Monday, December 30, 2013

Wild Plum Jam

After our little foraging trip, we had a kilo of wild plums, tiny and more sour than sweet. I roasted them to soften them then pushed the pips out, one by one. I transferred the soupy flesh to a saucepan, added sugar, then watched it bubble and simmer until it was sticky and jammy. Then I poured it into scalding hot jars, left them to cool, then tied it all up with string.

The end result - tart, not too sweet, perfect on a scone. Hopefully not poisonous. 

{Washi tape purchased from my old friend, the Craft Queen.}

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Pickings

A change in our living circumstances this year has meant we don't have a garden, at least not much of one to speak of. We have land, a huge expanse of vacant lawn, but lack of inspiration and the short-term rental thing means we haven't done anything out there. But we live at the end of a little dirt lane, one that I meander down regularly. And a recent wander revealed a bounty of produce. So one evening last week, my babes and I went a-foraging to see what we could see.

When we returned, we had a big bucket of wild plums, a posy of pretty weeds, apple branches that we twisted together with some mysterious berried shrub to form our Christmas wreath (and the tiny apples looked quite festive, too, in a glass bowl) and a bunch of spiky holly. It brightened up our 'for now but not forever' home beautifully. All in all, a festive foraging success.

Oh, and Merry Christmas! I hope yesterday was fun and messy and noisy and a just little bit excessive - it certainly was for us.

{I'll be back in a couple of days to show you what we did with those wild plums}

Sunday, December 22, 2013


I was digging around for my Christmas spirit. I knew I'd left it somewhere. After the year we've had, the loss, the massive change, I wasn't sure where it could be.

And then, in the space of 24 hours, we hit up a local carol evening, and sang and danced in the rain. We drove home via the crazy lit-up Griswold houses. We visited Santa for the obligatory half-thrilled, half-terrified photo. We travelled along beautiful country roads to pick out a tree and cut it down. And we chose a corner of our home in which to set it up and decorate it.

And suddenly, there it was. Suddenly I was making pompom garlands and homemade gifts for teachers, downloading Bing Crosby and ordering ham. Every evening we turn on the lights and do a stocktake of the pressies underneath the tree. 

No, you can't open them yet. Yes, you have to wait till Christmas morning. 

Only three more sleeps.


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