Last batch of Courgettes chutneyfied!

I’m a tiny bit sad today. I’m labelling up jars of Christmas Courgette Chutney, made from the last of our allotment courgettes :-). They have been very prolific this year and they just kept giving and giving…..until yesterday!

Courgette plantHopefully now I have enough jars of my delicious Christmas Courgette chutney to last Cuffufle Preserves through to Christmas and beyond!

I’d also like to thank the Greedy Gardener, the lovely SJ for the donation of her last courgettes too! Check out her blog at www.greedygardener.co.uk

Laters

Rachel xx

 

Fig Leaf Liqueur

I’ve been having a break from making preserves to sell, and preparing liqueurs for Christmas presents.

After getting a donation of fig leaves from the lovely Liz Stait I started making fig leaf liqueur (a recipe shamelessly stolen from one of my favourite recipe books by Beshlie Grimes).

deliciously aromatic fig leaves
deliciously aromatic fig leaves

Continue reading “Fig Leaf Liqueur”

The lovely markets of lovely Brum

100th anniversary – On Saturday 14th September, Kings Norton will be celebrating their 100th farmers’ market – PLEASE COME and support our local markets and the independent local producers who have stalls there… more about this market and the wonderful people behind it in a bit! For now – here’s a picture of one of my favourite market dog watch dogs…. the delightful Alfie (also Kings Norton farmers’ mascot!)

Lovely shiny Alfie.
Saft dog Alfie in the adoring arms of Pete and Liz – his humans.

It’s been so so long since I last wrote my blog – too too much gorgeous local produce to turn into Cuffufle  Preserves!

Today I have been waiting for a glass delivery so I have had some time to think! I’ve pondered and thought wistfully about the last year or so, since I started taking Cuffufle Preserves seriously. I came to the conclusion that my continued success is down to not just my produce or my branding (thanks IJC!) but the people behind all the markets I do and the shops I stock…….. So – THANK YOU SO much to all the volunteers that make it possible for all us stall holders to continue to sell out wares…. to everyone at:

Kings Heath Farmers

Stirchley Community market

Lichfield market

Kings Norton Farmers

Bournville Farmers

Moseley Farmers

mac food fair

Everyone behind all these markets give so much of their own time and energy into making these markets work and they often only get complaints and not the rewards and compliments they deserve.

So to Kings Norton market and their 100 year celebrations….. I have been doing Kings Norton market since January 2011. Up until a couple of months ago it was not my best market in terms of sale to say the least, but it is one of my favourites despite this. However over the last couple of months – my sales have rocketed – YAY. I have been become friends with most of the organisers and here is one of them in a couple of poses!

Hugh F-W and Liz
Liz at the Farmers’ market awards – not looking in the slightest bit chuffed 😉
lovely Liz
Liz in her Christmas jumper!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liz has even been over to Augernik Farm and she is reportedly the first farmers’ market organiser to ever visit Billy Auger’s Augernik farm. This is how much she cares about her market.

And there’s more!

Santa marketeers!
Santa marketeers!

I’m missing photos of the other volunteers but here are a few more pictures of the wonderful and delightful Kings Norton farmers’ market….

richard mp
MP Richard Burden getting a soaking at Kings Norton Christmas market 2012
KN in the snow
The lovely Kings Norton in the snow.

KN marketbanner

Knowing where my food comes from and the imminent return of Billy to our markets!

Blossom in full bloom

Howdy Cuffuflers

Since I’ve been doing the farmers’ markets in my hometown of Birmingham, I have been privileged to have met many wonderful people who care about what they sell, grow their own produce, know where their ingredients are from, cook with love and look after each other. Two of my favourite people I have got to know through the markets are Penny from Old Sandlin Fruits and Billy of Augernik Fruit farm. Continue reading “Knowing where my food comes from and the imminent return of Billy to our markets!”

Blizzards, Beth, Bikes, Bunnies, Barracuda and RIP Bee :-(

Howdy Cuffuflers!

Before the Blizzard
Before the Blizzard hit and in one of three moments of sun trickery

So this Easter week for me started with the QE farmers’ market, organised by the lovely Antony Cobley and set up to service the 1000’s of employees at the hospital and the Women’s hospital. It’s a joy to be involved in it. However on this market, I would have preferred not to be in a wind tunnel – not along the side of the wind tunnel (as I have been in previous markets) – but right at the end of the wind tunnel – facing the wind! If that was not bad enough…….it started snowing…… well you can imagine. My jars and bottles even started to collect a snowdrift.

Jar snowdrift

After I finally got home from the market and had an hour to defrost, my boyfriend and I went up to our allotment to plant out some barerooted Raspberry and Tayberry canes courtesy of Bill Auger of www.augernikfruitfarm.co.uk. This was swiftly followed by a roaring fire! And then severe cramp from warming up too quickly!

Bottles in the blizzard

Continue reading “Blizzards, Beth, Bikes, Bunnies, Barracuda and RIP Bee :-(“

Something just for me and Nelson

After making a batch of Spicy tomato chutney and a good old fashioned no frills Red Tomato chutney, I had a load of tomatoes left over. ‘What to do?!’

A rich tomato sauce – I had great fun making the Stirchley Sauce for Love Stirchley festival and I remember having made a roasted tomato ketchup from a River Cottage recipe a while back.

Yummy tomatoes ready to roast.

So – I roasted the tomatoes with some onions, garlic, olive oil and some lemon thyme from my garden. They roasted on a lowish heat (around 170°C) for about an hour and a half.

Continue reading “Something just for me and Nelson”

Saucy Sauce

Howdy Cuffuflers!

I am lucky enough to have been commissioned by LOVE STIRCHLEY FESTIVAL to create a tomato sauce or a ‘love apple’ sauce. Tomatoes historically are considered to be aphrodisiacs, hence to love apple name! They are good for the heart and considered to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet. During the festival period – at least £1.00 of every purchase price will be donated to Love Stirchley Festival. After that if I continue to make the sauce, 50p of every purchase price will go to the festival. Continue reading “Saucy Sauce”

Working with beautiful produce

I’ve had a bumper week or 2 – what with my birthday and fruit and veg galore coming to my house…….

When I can’t get local, I get organic – gorgeous fruit and veg from Vegetropolis.

Organic sevilles are now marmaladed – ready to be entered into the marmalade awards 2013! http://www.dalemainmarmaladeawards.co.uk/

The smell was devine
After all this chopping – my hands hurt but my heart was shining 😉

Then came the tomato chutney…..

Tomato chutney ready to cook up…
Tomato chutney jarred up….

Onion marmalade x 3 batches….. DONE. A new Spicy tomato chutney…… DONE

And today It’s all been about the Pear – Gorgeous pears from Penny at http://www.kingsnortonfarmersmarket.co.uk/ Old Sandlin Fruit, Malvern – a farm I intend to visit once I have a motorised vehicle http://www.hfmg.org/producers/sandlin_fruit.htm. Some of the delicious pears are now in a new creation – Spicy Pear chutney, the rest will be made into my Pear and Lime jam (once I get to the markets to get some nice limes). I’ve also got lovely eating apples from Penny – they will be turned into one of my best sellers – spiced apple chutney – a rich sweet chutney – sweet from dates and eaters rather than stacks of sugar!

Laters

Rachel xxx

Fine line between love and hate

Howdy Cuffuflers!

Well – up until yesterday I didn’t like marmalade – I would go so far as saying I hated it, but I definitely didn’t love it. So…… on getting a stack of organic Seville oranges, I started on creating a recipe that I would like. I’ve done 3 batches so far – 2 containing alcohol – one of which includes basil (it seems I am addicted to adding herbs to my concoctions!) and one is a very traditional recipe.

Deluxe as it has booze and basil in it!

So…… now to get more luscious oranges to work with. I’m fired up and raring to go. I do however need to keep a check on the experimentation and actually make some up for sale! But I can’t help it – I’ve got so many ideas….. ginger, lime, lemon, clementines, satsumas, grapefruit, more booze, more herbs and combinations of all of the above. Oh my…… and I need to get on with making more chutneys and cordials too.

When I get more sevilles I will try and curb my excitement and take more pictures of the process but……. not having smellivision, you won’t get the benefit.

Many thanks go to my lovely friend Bee Robertson for giving me her Gran’s recipe and helping me with the juicing etc.

Laters

Rachel xxx