Posts Tagged ‘Recipe’

Nature provides! I say no more, well I still have to give you all the basic recipe for this natural Immune System Booster.

At the moment, Elderberries (‘Sambucus nigra‘) are still available on most Elder trees (pay attention to trees that are mostly in shaded areas or situated behind / under larger shrub or trees as these will bare berries a little later or / the berries will take a bit longer to spoil).


I emphasise on the importance in obtaining Fresh berries as opposed to buying dried berries online, buying online should be a last resort only if you have actually made the effort in trying to locate the Trees and found none or if you live in a highly polluted area…

The steps are really simple and this syrup can be made into many different recipes for various Medicinal Benefits, here however, I am giving the very basic recipe and you can then go ahead to try different herbs / spices to make different batches for the Flu / Cold season.

What’s needed:

  • Harvested Elderberries that are enough to make Two Cups of loose berries (I recommend you pick a lot and freeze he rest but please, remember to leave some for birds and other wildlife),
  • Water (2x Cups),
  • Local Honey (One Jar per 2 cups of berries),
  • Muslin cloth or bags,
  • Optional: Cloves, Ginger, Thyme, Cinnamon sticks etc. for more advanced medicines


  • Place the Two Cups of Elderberries in a Saucepan / Pot together with the Two Cups of water and a cinnamon stick, then boil,
  • Once Boiling, lower the heat and simmer until the liquid reduces to around half the original volume,
  • Pour into a heat resistant container and let cool down to room temperature ( a measuring container might be best for your first time),
  • Once cool, pour the mixture through a Muslin cloth or bag into a new container, lift out the cloth / bag and give it a good squeeze to release extra juices,
  • Add the same amount of Local Honey as your leftover liquid so for example, if you had 350ml of the juice after it cooled down, then add 350ml of Local Honey and mix well,
  • Place into clean sterilised jars (I Highly recommend the Washing and Oven method)
sambucus nigra

‘Sambucus nigra’ – Ripe Elderberries

This recipe is to boost the immune system for the flu and cold months and needs to be placed in the fridge / freezer immediately.


  • Take one spoonful every morning during or near the flu season, increase to three times per day if you feel flu or a cold coming on.

In the fridge this should last 3-4 months only so I reccommend actually making a large batch (4x cups of Elderberries makes around 3 standard jam / honey jars with some leftover) and freezing the rest to keep aside for closer to December onwards.

One good idea I have seen is to pour them into ice trays for freezing, you can then remove a few cubes for your own use anytime between or before December!

elderberry syrup

Elderberry ‘Sambucus nigra’ Syrup, medicinal recipe

Hi everyone, this is just a quick update on my Dandelion Flower Wine (I made a batch around May when the flowers were still about in abundance). Click here for the recipe.

Dandelion 1

Home Brewed Dandelion Flower Wine

I couldn’t resist and had one bottle about a month after first making the batch, the other three are now going to sit and mature – I keep reading that you should enjoy them starting around Christmas the same year onwards, I sincerely hope that I can leave one bottle to serve for a nice boiling hot day in Summer 2018 whilst next year’s batch is being bottled up and into storage!

I also have a previous post on Dandelion flower Jam, you will not regret making this at least once in your life!

The wine was quite nice, still a little strong with some fementation taking place so hopefully it will mellow down a bit in a few month’s from now, the alcohol content is surprisingly quite high.


Dandelion flower Wine, bubbling away (2nd Week)

Keep an eye out, I will have a couple recipes for Elderflower wine and Elderberry Cordial coming up soon …

One trending recipe that I have come across online quite a lot recently is the Sweet Potato toast recipe, here is my own personal toppings recipe and I also have some very important safety advice based on some personal experience – lets just say, luckily I was in the kitchen at that time!


Jeff’s Sweet Potato Toast Toppings Recipe

The general method to make the toast:

  1. Check the inside of your toaster, get any bread crumbs out from the bottom (not only the tray, try get as much out as possible),
  2. Peel your Potato (If organic, skip this part),
  3. Slice the potato lengthwise to the thickness of around 8mm to a maximum of 10mm,
  4. Place the slices in the toaster and set the toaster to half the maximum time (be careful the first time you do this!) the potato toast takes longer than bread to make toast and each toaster is different, you really need to do this a few times to be able to get to know your toaster to be able to re-create this recipe over and over with confidence,
  5. Once the toast pops out, use tongs to check, it is likely that it will need to be given another round in the toaster, the toast should become flexible and the skin should start forming ”bubbles” which also start going brown / black – then you know it is ready

NOTE: Regarding step 1, any old collated bread crumbs inside your toaster Can Set On Fire! This happened to me! The reason why is because when making Sweet Potato Toast, we are keeping the toaster on for such a longer time than Bread Toast, which can cause the crumbs to finally get hot enough to catch on fire.
I was in the kitchen and noticed it right away, the fire was strong enough to have actually made the toaster itself catch fire then subsequently the chipboard counter top and pretty much most of the kitchen!! Be Careful

Jeff’s Unique Sweet Potato Toast Topping:


  1. Hoummous,
  2. Fresh Green Olives,
  3. Red Pesto,


  1. Spread the Red Pesto on the slice,
  2. Top this with 3-4 dollops of Hoummous using a teaspoon,
  3. Place a few half sliced Green Olives between the Hoummous Dollops,
  4. Eat !

There are quite a few topping recipes online, most of them are Avocado based which I didn’t have any at the time of experimenting with Sweet Potato Toast – I am really quite chuffed with that otherwise I would not have stumbled upon this really nice combination.

I also tried Hoummous only with Green Olives, this does suffice but is definitely not as tasty as with the Pesto.

If you come up with your own recipe, please do come here and comment / share (Remember, you Do Not need a wordpress account to comment on my blog, guests can comment too)

As promised, since it is Blackberry season (at least here in the UK it is), here is my simple Blackberry Pie recipe with fresh pictures and berries from Today’s pie I made for the family.


Remember, there are many uses for Blackberries (they can be frozen until needed for Smoothies, Jam etc.) freezing may be unsuitable for making pies though so this recipe has been added first so you can use freshly picked berries. Personally after having tried at least 5 cultivated berries from different locations for home growing (thornless Blackberries), I can say that all of them did not come close in taste and deliciousness to their Native Wild counterparts!

They may have been much larger in size and appearance, but it’s the taste that counts and Wild Blackberries are far better – I suspect that flavour was lost when selectively breeding a thornless blackberry variety, I could be wrong though.

Ingredients for a 20cm diameter pie dish:

  • 200 g ( 7 oz ) blackberries
  • 450 g (1 lb ) cooking apples
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 500 g ( 1lb ) shortcrust pastry
  • 75 g (2.5 oz) brown sugar (white can be a substitute here)
  • half teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • one quarter teaspoon ground ginger

Recipe Instructions:


Step 1: Core, peel and slice the Apples into wedge pieces, melt the butter In a pan, then add the Ginger Powder, Cinnamon, Apples and Sugar.
Mix in well and let sit on low heat for about 10 minutes.


Step 2: Whilst waiting for that to cook through, lightly grease the pie dish and add the pie pastry on the bottom, be careful not to leave gaps by pressing in on the sides.


Step 3: Slice the excess dough with any knife, my new favourite is a basic cutlery knife rather than a sharp cutting knife as usually recommended


Step 4: Pour in the apples and their juice (Save some for tomorrow?) and pack gently


Step 5: Pour the Blackberries over the apples


Step 6: Place the remaining pie pastry over the top, slice the edges again with a knife then with a fork, crimp the edges as you would do on any pie recipe – finally, brush coat the top with the beaten egg.


Step 7: Place in pre-heated oven at 220 Degrees Celsius for 10 minutes, then reduce to 180 Degrees Celsius for another 25 – 30 minutes. Remove from oven, place on a wire rack (I use my stove tops at the back) to cool down, if you like a warm / hot pie then serve after 10 minutes, if cold, place in your fridge so it can served after a couple of hours.

This was a fun recipe this time, I’m glad to have successfully tried it out today and will definitely always try to make a few of these when the season is right, the taste was a sweet tart mix.

I usually have quite a lot of left over pie pastry, you can always keep aside some apple pieces and blackberries to make mini hand molded Cornish Pasty shaped mini pies to ensure nothing goes to waste …

In the coming days, I will post the Blackberry Jam recipe so please do visit back soon

I came across this recipe recently, it’s very easy to follow and even a beginner in the kitchen should be able to pull this off quite professionally … this is being shared firstly, because it is delicious and secondly because you can easily grow courgettes (also known overseas as zucchinis or baby marrows) in your own garden either in pots or in a bed!


Home Baked Courgette ( Zucchini ) Loaf Cake

For this recipe, you will need:


  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg


  • 200-225 g (7-8 oz) courgette (zucchini)
  • 225 g (8 oz) plain flour
  • 200 g (7 oz) sugar
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz) oil or melted butter
  • 2 eggs


  • Pre-heat your oven to 170 Degrees Celsius (338 Degrees Fahrenheit).
  • For a couple of minutes, beat the sugar, oil and eggs until the mixture is consistently smooth.
  • After adding in the vanilla essence, sift in all of the remaining ingredients excluding the Courgette (Zucchini) and mix very well (it will become very thick at this stage).
  • Now grate the Courgette (Zucchini) coarsely and add / mix into the mixture, place in a greased loaf dish and into the oven for about 1 hour.
  • As with most cakes, you will need to allow the cake loaf tin to cool slightly before you slide the cake loaf out onto a wire cake stand or similar breathable cooling surface for 10 min’s before serving – That’s Literally It !

Note: I will try this recipe either with reduced sugar or no sugar at all and let you know the result for those more interested in a bread loaf than a cake…

As promised, here is the first in the line of recipes for jams, jellies and other preserves for the end of the growing season as we prepare for the Autumn / Winter ahead.

Wild Damsons are said to be cultivated Damsons which merely ”escaped” and found their way into the wild where they adapted and changed slightly. Fortunately they have spread everywhere and are a common sight in Nature, along canals etc. It is now the time to pick them as they are ripening at this moment.


4 lbs (1.8 kg) damsons
over ¼ pint (200 ml) water
4 lbs (1.8 kg) sugar

Wash and wipe the damsons. Pick over to remove stalks. Put into a pan with the water and simmer gently until the fruit is soft, occasionally pressing the damsons with a potato masher to break open and release the stones.
Add the sugar, stirring until it has dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for about 10 minutes until the jam sets when tested (Click Here to learn how to test if it’s ready). Remove the stones as they rise to the surface.
Remove the scum, Pot and seal while still hot.

1: 1.8 Kg of Wild Damsons, washed well with stems removed and placed in large pot

2: A few minutes after adding the 200ml water and boiling whilst stirring

3: While waiting for them to heat up, wash jars in warm / hot soapy water and rinse twice then place in the oven at 200 Degrees (Celsius) for 5 mins then bring it down to 100 Degrees.

4: After they become mushy, you use a potato masher to roughen up the Damsons to release the stones

5: Adding the whole 1.8kg's Sugar and stirring in

5: Adding the whole 1.8kg’s Sugar and stirring in

 6: Stir till all sugar is dissolved, scum will appear and needs skimming with any spoon of your choice

6: Stir till all sugar is dissolved, scum will appear and needs skimming with any spoon of your choice

7: Scum gone, it is your choice to remove the stones or let them stay (they are large, so can just be flicked off when you spread the jam on toast, scones etc.), it is far less effort than removing them while making the jam

7: Scum gone, it is your choice to remove the stones or let them stay (they are large, so can just be flicked off when you spread the jam on toast, scones etc.), it is far less effort than removing them while making the jam

8: This recipe made 5x Ikea Jars full of the jam (I did not remove the stones), I would say you could get between 3 and 3.5 Jars full of jam if you prefer to remove the stones / pulp. I do not know the volume of these jars but they take exactly 400 Grammes of Sugar

8: This recipe made 5x Ikea Jars full of the jam (I did not remove the stones), I would say you could get between 3 and 3.5 Jars full of jam if you prefer to remove the stones / pulp. I do not know the volume of these jars but they take exactly 400 Grammes of Sugar

For jar sterilization, your jars should have been in the oven for at least 5-10 minutes over 100 Degrees Celsius then the oven switched off, the jars remain in the oven until you take each one out individually for filling. don’t forget you cannot place them on a colder surface so please remember to place a cloth, double-folded on a safe surface.

Please check back soon, I have quite a few more recipes coming including apple, quince and chutneys etc.