Friday, 15 September 2017

Little Green Apples



What's this, three posts in a week? A sure sign I've got loads of stuff to do and can't be arsed to get them done. Blogging is a wonderful distraction.


There's an abundance of apples on our trees this year and the freezer is full to bursting with blackberries I've been picking since the end of July. The berries should see us through till January, whizzed up with natural yogurt and served with fresh fruit for our breakfast. I had to laugh at one of the neighbours who came over to see why I was in the avenue up a stepladder, Why are you bothering picking blackberries? They're only £1 in Tesco. There's no hope for some people, is there?


But what to do with the apples?  Other than some cereal bars (you'll find my recipe HERE), the odd apple oat crumble (bearing in mind that I'm not keen on sweet things) and a few jars of chutney, I'm a bit stuck. Goody suggested drying them which sounded like a good idea but there must be an easier way than slicing 1.5 kg of apples at a time and sticking them in the oven for six hours, the only recipe I can find. The electricity bill might bankrupt me! 

Chutney making back in 2013

Using last year's crop.

Kitchen dilemmas aside this week I've reorganised the stockroom to make room for the motherload of vintage gear I picked up at the Classic Car Boot Sale last weekend. This is the womenswear (Mim - check out that trio of 1960s Tricel shifts!) We also bought a 1960s Dhobi tweed overcoat, an extravagantly ruffled dinner shirt in red and a chocolate brown braided dinner suit by Mr Harry (now residing in Jon's wardrobe).


As you can see there's a veritable archive of vintage clothes dating from the 1930s through to the 1970s....with labels including Ricci Michaels of Mayfair, Liberty of London, Selfridges, Fenwick, Veronica for Rembrandt and good old 1950s St Michael.


I'm dying over that emerald green embroidered cotton maxi dress by Gonzalo Bauer for Girasol - if only it was a few sizes smaller. Still, I suppose finding two perfectly fitting Mexican designer dresses in a week is a bit too much to expect.


In other news I've managed to knock up another batch wired headbands using fabric from my stash and clothes too tatty to sell (currently awaiting Jon & his wire bending skills) and I've customised ten gents' waistcoats - which I'd love to share with you but want to get them to out to our next vintage fair without my idea being pinched before we get there. I've also taken advantage of the end of the season sales by snaffling a fabulous crochet bikini and four bottles of our favourite Once A Day sun screen - next on the to-do list - find our flights to India!! We've also managed three charity shopping expeditions, the washing machine feels like it's been on non-stop and if I have to replace another button on I might not be responsible for my actions. I'll have to show you what we found next week, right now the rum is calling!

WEARING: Fringed body (£2.49, Age UK), 1970s printed cotton maxi skirt (99p, eBay), Native American turquoise & copper pendant (A gift to my Mum by a boyfriend in the early 1960s), Topshop bejewelled Indian belt (present from the lovely Kelly)

For the first time in months we living the life of normal people this weekend, meeting friends in the pub and going for a curry. I'm beside myself with excitement, I've forgotten what a Saturday night out on the town feels like!

See you soon.


70 comments:

  1. Cor, you look smashing in your gorgeous maxi. I love your outfit and am a bit green that you have so many apples to use up. I am missing my fruit trees. The house next door to me is empty and they have had a massive glut of apples and plums but I am too chicken to leg it over the fence and pick them. What a waste though. What about making wine (or cider) from you apples? My paternal granny used to make wine from all manner of hedgerow things. Perfect for keeping you warm on the long winter nights ahead. Xx

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    1. Go on, be brave! It's a crime to leave them to go to waste!
      I might investigate booze making, far more me than cakes.
      I love my belt, I think it'll be going back to India with me. xxxx

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  2. I spent a delightful morning catching up on your posts (some of which I've missed, apparently) - thank you! You are such a breath of fresh air, in more ways than one. Confession: I am rubbish at being savvy, have zero interest in it and never read any posts/articles about how to save a few pennies here and there, they bore me to no end. But you make it sound like fun! It's one of your gifts, you obviously on fire with it, so even such a wasteful citizen as myself don't resent your tips. :)

    Enjoy your apple harvest!

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    1. With your Soviet era background I totally understand why thriftiness leaves you cold. I must admit that I find a lot of frugal blogs very dull. I'm all for not wasting money but recording every penny? No way! xxx

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  3. My, you have been busy: picking apples and blackberries, re-organizing the stockroom, making headbans AND blogging! I've a little confession to make: I'm often composing blog posts while I'm at work, ignoring incoming emails ... There are some veritable gems among your new stock, by the way. And I seriously love your maxi skirt! Have a great night out! xxx

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    1. I'm always composing blog posts in my head, too! Blogging is far more fun than work, isn't it? xxxx

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  4. Applesauce? I dunno, I'm out of ideas too! Passing up free fruit sounds mad to me, though I passed on the mullberries leaving them for the birds instead.

    You look wonderful in black. I know it isn't typically your thing, but wow! And that belt. THAT BELT!

    Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy kicking back-heaven knows you've both earned it.

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    1. I liked your baked apple with curried rice, gonna try that!
      I do love a black background with a floral print, it seems to work with the light at this funny time of year. That belt took my breath away, it's the kind of thing I drool over in tourist shops in India and the prices are insane! xxx

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  5. You always keep so busy!

    Lots of great pieces that you picked up at the boot sale.

    Enjoy your weekend off. You deserve it!

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. I'm inclined to be a bit last minute so I'm determined to get everything ready and priced for our next fair ages in advance rather than rush around stressing at the last minute.
      I did feel like I'd earnt my night out! xxx

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  6. Have fun Saturday! We usually make unsweetened apple sauce but I make mine in a slow cooker which is very good on electricity. I think apples are usually sweet enough by themselves without adding sweetener. I also add cinnamon and cloves. I haven't gotten any free apples this year though as most of the fruit trees didn't produce with the exception of blackberries...which I am still picking. I even picked a few more on my morning walk with the dog for smoothies. The rest is frozen for our jam making session next month.

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    1. In the end I peeled and cored all those apples, stewed them with a tiny bit of water, spooned them into muffin tins and froze them. I can use the portions in soup (curried parsnip & apple...yum) and porridge all winter long! xxx

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  7. I can't help with the apples, Vix. I haven't been gathering blackberries with the grandchildren this year as I usually do, because other than jam - which no one eats because of the pips - I can't think what else to do with them. Other than me no one really eats crumbles either...

    That is a treasure trove of delights you've showed us there! I don't suppose the beautiful green maxi dress is my size (16) by any chance is it?

    I hope you both have a wonderful, relaxing weekend. Your recent schedule sounded exhausting!

    xxx

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    1. I've made spiced blackberry chutney before which was gorgeous.
      That green dress is more of a 14, sadly. If only it was my size! xxx

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  8. I think there's something going on in my brain blocking me from doing all the crappy stuff and wandering off and fiffing snd faffing instead.
    How nice to have a bumper crop of berries, I'd love that as I have them with porridge every day and I spend a fortune on them.
    Love that red skirt Vix, what size is it ?
    Have a fantastic weekend with friends, it will be a nice change for you. We are at the caravan for no other reason than we can be. It's just started peeing down but what the hell we are nice and cosy on our lovely curryvan xxx

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    1. We get through loads of berries with our yogurt every morning, I'm glad we've got enough to eat for free throughout winter, the imported stuff coats loads even on the market.
      That skirt is typically 1950s - titchy!
      Hope you had an ace time at the caravan. xxxx

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  9. I've no apple ideas either I'm afraid. Thanks to you I now often have fruit and yoghurt for breakfast with a sprinkling of Poundland seeds. Today it was figs...49p for 4 in Aldi...beat that Tesco!
    I love that TopShop belt, looks so great with all your other pieces.
    You've got your hands on some superb stock there...particularly loving the red skirts.
    Have a lovely time down the pub! xxx

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    1. Mmmmm... figs! They've been in short supply in Lidl this year!! xxx

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  10. Could you stew the apples and then freeze? eat as compote with yogurt. you can sweeten them or keep it quite tart, as you prefer. I couldn't be bothered with drying in the oven for 6 hours either!!!

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    1. Great minds think alike, Maria! That's what I ended up doing.They'll be great in soup and porridge and they're things we both eat, unlike cakes! xxx

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  11. I know the Americans use apple sauce (stewed apples) in lots of ways - none I can think of right now! I do know stewed apple is very beneficial for gut bacteria, keeping the little blighters happy.

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    1. I did stew Friday's picking in the end. I love apple in spicy soups. xxx

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  12. Devon Apple Cake from the original Cranks recipe book. If you can't get your hands on the recipe you can find an approximation at http://frugalknit-wit.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/nutroast-and-devon-apple-cake.html Absolutely lovely, it's my go to recipe for apples.

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    1. Hello Linda! I've just followed your link and that looks gorgeous. I loved Cranks recipes when I was a teenager. Thank you! xxx

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  13. Your outfit makes me happeeeee!!!! A black background/foundation is forever my favorite, and all the jewelry and flowers are divine. The green apples are a pretty compliment too. My parents would make really good applesauce, not too sweet. I'll see if I can get the recipe from my sister. Your finds are wonderful. Enjoy your weekend and friends. You've just bumped mine up a notch, as always. xoxoxo

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    1. I always think of you when I wear florals on a black background!!
      Hope you had a wonderful weekend, my dear Jean! xxx

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  14. I love that you have loads of apples and berries and all I want to do is go to the pub and then eat some curry!

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  15. Looking gloriously autumnal in that peach & black floral!
    Are those pippins? I love pippins!
    I used to put slices of green apple in salads with beetroot, blue cheese, walnuts, etc.
    I was just looking at a recipe for blackberry & apple pie-
    http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/blackberry-and-apple-pie/

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    1. Oh..I love the sound of your salad. Got loads of fresh beetroot today for £1
      Thanks for the JO recipe, I shall investigate. xxx

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  16. Is there anything you can't do Viv. You make life look so beautiful plus productive without seeming to never having a hair out of place. Those photos of you picking apples are to die for. I know you get exhausted but you never show it and Jon needs to be congratulated on his photo taking skills. Hope you enjoyed the yummy curry.

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    1. You are kind, Sally! I don't share the hair out of place, knackered looking photos - it wouldn't be kind! xxx

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  17. Love your outfit today, the belt is so me - I want it!!!! our solitary apple tree was raided by squirrels helping themselves daily - so you could donate to squirrels... (my grandma used to individually wrap them in brown paper and store on the attic floor over the winter but I don't remember what she did with them after, apple sauce, chutney I suspect) .... I would eat some baked apples and custard and lose the rest at a car boot sale as you will ruin those beautiful nails with all that peeling and chopping and life's too short! Enjoy your weekend being normal :)

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    1. Thanks, Betty! The reason my nails are painted is because they're in a shocking state under the blue paint!!
      The squirrels have been enjoying a feat of windfalls and driving the cats mad! I've stewed most of Friday's crop and frozen them, donated another large bag to a friend and the next lot are simmering in the slow cooker, spiced apple chutney! xxx

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  18. granny dried the apple slices in the hallway - spacey treaded on some yarn!
    it takes a while and will work best in times the house is heated.....
    love your apple picking outfit!!
    xxxxx

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    1. Now that sounds both decorative and tasty! xxx

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  19. Could you investigate making the apples into some kind of alcoholic beverage?!?! Love those 3 shift dresses in the middle! xx

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  20. My German grossmutter dried pie apples (apple schnitz) by peeling, coring and slicing them; dipping them in lemon juice/water; then stringing and hanging them over her never-cold cast-iron cooking stove. These were the winter breakfast treats plopped into oatmeal or mush, or alongside ham and bacon in a skillet. Kids carried them in their pockets to munch on the playground during recess. (Now they're called "fruit leathers" and sold in dollar stores.)

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    1. I love the description of your German grossmutter's kitchen, I bet it was wonderfully inviting! xxx

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  21. Love the fringed body and maxi skirt. I love celeriac and apple soup for my lunch in the winter although doesn't use loads of apples.

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    1. I love curried parsnip & apple soup - thanks for the reminder! Luckily for me the parsnips were £1 for a couple of kilos on the market earlier! xxx

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  22. geez, all I did yesterday was make 3 pair of Hammer pants for the dance concert(maybe 8 more to go). How many blackberries do you get for a pound? Free is good.

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    1. Three pairs of Hammer pants? That's good going! xxx

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  23. apples are great in baking, but if your not a pie or desert person, t gets hard to come up with lots of things. I amde an improvised coffee cake using up a lot of odds and ends ingredients, and hardly any sugar, when I had some over soft apples. It was oaty and delicious, and almost savory. It froze well, but also a dilemma if you are running out of freezer space. Do you know anyone who makes a harvest treat that you don't and you could swap containers of chutney for their treats? Maybe pickles or canned tomatos? Barter and trade?

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    1. Your cake sounds interesting, Sam! I passed on a big bag of apples to a friend. Not sure what her plans are but I'm happy to give them away! xxx

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  24. What a gorgeous outfit! You're so good picking all the apples, I loathe cooking and I'm afraid I would be like your neighbour and buy the blackberries for a pound in Tesco. Hope you have an enjoyable weekend xx

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    1. Thanks, sarah! that's the good thing about the blackberries - just wash them and stick them in a bag in the freezer ready to chuck in my yoghurt before I whizz it in the blender. I'm no domestic goddess either! xxx

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  25. Applesauce is delicious and can be used in baking! Love your outfit, of course! :)

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    1. I had to Google applesauce - here it's two words and something Brits serve with roast pork. Your version sounds much more useful! xxx

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  26. I'm sad to say I haven't done any foraging this year.. yet. I'd never buy blackberries from a super market, it just wouldn't enter my head to do so. If they're not from a local hedgerow I'm not cooking them!
    The emerald green embroidered cotton maxi dress is rather gorgeous isn't it?

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    1. I know, it seems wrong to buy something you can find for free, doesn't it? xxx

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  27. Oooh, I would make apple pie! I love apple pie, yum. Love your outfit too, the skirt is so pretty.

    We went fruit picking in July, just strawberries and tayberries, but it was fun. I want to go back soon xxx

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    1. I might make Jon his own apple pie but I'm not a fan!
      You need to get some blackberries before it's too late! xxxx

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  28. My Mum used to puree the excess apples and freeze it, you can use it in so many things throughout the year.

    OOooh I can see Mim in those shift dresses! She's on holiday at the moment hopefully they don't get snapped up before she is back.

    Have a fab 'normal' weekend ;-P

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    1. That's what I did to most of them in the end, great minds think alike! xxx

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  29. Lovely to have so many apples! I use dessert apple on salads or cheese boards, or my favourite way to use up cooking apples is bake them whole and cored. Stuff the core with whatever you fancy! Great finds, the crochet maxi is fantastic xx

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    1. Baked apple! I remember learning how to use a microwave oven at school and making them.
      Apple and cheese are a match made in heaven. xxx

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  30. Do you ever make cider? Or are they not the right kind of apples? We have a lot to deal with due to the farm share we purchased. I end up giving them to the boys next door. Or at least my dog never get tired of them -- whether they are bruised or overripe.

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    1. WE looked in cider making a few years ago but the equipment cost a lot - sadly! The cats love chasing apples. xxx

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  31. Blogging, a distraction? Hahaha!! I just wore my Dhobi coat today, it's starting to cool off here, and it's "showerproof." India tickets already...where does the time go? I hope you had a great weekend!

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    1. Don't tell Jon you've got a Dhobi, he'll try and steal it for his collection! xxx

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  32. I'm not much of a baker (although there is a nice apple cake recipe in one of Nigella Lawson's books) so I put surplus apples in savoury dishes rather than waste them. They can work in casseroles and curries

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    1. I think that's my plan, being a fellow non-sweet eater! There's curried parsnip & apple soup on the menu this week and I've got a batch of slow cooker spiced apple chutney going on right now. xxx

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  33. I love a good apple crumble, but I suppose it's a bit far to nip over and get a couple from you. Can't believe you're already talking about tickets to India - weren't you just there?? Time is passing much too quickly.

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    1. I'd happily deliver you a couple of apple crumbles. Maybe I can arrange a detour on the way to India? xxx

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  34. Oooh, with those shifts you are taunting me! I have returned from Spain no heavier, but with renewed determination to hit the gym. I saw a denim jacket customised with diamante wings on the back while I was out there, and it made me think of your disco jackets.

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    1. Well done for not gaining any weight. I bet the heat helped!!
      We'll be in BAth next month...I can bring those shifts along if you like! xxx

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    2. Oooh, please! Which show is it next? I keep checking the main sites but haven't seen a Bath one scheduled. I have a couple of bits for you, and need to decide whether to bite the bullet and get rid of some more...

      It's the local hospice kilo sale this weekend, so I'm planning to go along to that.

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    3. You're on, as soon as I was offered them I thought of you. It's 22nd October. I've snaffled a Laura Ashley tweed dress from their Heritage range, it's not vintage but it was £1 and I reckon it'd look brilliant on you - I think it retailed for around £150! xxx

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Love from Vix
xxx