Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Pear and cinnamon fruit leather...


 Today I have been mostly dealing with the fruit from the tree in the garden, well one of them anyway. Hubby thought it was best to collect it all and present it to me on Sunday, he did so with a large impressed grin on his face as if he had been out hunting and gathering for us all. I really didn't have the heart but do anything but smile and say thanks you although in the back of my mind all I could think  was ' and what on earth am I going to do with that little lot.
   It was mostly pears and apples so i was at a loss really, we try not to do puddings too much and Roo is not quite old enough to start with puree's and i don't have a big enough freezer to keep that much of it till he is. So after much searching (and asking other people), I decided to try and make some fruit leather. It is something that is now coming back into vogue it seems. The reason I chose to do it however is that it fits in nicely with our hobby. Which I somehow so far have not even mentioned here, strangely, until now of course.
    We are indeed re-enactors, 17th century Civil War stuff mostly, tho hubby also does 18th Century stuff now and then also and quite fancy being a pirate sometime soon. I also was 'silent viking with a lucet' a few times and doubtless will be again if I am needed.
     Anyway I digress, the fruit leather is something that has been done since the middle ages in some form or another and it is just the thing for using up fruit from the garden. Although it tended to be made from 'fallers', I have used our fruit as I didn't know what else to do with it. It basically is pureed fruit with honey that is dried out in the oven for hours until it turns into stuff that looks like modern day 'winders'. I have no idea how mine will turn out as it has only just gone into the oven. Seemingly so far so good however!
      The recipe goes like this;-
500g of cooking apples/pears
juice of a lemon
some cinnamon tiny amount of vanilla
6 tablespoons of clear honey

chop the peeled/cored fruit and add the lemon juice (stops the fruit discolouring) and the cinnamon and stew slowly for twenty minutes (ish)
push the pulp through a sieve to get a puree
add the honey
pour into greaseproof paper lined baking tray spread thinly
bake in a barely on oven for 10 to 12 hours ..

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Langdale and stuff ..

   Above is the view from one side of our tent up towards the hills, I have to say the Cumbria is totally beautiful every corner another breathtaking view. We were very lucky with the weather I know but I do think that even in rain it is beautiful. I spent most of my time clicking away at the camera at the amazing views that kept appearing before us. I wont bore everyone with all of the pictures .. not yet anyway ...
    I would like to start with a review of the campsite we stayed at, It was a National Trust kept campsite in Great Langdale. Great Langdale is almost like a 'natural' cul-de-sac the campsite is nestled in a plethora of heights and views. It is surrounded with accessible walks for the novice to the experienced walker and is slap bang in between two pubs .. the later of which was more used by us this time as Roo was just too young for his back pack and we didn't find the 'walks for all-terrain buggies' book till the day before we left.
     When you arrive at the entrance to the campsite there is a board which basically says arrival times are between 3 and 7pm. As we arrived at 1pm we were slightly miffed so I sent hubby to the reception to check, basically I needed food (the topping up from the 'in-laws' was wearing down). We were so pleased we asked  as we were immediately booked in and told to find a spot in the field the chap pointed at. I must add here that these campsites can be booked in advance but we like the thrill of adventure (apparently). Apart from the misleading sign the campsite was absolutely immaculate. Showers and toilets and wash up area were spotless, there was a large recycling area ( I always hate when these aren't provided) and people were generally very nice. The icing on the cake was the freshly baked bread and croissants available every morning in the shop, again with the food, I know... I will never have those hip bones if i carry on this way! The shop was great too as it helped with our lack of cool box facility ...
   I would love to go back with a back pack next time and walk some more. I felt eternally guilty every time we jumped in the car to go day tripping whilst all the other intrepid walkers and their families were planing their yomps and packing their maps. All in all a damn good campsite, if anyone is heading that way they should definitely stay there. More to come on this later .. I hear a Roo!!

Summer holiday stuff ..

   Well as you can probably see our little family tends mostly to be away during the school holidays. It is a combination of our mad hobby and the fact my nearest and dearest is a primary headmaster. we have so far spent one weekend here in Moon Mansions since the end of May. That was this weekend, and basically we did very little apart from washing and ironing and packing for this weekend coming. There seems to be a trend developing here....
   Last week and weekend started with the two hour drive to Manchester to see Hubby's parents, they really are very sweet and they have a predilection to feed ... I don't think I have ever been offered that amount and quite such an array of food in such a short space of time ever before! We arrived to food, were fed later in the evening got up to food ... then food and guess what more food ....  I would say that they are bad for my figure but unfortunately I do not have a figure to worry about at the moment! Well if it is a figure it is rubenesque  to say the least , I seem to have lost all hint of a hip bone and stomach muscles? well I am sure I had some at some point.
   We packed ourselves up and left from there for a few days in the Lakes, in a tent with Ruben, which to some may sound daunting but actually even tho he is only 18 weeks he has slept under canvas eight times previous to this time. I have to say we are becoming more efficient with it all each time we do it, and I do believe that one day I will manage to remember everything. The list of forgotten items this year on seperate events is as follows;
1. I forgot ketchup (sin of sins how does one eat a bacon butty without it)
2. I forgot the bacon (slightly harder that time to have a bacon butty as you can imagine)
3. I forgot the 'blower' for the airbed ( Hubby did not find this funny but enjoyed the headrush from blowing the damn thing up!)
4. I forgot 'extra' baby wipes (resulting in much muttering and a trip to the shop very late after pitching tent)
5. I forgot bread (cardinal sin around here as we both seem to live mostly on bread based products hence in some ways the lack of figure on my part)
6. I forgot pillows ( this annoyed me most of all as i love pillows and my neck hurt for a week afterwards!)
7. This probably was the worst of all and it almost caused raised voices; I forgot the 'big gas light'. Now to those not in the know, the 'big gas light' is one of hubby's favourite toy's, it is so he says ' the ONLY light that he can use to see ANYTHING at ANY point whilst in a field. I must add here we did have six candle lanterns and an infinite number of candles BUT ... no 'big gas light'.
8. The eighth and final forgotten item forgotten on said few days in the lakes was the cooler box. If you saw the size of the cooler box you would indeed wonder how i managed to forget it. But generally we go shopping for holiday things and then i put it in the box before we leave, with the pit stop and stay at the 'In Laws' and the lack of shopping trip it was easy!
   Well thats my excuse anyway and I am sticking to it!!