Monday, 2 May 2011

Mandarin Jam

A few weeks ago I noticed that I had a few mandarins left and saw they were going a bit more soft then what I like them to be, so once again I went searching to find a recipe that would be good to use them in - Mandarin Jam.

5-6 Mandarin oranges
3 cups of water
4 ½ cups of sugar

Peel mandarins, keeping pieces of the peel as large as possible, then set aside.
Cut mandarins in half cross ways, pick out the seeds.
Blend fruit to make 2 cups of pulp, pour into a wide saucepan, add water.
Slice the peel very thinly to make about ½ a cup, add the peel and sugar to the pulp in the pan.
Stir over a medium heat until sugar is dissolved, turn heat to high and boil rapidly while stirring frequently until the jell point is reached. This should take about 40 minutes.
Remove marmalade from heat at once and then bottle.

Banana Bread

Sometimes I have a few bananas that have gone a bit brown and I know I wont eat them, so I have thought instead of throwing them away why don't I find a recipe to use them in and I did just that - Banana Bread.

2 - 3 ripe bananas
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g butter or margarine
100g caster sugar
275g self-raising flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon or mixed (apple pie) spice (optional)
1 egg
A little oil or extra butter for greasing

Grease a 2lb loaf tin, cut a piece of non-stick baking parchment to fit the base of the tin and place it in the bottom.
Preheat the oven to 180°c/350°f/gas mark 4.
Mash the bananas up with the back of a fork or place them into the food processor.
Add all the ingredients into the bowl and mix well.
Pour into the prepared loaf tin.
Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes until risen and golden and a skewer (or a sharp knife) inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Cool slightly, remove from the tin, take off the paper and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Rocky Road

Sometimes after dinner I like to have a little dessert but some times we don't have anything in to satisfy us, and I noticed we had chocolate, marshmallows and some M&Ms in, so I thought I would find out what I could make. Which was Rocky Road. I have never made this before so even though I did make a little mistake by not estimating the amount I needed for the filling (I added way to much and so the chocolate didn't really coat the top of it all), it still turned out alright and for only one mistake I think that is pretty good for first time making ;)

I found the recipe from SortedFood, although I didn't really go with what they said for their filling. I know it is OK to change it to what you like and want (this is just what we had in at the time).

300g plain chocolate
120g butter
30g golden syrup
150g digestive biscuits
handful of mini marshmallows
handful of M&Ms

crack the chocolate into pieces and stick in a heat-proof bowl with the butter and syrup.
melt this over a pan of simmering water until smooth and glossy.
crumble the biscuits into small pieces and stir into the marshmallows and M&Ms (or your desired filling).
pour all of these into the melted chocolate mixture and stir to combine and coat.
line a rectangular cake tin with cling film.
transfer the rocky road to the lined tin and leave to set up in the fridge for a couple of hours.
tip out onto a board and cut into chunky squares.

My Beltane

For Beltane this year I had no idea how to celebrate it, normally I have these things planned out in advance but with all that had gone on within these couple of months I didn't really have time to plan. So in the end I stopped trying to plan and see how it all went on the day. Well it turns out it actually went really well and proved to myself that I should be trusting myself more so than I usually do.

As it is the end of the dark half of year and the light part is finally here, with the sun now shinning even more I thought it was about time I set two of my deities asleep/meditate/re-energise them selves for the next dark half of the year. And actually wake up my other two deities. (This all might sound strange but I will talk about this in another post).
So before I lit two candles which I set for my "lighter" Gods, I spoke out loud to The Cailleach and Nodens. Then as I lit the candles I again spoke out loud welcoming back Aine and Lir. After I done this I burned some incense which I made for them two and then went on to have a little talk with them.

On the afternoon of that day, me and my partner went to a couples house to see a puppy, we have been wanting a puppy for a long time and finding a house seemed the right time to get one. We were only going to see if we liked the puppy and if the puppy liked us. As soon as we saw him we knew he was for us. He is a Kelpy x Labrador, 7 weeks old and is the biggest one out of them all. We already knew what to call him, Merlin.