Colour is a great source of inspiration, isn’t it? Sometimes just one gorgeous, vibrant hue can trigger a whole chain of ideas and creations. These beautiful red dahlias, the last of this year’s blooms from our village allotments, made me see red – in a good way! I started to think about those lovely, jewel-like sweeties known as Pates de Fruits in France. With colour in mind, I thought I would try to make some with the crimson juices of pomegranates and blood oranges.
I have a project in mind for these fruit jellies. We have a little Christmas/holiday fair coming up in the village hall next month, and I was asked to run a table. I decided that I would make some gifts and sweets to sell on my stall, and donate profits to Action Against Hunger. This organisation is committed to helping people around the world who don’t have enough to feed themselves and their children. I know that lots of people who work in the food industry give a lot, in donations as well as running fundraising projects, to help this cause and I am keen to give too.
So I have been thinking about what I might make to wrap into pretty packages and sell on my stall. I have never made fruit jelly sweeties before, and some practice seemed essential. I must say, it isn’t really as easy as it might seem to get these right. The differences in juices, concentration of fruit purees, the type of pectin, the time of cooking, all affect the result. And in jolly damp old England, the humidity is a factor too. The recipe below worked quite well for me. I made a version with mango puree and jam sugar (sugar with crystallised pectic mixed in) instead of the liquid pectin and that set very nicely too.
What do you think of my plans? Do you have any other ideas for lovely food gifts, sweet or savoury, that might go well on my stall? I plan on testing out some other ideas over the next couple of weeks, for example nougat, flavoured sugars and vin chaud spices. I’d love to hear your ideas for gifts, wrappings, ribbons, presentation – and I’ll share my experiments too.
Thanks for visiting Extra-Relish. Please do write me a comment – I really enjoy hearing from you. Px
So often, I hear people say how they love Autumn – that it’s their favourite season. Do you have a favourite season? I don’t think I can choose, but I do know that I love Autumn. It seems to turn up – all of a sudden – with that chill in the wind, the scent of woodsmoke, and a heady flourish of vibrant autumnal colour. It’s just so beautiful, isn’t it?
Another aspect of this time of year is the frisson of excitement I get about all the lovely seasonal events to come – harvest festivals, halloween and bonfire night, Thanksgiving for north Americans (I love this wonderful holiday) and then just around the corner…wait, that’s far enough for now. So here we are, enjoying a gorgeous October in rural England. I like to start each day with a walk around the village and in the countryside. It gives me a chance to collect my thoughts, nurture creativity, make plans.
At the edge of the village live these glorious ginger pigs. The couple who run the farm both have ginger hair, as do their three beautiful little girls. This always makes me smile. Past the piggies lies a bridle path with views over the surrounding countryside, replete with berries, pods, and golden leaves.
This is a really simple soup but so comforting and nourishing. The sage leaves – fried crispy in butter – add a truly delicious fragrance and depth to the dish. I love sage, and to me, it seems a little under appreciated. It’s very easy to grow too, which is good as you don’t need much and it’s handy if you can just pick a few leaves as you need them rather than buying a big bunch from the shop each time.
This is a good recipe if you have children who are fussy about vegetables. The soup is very acceptable but not always the sage leaves. I know about fussy eaters!
I’ll leave with a picture of one of the windows in our village church, made splendid for the Harvest Festival. I cannot do it justice – every window, shelf, and table in the church is laden with magnificent displays. Much to be thankful for.
Thanks for visiting, and please do drop me a comment if you wish. It’s great to hear what you think. And I love to visit other blogs so let me know about yours too. P.