Monday, 27 May 2019

Beautiful Apricot Jam

By early last week, one of our apricot trees was covered in ripe fruit, and with the high winds we were experiencing, some was falling off! There was so much fruit that Mike had to make up a support for one of the branches to avoid it breaking off!
Our Apricot Tree laden with fruit.
Mike took a quota for making homemade Apricot Brandy, but that still left around a kilo and a half , so I looked for a quick and easy recipe for jam.
"Is there one?" you ask.
Well yes! I wasn't expecting one, and I don't have time for any of the long cook varieties at the moment, so I was really glad to fall on a recipe for a conserve that not only takes a much shorter time to cook, but also knocks the others out of the part as far as flavour and colour.
It's authentic French recipe called Miches Two Ingredient French Apricot Jam and the web link to the site is
Fresh Apricot Conserve
I took my 1 1/2 kilos of clean ripe apricots, stoned them and quartered the fruit. I put them in a glass bowl (don't use a metal one), then smothered them with 600gm of granulated sugar, gently stirring it in so that everything got covered.
I left it covered in a cool place overnight and then transferred the mixture to a large casserole pan. I gently brought it to the boil and let it do so for 10 minutes, checking regularly that nothing had stuck to the base.
I then bottled it and stored it in the fridge, part because it is a short cook recipe, but also that it can get very hot here in Cantoria. Of course Mike had to try some out on his freshly baked bread with a little butter that afternoon, and we both agreed that it was the best tasting apricot jam we'd ever had. Being a conserve it is not as firm a set as standard jam, but spreads fine (and stays on the bread without running off), and I know that some of our Nectarines are going to be heading the same way!


Fresh Nectarine Conserve
I just did a kilo of nectarines in the same way. I reduced the sugar accordingly so it was 1 kilo of fruit and 400gm sugar, but the following day I had to boil them for an extra 10 minutes because they are a far juicier fruit than apricots, but still a good result.

If you are a follower of this blog, you will be aware that Mike has to watch the potassium levels as his kidney doesn't deal with it, so the levels of the jams are as follows;
Miche's Apricot Jam: 1 tablespoon = 1.5 potassium points
Nectarine Jam:            1 tablespoon = 1.25 potassium points

They say "In for a penny, in for a pound", so I made some Tomato Jam too! Same as the nectarines, I used a kilo and here is the recipe.

Tomato Jam - great with cheese
and meats
Put 1 kilo of plum (pera) tomatoes in a bowl of boiling water, and leave for a couple of minutes then start peeling off the skins. I also like to remove the little green core, although its normally small on the plum tomatoes that we get here in Spain.
Chop the fruit fairly small and add 500gms of sugar. Leave covered in a cool place overnight to draw out the juice.
The next day, place the fruit and juice in a large saucepan and add a tablespoon of lemon juice.
Bring to the boil, and boil stirring regularly to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan, for approximately 15 minutes.
Pot in the normal way. Store in the fridge. Maybe you think its a hassle having to store them in the fridge, but you  are only making small amounts, so it's worth it.

And again for your potassium points, I tablespoon of Pear (pera) tomato jam = 1.5 points. Please do note that pear tomatoes are considerably lower in potassium levels than standard tomatoes, so if you are potassium sensitive, this is worthwhile..

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

How Do You Prove God?

      What do you say when someone asks how you can prove God?
      I wondered about that, and then I thought "how can you prove love?" You can say "I love you", but unless you follow up that with actions, they're pretty empty words; and I don't mean just to follow up by making love. It's through unrequested thoughtfulness, caring and showing that they're important to you, giving them a feeling of reward and fulfilment, even when you're not there and use a third party to deliver it (like God does).
      The same happens with God. I find that I feel good when I do stuff for other people, and God is helping me to do it because it is difficult to do or fit in with my other commitments. Someone needs help, so I do what I can to bring it for them. Even if I don't get thanked, I still feel good because God helps me to feel fulfilled from what I do.
      The thing is that if I do get thanked by someone, they are thanking me, not God, even although He was involved. People don't say "Thank you Frances, and I'm grateful to you God, for your part in it".
      Me 2 - God 0
      God's role is powerful, but it's a backroom job. That's how He wants it. He knows that as He helps us to do stuff that helps others, or the world in some way, there's a series of benefits flowing out there, both for them and for you. That compounds because good breeds good. Yes, of course you get the odd bit of rubbish at times, but negativity cannot survive for long in a positive situation.
      People think they understand God, but they often don’t. Frequently they understand the image of God that other people have painted for them. That may be good, bad or indifferent. Who knows?
      All I understand is that once I realised that there was this incredible Energy helping me personally, life became richer and I became a more responsive and effective person. That breeds success and I’ve become successful in ways that are right for me and my life. Success doesn’t have the same unit of value for everyone, but God knows which rewards are appropriate, so no worry there. Whether they’re small or large units of help you give out, you’re still rewarded, and of course it’s in a way that’s needed and not necessarily what you’d expected. That’s the Law of Attraction or Karma working.
      Yes, ‘Thanks, God we know you’re there at every turn, and the bits in the middle’.

Beautiful Apricot Jam

By early last week, one of our apricot trees was covered in ripe fruit, and with the high winds we were experiencing, some was falling off! ...