Super simple strawberry smush! (aka – Jam!)

Hello lovelies! Good god it’s been a while since my last post hasn’t it? Life has been rather busy lately!
I spent over a month working with my parents in Wales. I generally help them out with their business from 9-5, then cook lunch (yes, Lunch at 5!), stop for a little break, and then spend the evening working on my own orders!

Then 1am rolls around and I realise I haven’t written about that recipe I made over a month ago, or written reviews about restaurants in Brighton….

look at that view...
look at that view…

But when I walk past this view to go work every morning..  the longs hours really don’t matter!

Gorgeous chickies
Gorgeous chickies

(To skip my rambling and jump straight to the recipe, Click Here!)

And you’ve also got these gorgeous guys strutting their stuff around the place too! Say hello to Soufflé and Julie. Now, we do have more than these two chickies roaming about the farm, but Miss Julie sees herself as “above” the rest of them.. as you can no-doubt see from that contemptuous look on her face.

My brother joked that she is the J-Lo of the chicken world..

“Don’t be fooled by the feathers that I got,

I’m still, I’m still Julie from the flock..”

Ahem, I think I got side-tracked a little there…

On another note, has anyone ever tried to Henna their hair before? I recently died my hair red to go see The Rocky Horror Picture Show (I dressed as Columbia) , and I didn’t expect to like the colour.. But I rather loved it! I had found a vegan hair dye to use, but I didn’t want to keep using chemicals on my hair, so I decided that if I wanted to keep my red hair, that I should go the natural route – Henna! People had warned me how messy it could be, but NOTHING could have prepared me for the Mess!!

For hair my length, I needed to use 3 1/2 blocks of henna. Which filled the bowl I’d bought. And splashed over the stove where I had it set on a double-boiler.

We’d made it too thick, so it started to crumble over the sheet we had on the floor, over the chair (protected by a sheet, thank goodness!) over me, our socks…

It killed the t-shirt I was wearing, the sheets had to be thrown out afterwards, and it even got into my bra!

Not only was it messy…  but it took the entire day to do. At least 3 or 4 hours spent sat in a chair, as my lovely (patient!) partner applied it to my head.

Let’s just take a moment to think about the weight of this stuff too for a moment…

3 1/2 x 325g blocks of henna = 1.14 kg  of henna…

A whole bottle of vegan red wine (for more vibrant colour) = 750g

Plus about half litre of water = 500g

… 2.39 kg of weight… on my hair.

My neck was sore for 3 days!

I had to wrap it up in clingfilm, and leave it on for 4 hours… during which time, it began to leak green down my neck and over my ears… and I had a thought –

What if the henna was reacting with the dye on my hair? It could turn out green!!

4 amusing, messy, painful hours later, it finally got rinsed off.

Love it ^-^
Love it ^-^

It’s not green!!! So relieved! Though, I dare say green hair would have been rather fun too… 😛

Anyway! That’s a snippet of my adventures in Wales. I’m back at home now, much to my partners relief.  <3 And it really is rather nice to be back.

Though I do miss the lovely creatures on the farm. We even had a new arrival last week.

Phoebe
Phoebe

My dad saw a little black wiggly thing, wandering about the farm. She ran and hid in the wall, so I coaxed her out with some food, popped her in a box, and placed her in our outdoor enclosure to keep her safe. We thought maybe she was someone’s ferret who’d escaped. I hand-fed her a few times, and even took her to the vet, who gave her a once-over…

It wasn’t until nearly a week after rescuing her, that we realised actually… she doesn’t look like a ferret…

It’s a mink! Renowned for their viciousness.

(Although I think I could quite happily keep her as a pet. She seemed lovely to me!) We’re currently looking into either re-homing her, or setting her free.

But we’d have to make sure to do it a long way from the farm – Minks, rabbits and chickens aren’t very good friends…

 

Sidetracked again! On to the recipe 🙂

I woke up this morning with a craving for something fruity. And I noticed I had some strawberries in the fridge which needed to be used quickly.

What better use for strawberries than a nice simple jam?

Super simple strawberry smush! (I would have used the word jam, but I’m a sucker for alliteration!)

jam

This jam took no more than 30 minutes to make, probably less. And is made from a lovely combination of apples, strawberries, blueberries and vanilla. It uses very little sugar – the sweetness comes from the fruit 🙂
Gorgeous, fruity, with a hint of richness, courtesy of the vanilla extract. You could also use a vanilla bean too, if you like.

It’s the kind of flavour which makes you think “Ooh, what is that?”

Definitely something I’d make again.. and next time, I’d probably times the recipe by 10 to make a decent sized batch!

But it works perfectly for using up small amounts of fruit 🙂

I hope you try it, and like it too!

toast

I enjoyed mine on some toasted muesli-bread, spread with coconut butter, and a nice generous spread of jam. Lovely.

Super Simple Strawberry Jam

By Pixie Produce Published: August 6, 2013

    A simple fruity jam made from strawberries, blueberries, apples and vanilla.

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    1. Finely chop up your apple, and pop it in a saucepan with a few tablespoons of water. You could use a whole apple if you like, but I had half to hand. Bring it to a simmer whilst you prepare the rest of the fruit.
    2. Roughly chop your strawberries and add them to the pan with the apples.
    3. Throw in the blueberries whole, then add in the vanilla and sugar. Simmer the whole lot for about 20 minutes, or until it as reduced in volume and thickened. It's not going to "set" like a traditional jam, but it will taste just as lovely!
    4. You can test the taste and consistency of the jam by placing a spoonful onto a cold plate (I popped mine in the freezer for a few minutes). It should be fairly thick. Give it a taste and adjust the sweetness if you need to 🙂 Spoon into a clean, sterilised jar (you can sterilise it by pouring boiling water over into it for a few minutes, then let it dry) It should keep for at least a week in the fridge 🙂 But I doubt mine will last that long.... 🙂

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