Redcurrant cordial

July 30th, 2015

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Bottle and glass of home-made redcurrant cordial | H is for Home

Our bumper crop of redcurrants from the allotment has so far gone into jelly and a tart.

bowl or redcurrants and jar of granulated sugar

Today I made a bottle of redcurrant cordial or vinbärssaft in Swedish (although when I ran the word through Google Translate it came up with ‘coleslaw’! 😀

redcurrants and granulated sugar in a jam pan

A kilo of fruit only made about 600ml of cordial. It felt like a bit of a waste disposing of all that fruit pulp.

cooked and mashed redcurrants in a jam pan

But once I had that first taste I felt that the profligacy was worth it.

straining cooked and mashed redcurrants in through a jelly bag

It was fruity, tart and sweet, all at the same time – almost like cranberry juice but not at all dry. It’s delicious simply mixed with iced sparkling water, but can also be incorporated into cocktail recipes… and a dash in a glass of champagne is wonderful too!

Redcurrant cordial
Yields 600
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Ingredients
  1. 1kg/2.2lbs redcurrants
  2. 200g/7oz granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. Rinse & drain the de-stalked redcurrants in a colander
  2. Put the redcurrants and sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan or jam pan
  3. Put the pan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves completely
  4. Using a wooden spoon or a potato masher, squash the fruit
  5. Turn the heat up high and boil for about 5 minutes
  6. Pour the redcurrants into a jelly bag and strain for about an hour
  7. Decant into a sterilised 1 litre bottle
  8. Once opened, keep refrigerated and consume within a week or two
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Lemon fresh!

July 29th, 2015

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growing lemon seedlings in a vintage oversized tea cup | H is for Home

I first got the idea of growing my own lemon plants from a pin I came across on Pinterest.

Vintage oversized tea cup, lemon seeds, gravel and compost

It looked really easy so I collected all the pips from lemons we used in cooking for a few weeks.

Planting lemon seeds in a vintage oversized tea cup

When I had a handful, I was ready to go. I opted for this lovely oversize cup as a container – you can choose anything you fancy – cups, old tins, boxes etc. Some gravel in the bottom to prevent water-logging and multi-purpose compost to cover. Done!

Germinating lemon seeds in a vintage oversized tea cup

The pips were planted in February and small shoots appeared in June, so it took quite a while for them to start germinating – I have to admit that I nearly gave up on them! They got a day in the sunshine as encouragement & reward when I saw those first shoots appear.

Lemon seedlings growing in a vintage oversized tea cup

Look at them now! The bold, brightly coloured pattern of the cup contrasts with the glossy green foliage of the young lemon plants. It looks fabulous on our kitchen window sill… and they smell gorgeous when you rub a leaf between your fingers – fresh and citrusy.

Lemon seedlings growing in a vintage oversized tea cup

I can leave them in the cup as they are now and have lots of these pretty dwarf plants – or perhaps pot these on to get larger lemon trees and start again with the pips. A fully fledged lemon business maybe!

Ken Law Tower Bridge print

July 28th, 2015

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Vintage Ken Law Tower Bridge print | H is for Home

As we mentioned in yesterday’s post, we’ve just returned from a short break in London & Brighton. In addition to visiting relatives and generally being lazy for a few days, we also had to collect a picture we’d bought on eBay a while ago.

Signature on a vintage Ken Law Tower Bridge print | H is for Home

The subject matter of this vintage Ken Law print was very apt!

Detail from a vintage Ken Law Tower Bridge print | H is for Home

It’s a stylised Thames scene featuring the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, working boats and riverside buildings.

Detail from a vintage Ken Law Tower Bridge print | H is for Home

It’s stunning… the use of colour & tone and the distinctive block style. We’ve been fans of Ken Law for some time now – we have a Hampstead High Street print by him too – and there’s a fabulous depiction of a New York bridge that we’d like to get hold of sometime.

Detail from a vintage Ken Law Tower Bridge print | H is for Home

We hung it on the wall of the lovely 1960s London house where we were staying to photograph it. It looked so at home there! We almost felt guilty packing it up in our car for the journey up North.