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Wednesday, 25 August 2010

More free bounty

Firstly I must thank all those lovely bloggers who posted such sympthetic and supportive comments on my Grey Blanket post - I really appreciated them all and they worked for today in spite of the weather being wet and chilly I am feeling much happier! I like to think I am normally quite a positive person and hate it when I don't match up to my own expectations and feel miserable and negative but we all have those days and perhaps they make us appreciate the up days.

More free bounty these are from an apple tree in the garden of my mother's house not far from us which has been rented out since her death 9 years ago and provides me with a small pension. I was visiting the house recently along with the agent as I had had some work done and wanted to check it out before paying for it all when I noticed that there were hundreds of windfalls on the grass. Guessing that the tenants would not want to make use of them - they are a young couple who both work full time - I asked the agent if she would ask them if I could come round and pick some of them up sometime. Today was the day arranged for the side gate to be left open so it was today or not at all and heavy rain was forecast! Lady luck was with me though and the rain didn't start in earnest till after I had 2 carrier bags full of apples safely stowed in the car. I know my mother would approve as she hated waste and one of her mantras was Waste not Want not so she would be glad I am following her dictum!

I want to freeze some of course but over my cup of coffee I checked out this little book - one of my mother's little treasures and dated 1947! I love this book and as you can see it has been well used! Quite a different kettle of fish to my lovely Country Harvest shown here a couple of posts ago!

No coloured photographs here but instead some lovely line drawings

Makes you want to get the jelly bag out doesn't it and I don't even like jelly!!

You can tell this recipe has been popular look at all the stains on it!

I think I will give canning a miss though - this all looks a bit Heath Robinson to me!! And salting beans having read the paragraph about how to do it and how when you come to use them you should wash them well in 3 lots of water then soak them for a couple of hours before cooking them without salt(!) for 30 - 40 minutes - I am thinking that there would be very few vitamins etc left by then and imagining the kharki coloured result - green veg? I think not and would rather put my excess on the compost heap but of course when this book was written any veg was better than no veg I guess.

Do you have a still room? I certainly don't but I love the idea of it don't you? I imagine myself quietly drying my flowers (you know the ones from that garden I waft round wearing my shady hat and carrying my basket whilst telling "the man" where to dig!) and storing my herbs. Bottles of wonderful concoctions at the ready - tisanes and herbal teas for every ailment! No? Perhaps not then.

I have now have two trays of apple slices in the freezer so far and a further carrier bag of apples which I will leave for another day. We had this delicious Devon Apple cake for dessert with our lunch - I will slice up the remainder and freeze that for another time too. (Not sure in what way a Devon Apple cake differs from a Somerset one which is what this was but the recipe in my Cranks Wholefood cookbook calls it Devon Apple Cake!)

I have been in and out to the freezer in the garage with my apples and thought these worthy of a photo - my lovely hydrangea is enjoying the rain and....

the rose hips on the hedge look amazing all wet and shiny don't they? The little snail seems happy in the rain too.
I will post another memory post later this evening so look out for it in the side bar if you are enjoying these posts.


  1. I love old cookery books and have a small collection. I have always fancied a still room but I reckon the reality would be a long way from the vision in my head. The cake looks yummy, it wouldn't last long enough to get to the freezer here!

  2. Oohhh apples... I have been writing up preserve recipes today in my new jam makers diary... I am not venturing into Jellies etc as I have no-where to leave them draining overnight so I will try chutneys, mustards and cordials first... I have some plums and apples to pick next week... no point collecting them really till the kitchen is finished... the thought of prepping some jars is quite exciting and I will be gifting them to some unsespecting relatives for Christmas! lol

    The cake looks yummy... I use to have a slice of apple cake at a cream tea shop at East Chinnock ... the lady there could make fantastic scones... I think her husband sold up after she lost her battle with cancer... such a shame! ... really miss their friendly faces and their even yummier cream teas...

    x Alex

  3. Nothing beats free bounty. We got a bin liner full a couple of weeks ago. Interesting that you made Devon Apple cake - I made Dorset apple cake earlier this week - I wonder how it differs! After reading online about freezing apples - you can apparently wash, core, leave unpeeled and whole, bag, straight into the freezer. I did that yesterday so will be interested how they survive. x

  4. My mum used to make Danish apple cake - looks very similar, but I wonder how it differs. Funny how they all seem to start with a D!

  5. Good to hear you are feeling better and getting back to your old self Jane.

    Your mother's book is a little gem - I'm sure there will be lots of uses for such a bountiful windfall!

    Your Devon apple cake looks delicious.


  6. Cake looks good, Jane. My older sister used to salt beans in the early 1960s when they had a huge vegetable garden at their first cottage and always had a glut of veg. I can remember it was quite succesful and they certainly kept. How quickly we forget that people often didn't have fridges let alone freezers!

  7. Wonderful! The phrase 'Waste not, want not' has been on my mind today too, Jane. Ben's also got his ancient (1970s) jam and preserve book out in permanent use at the moment - splashes included. He actually DID try salting green beans one year and they were pretty nasty. Hurray for the freezer - I'm going to blanche and freeze some tonight!

  8. Glad you're feeling much better today! :)
    I love those little line drawings. Your cake looks delicious!
    Vivienne x

  9. Waste not, want not, absolutely. My mother used this saying has stayed with me.
    My tree did not fruit again this year, so disappointing. I love mother used to make a lovely apple and gingercake. I must ask for the recipe.

    Your books are beautiful, I love old books. It is wonderful to see they have been used.

    I wish you hadn't mentioned still room because I now want one!! It sounds incredibly interesting and the sort of place that I would hideaway playing with herbs etc......
    Now where could I put one?....hmmmmm

  10. My mum used to bottle tomatoes and plums. I can't remember what she did with the tomatoes, but the plums were lovely. We have a glut of apples, but there are only so many you can eat and store. Your apple cake looks delish.

  11. So glad you've come through your dark days OK.
    I love the idea of windfall apples - no chance of growing your own apples here in the tropics- and the Apple Cake looks lovely. Any chance of a recipe?

  12. Glad you are feeling better Jane. Home grown apples taste delicious and made into something yummy even better. My mum use to make Danish apple cake too. I'd love the recipe if anyone has it.

  13. Jane,

    The cake looks a treat. My aunt in Sherborne makes wonderful Dorset Apple Cake but as that's not a million miles from you perhaps yours could be called Somerset/Dorset border apple cake..... whatever it's called it looks scrummy. I love that drawing of all the jars in the cupboard I would buy the book for the drawings alone! Good to hear the palette has changed from grey to apple green. Lesley xx

  14. Yummy looking cake and what a delightful little book. My books are splattered on the favourite recipe pages too!

  15. Hello dear Jane. I have only just managed to read your grey blanket post, but want to add my belated good wishes to the others. We all get like it sometimes and it's good to know blogging can offer us all the chance to reach out. No wonder you feel blue with this dire weather is it? I hope the blanket lifts for good for you.

    On another note, I have always wanted a still room like you describe. It would be bliss and would definitely satisfy the hoarder in me. xx

  16. oh oh oh, don't make me think about apples, I'm still trying to cope with a plum mountain! Your little preserving book is delightful and your mum would be really pleased with your wastenot wantnot endeavours.

  17. Hi Jane! You're apple cake looks delicious! My Mum had the most fabulous old cook book, which I wish I had been able to keep when she passed (I think/hope one of my sisters has it). She used to make the best apple pie and would spend hours making jam from the millions of extra plums from our garden.

  18. That is a lovely little book, pretty pictures and useful tips! I like it when you can tell cookbooks have been well used by all the stains! The apple cake looks delicious! :) x

  19. Oh you have made my mouth water - both at the sight of that cake, and that beautiful book. What a treasure it is!

    I am hoping the grey blanket is firmly in the cupboard x

  20. My crochet bracelet are SO easy to do.
    2 threads of cotton yarn, to make it stiff enough, and number 3.0 from Clover :)
    50 and 4 rows and sew together like a ring.
    You can maybe see it on the pictures how to sew.
    My easy ideas are always the best :)

    Kind Regards


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