My Mother’s Homemade Fig Jam

Figs ready for jam making

Figs ready for jam making
Photo:fr:Utilisateur:Céréales Killer

Yesterday I was tempted to buy a small jar of fig jam.  It brought back such memories of my mother’s fig jam on the farm that I simply couldn’t resist it.

As soon as I got home I opened the little jar with eager anticipation and an almost dreamy feeling. I plunged a teaspoon into the jam and had a taste.

What a disappointment!  It was a sweet mush with thousand of tiny pips that got in between my teeth and it was much too sweet.  Worst of all there was no taste at all of the real fig flavour that I remember so well. Read more

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking

Granny Smith Apples

Photo courtesy

I found this great chart about the best apples to use for cooking and baking. It’s a very helpful guide because it’s so easy to get unstuck when you use the wrong variety.

For example, when making an apple sauce, if you use the the type of apple that doesn’t break up, you end up with a lumpy sauce.

And speaking of sauces I find that the best apple to use is Granny Smith because it makes a fine, smooth sauce with a sharp tang.

I also use Granny Smith apples for baking.  No need to add sugar either.  Just take out the core and replace it with a  few seedless raisins.

Works every time! Read more

Rose Hip Syrup Recipe

Rosehips make great syrupThis time of the year just before pruning time, rose hips are in abundance. So what can we do with them?

I had heard that rose hips are very rich in Vitamin C so I checked and lo and behold there are a number of rose hip syrup recipes that are used and made by those in the know.

How to use Rose Hip Syrup

The syrup can be diluted with water to make a refreshing cold drink. You can also pour the syrup neat onto your breakfast pancakes or waffles for a delicious and health-giving treat.

Some of the rose hip syrup recipes that I’ve seen are rather lengthy and they put me off because I like quick and easy solutions.

So here is a simplified version:

Rose Hip Syrup Recipe

    • Wash and trim about a kilo of rosehips. Pop them into a blender and process till they are a coarse mush. I would process half at a time so as not to overload your blender.
    • Put the rosehip pulp into a covered pot and boil for about 20 minutes. Remove from stove and strain the liquid through a clean muslin cloth.
    •  Add sugar and boil for another 5 minutes. Cool and bottle. Keep in the refrigerator and use as desired.

Some recipes suggest boiling the discarded pulp a second time and repeating the process.  But I would think that the best flavour and goodness would come from the first load.

Let me know how you like it!



Pickled Cucumbers – My Easiest Quickest and Best Recipe

Slice cucumber for pickling

Slice cucumber for pickling

Pickled cucumbers add zest to any meal. And when you can make them so easily and quickly there is no reason to be without them.

In my previous post,  Cucumbers by the Dozen,  I described how I had harvested tons of cucumbers from only six seeds.

Well this is how I made use of at least some of those cucumbers!

As a recipe this is truly a winner.  Quick, easy, fail proof and delicious.

The best part is that you don’t have to wait. You can eat them after two hours and they are delicious and crunchy.

So without further delay, here is:

My Pickled Cucumber Recipe. Read more

Fresh from the Garden Recipes

Strawberries fresh from the gardenAlthough this blog is about roses, gardening and vegetables I have added a new category – “Fresh from the Garden” which is already proving to be very popular.

It’s all about my own family recipes – tried and trusted recipes that I use personally to create mouth-watering dishes from the fresh, organic vegetables and fruit produced in our garden.

You may have seen one or two already – for example, my family recipes for pumpkin fritters and creamed spinach – directly from the garden to the pot. There can be no better flavour than using such fresh organic vegetables. Read more

Creamed Spinach- A Quick and Easy Recipe

SpinachThis is a quick and easy recipe for creamed spinach.  It’s one of the best ways to use your own home grown spinach.

I can promise you that when you pick the spinach fresh from your own garden it will taste far better than any bought spinach!

I don’t have to tell you about the many health benefits of spinach which are long reputed to be unbeatable.

Suffice it to say that spinach is packed with the best vitamins and protects us against many of the dread diseases.

All that in a bunch of spinach?

Yes! And here’s a delicious way to take advantage of those health benefits. Read more

Easy Pumpkin Fritters. A Quick and Delicious Recipe

Here  is my pumpkin fritter recipe. These fritters are easy to make and they really are delicious – especially when you have grown the pumpkins in  your own garden!

The fritters always turn out puffy and golden brown.

My Easy Pumpkin Fritters

2 cups boiled and mashed pumpkin (500gm)
½ cup flour (125gm)
2 level teaspoons baking powder,
Pinch of salt
1 beaten egg
A little milk if the consistency is too tight.Pumpkin fritters

Mix well and drop with a tablespoon into hot oil. Lightly brown both sides.
Drain on absorbent paper and serve hot with cinnamon and sugar. Read more