Friday, October 21, 2022

Day Twenty - Minimal Shopping, Cheese and Compost Heap Jelly



Once again, this week I haven't needed much shopping, but I did want to get some more bread and potatoes, which, as in the wartime years, seem to be the mainstay of my current diet. 

 I also decided to get a few bits of salad to top up the carrots and lettuce that I still have in the fridge.  Obviously, there are no peppers or large cucumbers in my mini shopping haul as they are out of season in England now, unless grown in heated greenhouses which wouldn't have been available for the majority of people during the war years.  I know the mini cucumbers are just at the tail end of their season here as I had given Alan the last two off our plant in the garden for his tea the day before so when I saw them on the reduced vegetable shelves, I grabbed some for myself.  

I am really just trying to eat seasonally and in an environmentally friendly way.


I did however, decide to stock up on some of my favourite cheeses as for once Booths had them both in stock, they have been missing every time I've been there recently.  And with long dates on non-dairy cheese, it really is possible to buy quite a few when you see them.  Obviously, I will only take what I can have 'on the ration' for the duration of this challenge.


While I heated up my soup the other day you might have noticed in the photo this pan of all the fruit peelings and cores that I had been adding to in the freezer.  I had decided that now I have enough of my sugar ration available I would make myself some Compost Heap Jelly.

There were apple cores and peelings, the skins of the mandarin oranges that had been in the fridge at the start of the challenge and to them I decided to add the last couple of blackberries that were also in the freezer.  I knew these would add a lovely rich colour to the jelly.


It was brought to the boil and then simmered for just over an hour until everything was lovely and soft and the liquid was a glorious shade of purple-y red.  The I strained the liquid through my sieve into my largest jug.


And then gave it a final straining through the sieve lined with muslin.

It is now in the fridge and the final stage will be done another day, but if you would like to watch how to make this from the woman that I learned this off ... Pam the Jam Corbin, here is a River Cottage YouTube film showing her making it.



It's a recipe that I have used for years, since we went to River Cottage for the first time in fact, on a day out from our very first farm.  I always kept the tastiest scraps of fruit trimmings back from either the chickens, pigs or the compost heap with this in mind and it helped fill our homemade produce cupboard nicely.


My food for the day was extremely simple. 

 I had a slice of toast and butter for breakfast, a salad sandwich for my lunch, which was taken to and eaten at Mum's, I didn't take a photo as we had other things on our minds as we did some little jobs for her around the bungalow ... and on the way home we picked up a chippy tea.

I'll be back tomorrow to show you my finished Compost Heap Jelly. 


Sue xx



13 comments:

  1. Compost jelly is such a great idea and very tasty. I made hedgerow jelly for the first time this year, it turned out well and most importantly it set well too! Only managed 4 jars of blackberry jam as they didn't do well in the drought where I live, a lot of them were hard and never ripened properly.

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    1. I barely got any blackberries this year, as you said the weather conditions just weren't good for the bushes in some places. Four jars of blackberry jam sounds well worth having though. :-)

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  2. You really are using every bit of what you have - just as our parents and grandparents would have done. We could all learn a thing or two from them. xx

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    1. It just makes so much sense doesn't it, and even more so now that food prices are rocketing. If we buy something it really is up to us to get the best possible value from everything we have and waste none of it. I am loving that this challenge is giving me my focus back, something that I was starting to lose.

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  3. Ugh. I just sent a large bag of apples peelings and cores to be set out for the deer to feed on. I thought, 'That's such a pile (I had bought a bushel) I wondered what Sue would do with them... Now I see. *wince*

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    1. Oh well, the deer will be happy and will be thanking you. You can make the jam next time and they'll come knocking at your door asking where their treats are. :-)

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  4. A great use for what would normally be thrown out, looking forward to seeing how the jelly looks.
    I used to love watching River Cottage, it felt down to earth and honest.
    Alison in Wales x

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    1. We loved going there and seeing that, yes, it was all exactly the same as you see on the tv and that Hugh and the gang are all thoroughly nice people. We got such good advice from Hugh when we were first starting out.

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  5. Love any kind of homemade jelly or chutney. Catriona

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    1. You just can't beat it can you, and it's good to know exactly what's in it ... even if it was stuff destined for the compost heap!!

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  6. I always used the pits and peelings from various fruits to make jelly when the boys were growing up. I need to get back to doing that. Thank you so much for the reminder.

    God bless.

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    1. I think we all need to go back to getting the best possible value from everything that we buy in these expensive times don't we.

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  7. I loved the original programmes of River Cottage too but the recent ones haven't the same vibes at all. I have a big box of apples to turn into apple-products which last longer, so will use all the peel and cores with some well-washed orange peel and give this a go. I recall the days when we were so skint the only time we had anything nice to eat, was when I had turned very simple ingredients into tasty biscuits, cakes, jams etc.

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