiring lifestyle blog Littlegreenshed.
After last years successful natural egg dyeing, we thought we'd have another go, it's a very pleasing thing to do and you never really know what colour tones you will end up with! We used red cabbage again with a mix of white and brown eggs from our friends chickens, the small brown ones created a beautiful range of green blue jewel colours, whilst the white ones resulted in shades of blue, from pastel to rich vibrant shades. The different tones are simply achieved by the dye time, the lightest colours for about 20 mins and the darkest were left in over night. For more tips, see our last years blog post on Natural egg dyeing.
The weather was beautiful at the weekend, so we enjoyed an early easter egg hunt, of course with a little after egg hunt co-ordinating into our handmade cotton bowls.
Lastly meet Lady Di, one of our friends chickens, who lays the little brown eggs. She has lovely coiffured feathers, roaming around the garden like she has just stepped out of the salon! Thank you to our dear friend Kate Sherman, her children and chickens for supplying the eggs and helping with the dyeing!
Not long now until Easter, so there's still time to have a go at natural egg dyeing, enjoy!
This week is all about celebrating food with family and loved ones, with Chinese new year (Gong Hey Fat Choy), pancake day, and last but not least, valentines day. We love this recent instagram post from the talented symmetry breakfast with cute Anpanman buns from the Japan Centre and fruits, beautifully displayed on our divided plates! Our divided plates are great for creating colourful individual mini buffets, and with Valentines round the corner, they are perfect for getting creative with your food and treating your loved one with a special breakfast! Each day symmetry breakfast post delicious food ideas from around the world, take a look at their beautiful symmetry breakfasts for your valentines inspiration!