Sunday, 21 June 2009

Another Sketch......

Greetings folks and Happy Summer Solstice to you all, and Happy fathers day too!

After my sketch of Woody last week, I couldn't resist the urge to do another drawing, so on Friday I decided to draw Phoebe. Its only my second drawing, but I'm very pleased with it. I'm on the lookout now for a good photo of my old dog Winston so I can do a sketch of him for my parents.
Look what I pulled from the garden today. They are big bu**ers don't you think!

And lastly a pic of the fairy cakes that were baked yesterday. I looked after my friends little girl for the day, so we made fairy cakes for last nights solstice party. I'm feeling a little ropey today, as it was a very late night and I had a few too many glasses of Elderflower Champagne, but a good time was had by all.

Enjoy the longest day folks.


Custard Ice Cream

As requested folks, Custard Ice Cream recipe, taken from the River Cottage Family Cookbook.

To Serve 6

Single cream, a 284ml pot
Vanilla pod, 1
Free Range egg yolks, 4
Caster Sugar, 125g
Double Cream, a 284ml pot

  1. Pour single cream into a saucepan. Slit the vanilla pod open length ways with a sharp knife and drop it into the pan. Set the heat to medium and heat the cream until it just starts to steam a little, then switch off the hob. Let the pan just sit there and the heat will draw the vanilla flavour into the cream.
  2. Meanwhile, put the egg yolks into a jug and add the sugar. Whisk them well together for a minute until they turn thick and a little paler.
  3. Pour the saucepan of hot cream into the sugary egg mixture and whisk again until smooth. Pour it all back into the saucepan . Rinse the jug for later.
  4. With the heat set very low, stir the creamy mixture all the time with a wooden spoon so that it doesn't stick to the base of the pan but heats slowly and evenly. To see if the custard has heated enough, check from time to time with this classic test: take the spoon out of the custard and look at the back of it - the film of custard over it should look noticeably creamier. Draw your finger across the back of the spoon and, if the line stays clear and distinct, your custard and thickened enough. Turn off the heat and put the pan on to the work surface, carry on stirring for a few seconds so the cooking process is halted and the custard starts to cool down. Strain the custard through a sieve into the jug you rinsed out earlier.
  5. Fish the vanilla pod out of the sieve, rinse it under the cold tap and let it dry ( you could put it in a jar of caster sugar to give the sugar a vanilla flavour).
  6. As soon as the custard has cooled to room temperature, put the jug in the fridge for half an hour, then stir in the double cream.
  7. Either pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn it until it freezes or pour it into a plastic container . Freeze it for about an hour or until the sides start to go solid. When this happens, mash up the mixture with a fork, mixing the frozen sides into the liquid centre. Put it back in the freezer for another hour, repeat this twice more at hourly intervals, then let the ice cream go solid.

Friday, 19 June 2009

The Week in Pictures......

Sorry folks, been AWOL again. Just can't keep up with my blog at the moment. But i seems a few fellow bloggers feel the same, I think its just that time of year. I've got a horrible head cold this week, so yesterday after my morning shift at work I just wanted to crash on the sofa, so I thought I'd have a go at drawing. I haven't drawn anything since I was at school, but was inspired by some friends at the weekend to have a go again. So out came my pencils and drawing pad, and I drew a picture of Woody. I finished it last night.

I'm pleased with it, all though I'm sat here criticising it now....... I think I will practice some more, either another pic of Woody or one of the cat.

Last weekend I met up with some lovely people from the CL forum in Devon. We ate cake, drank tea and swapped a few bits and pieces and had a lovely time.

I swapped one of my angels for Kims beautiful goddess and salt pig that she'd made................such a clever lady!

I also came home with a squash plant, a lily, some seeds and a couple of books.
Whilst talking to Kim at the weekend, she also recommended Kate Rusby, as I love folk music. I had to get onto Amazon and order this ASAP. Its FAB, and its been on in my car all week, will have to get some more of her music.

UMMM What else have I done..........I made hob nobs.....................

Vanilla Sugar.......................

Homemade Custard ice cream, which is the scrummiest ice cream I've ever tasted.

And this chocolate cake which was taken to the forum gathering last weekend.

I hope you've had a good week, and roll on the weekend.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Elderflower Champagne

I popped over my friends last night after the mammoth strawberry processing project to bottle up the Elderflower champagne we made last week. It smelt very alcoholic and lovely and was fizzing well. We got 12 litres bottled and could have made it 13 if we hadn't run out of bottles. We hope to enjoy this on our Mid summers eve party.

Here it is fermenting in the bucket.

And lastly, I had to show you this. Its a tomatillo that I bought at the farmers market last weekend, isn't it pretty. It ended up being roasted with some tomatoes to make the sauce for yesterdays pizza.
Now off to smother my hands in some hand cream as they are so sore and cracked. I blame all that washing up I've been doing.


Sunday, 7 June 2009

The Great Strawberry Project

Hello folks, Guess who went strawberry picking on Friday. (Have you guessed yet?) I had a great time but my friend Sharon and I, got a little carried away, OK a lot carried away. I picked two of these trugs of strawberries, and she picked three. I weighed them when I got home and I had about 5kg to process. GULP!!!

I've spent virtually the whole weekend in the kitchen and have very sore thumbs from hulling all the strawberries, here's what I've made.

Three jars of strawberry curd.

A big preserving jar of strawberry liquor.

21 jars of jam. Only 20 here as one has already been opened and is being scoffed.

And six strawberry fools.

Needless to say, I never want to see another strawberry for a very long time!
I'm off over to Sharons later to bottle up the elderflower champagne we made on Monday, I hope its good. But before then I'm having a bash at making my own pizza sauce with oven roasted tomatoes. I've already made my pizza base this morning, I've left the dough to rise and it smells yummy. Also need to make a sponge cake for hubby's lunch box this week. UMMM what shall I fill it with...............?????? Off to plan this weeks meals now, I started this last week to save money and waste and its working so far, and we're eating better too.

Also a big thanks to Nita for this scrummy wedding cake. Hubby and I enjoyed it in the week with a cuppa.
Pixie xxx

Friday, 5 June 2009

A Poem for mums and Eco Chicks.

Evening all,

As my blog turned one this week, I thought I'd share with you a poem that I put on my blog at the very beginning. It's birthday related so is relevant to Faerie Nuff being one, but is also very funny and should appeal to all of you mums and fellow pagans and earth mothers out there.

Jasmin's Birthday

Thank you for the party mum, my birthday was such fun, I know my friends will all come back when I have another one.

The cake you baked was special, I never would have thought mum, that a no-egg, no-milk, no-butter, chocolate-free, fat-free, sugar-free, date and pumpkin cake, would taste just like a bought one.

Pink icing made from Beetroot-coloured Tofu on the top, and beeswax smokeless candles, that you made at a workshop.

I'm glad you made the fairy bread, from organic, yeast free rye, and sprinkled it with poppy seeds, sesame and sunflower... to fortify.

The chickpea dip, falafal balls, the celery sticks with hummus, and what about the babaganouse, that was real adventurous.

Mum, i do appreciate all the hot food you prepared, from non-genetic-engineered soy, it shows you really care.
Like the not-dogs and not-sausage rolls, with not tomato sauce, and i loved the home-grown veggie pizza with soy cheese of course.

I'm forgetting the most fun part was the games we got to play, they took you ages to prepare, but they really made the day.
Like bob for locally-grown organic apples. bought from a neighbour down the street and pin the tail on the dog (that had it cut off in a laboratory experiment) was really neat.

Sight-impaired person's bluff and the free range egg and spoon race, musical chairs played to Tony O'Connor and my favourite...tug of peace.

Pass the parcel wrapped with unbleached recycled paper, grown on the west side of a hill by a tree released from its vertical home to serve humanity by a group of land volunteers who formed a circle around the tree, meditated and chanted for four days before placing it gently, back onto the earth from which it had first sprung as a sapling and from where its mother and father had gone on before to serve as recycled toilet paper and toothpicks respectively.

And instead of taking their prizes, mum, my friends and I agree that we'd donate to a charity for children who're in need.

And I'm glad you said 'no presents' , i really have so much, just you and dad as parents is birthday present enough.

My friends went home exhausted from all the fun they'd had. With their little calico bags full of gelatin free sweets you made.

So thank you for the party mum, my birthday was such fun, i know I'll always remember it, the day that i turned ONE!

Arcadia Flynn

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Faerie Nuff One Today!

I just can't believe that my blog Faerie Nuff is a year old today, where has the time gone. I've met so many lovely people through blogging and would recommend starting a blog to anyone. Its lovely to look through old posts and see what I was up to a year ago and see my photos of the changing seasons, and of course pics of the animals and projects I've made.
Today I decided to make a very seasonal dessert. I had some lovely gooseberries from Winchester farmers market, which I combined with some elderflowers from the garden, cream, lemon zest and sugar and made gooseberry fools.

Recipe serves 4
10 freshly picked elderflower heads, plus a few sprigs to decorate

500g gooseberries
2 tbsp caster sugar
a strip of lemon zest
300ml double cream

Gently shake any insects off the elderflowers, place the gooseberries, elderflower heads, 2 tbsp sugar, lemon zest and a splash of water in a pan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 10-15 mins until the gooseberries are soft and mostly broken up. Rub the mixture through a sieve into a bowl then taste and add more sugar if needed.
Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold into the gooseberry puree. Divide between large wine glasses or similar and chill for at least 2 hours. Serve with a little sprig of elderflower in each glass.

It tasted scrummy and we still have one each to look forward to tomorrow. I'm hopefully going to pick some strawberry's at the end of the week, so may try a strawberry fool too.

Heres our elder tree in bloom. Can't wait for all those lovely berries in the autumn to make some pontack.
I've really looking forward to the new series of River Cottage summer this week, as Hugh's a bit of a hero of mine. My friend and I embarked on making a batch of elderflower champagne on Monday which Hugh made in river cottage spring last year, fingers crossed it works, as we're hoping it will be ready to drink at Mid summer. I forgot to take my camera when we made it, but will try and remember to take some pictures at bottling time. Hugh made gorse flower wine tonight so may have to give that a bash if I can get my hands on some demi johns.
Pixie xxx