Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Beautiful blankets, Gifts and Plum Cordial Recipe

Hi guys!
Did you all have a lovely Christmas?
Ours was nice and peaceful, apart from when we got a little tipsy, but seeing as we barely drink through the rest of the year it was well deserved!
We are still living off turkey,The Bearded Wonder has used up the last of it in some pies and they are in the freezer for when we fancy them.
I got some lovely gifts, i got a few books from The Bearded Wonder-exactly what i asked for :)  

I got the most beautiful notebook from a knit and natter friend - so beautiful i can't bear to use it haha

I got a little money too so i treated myself to some new slippers from the charity shop for the grand sum of £1.79
I also found a gorgeous throw, with a pattern that makes it look quilted- a steal at £1.50

Apparently this is winter 
I don't think our village got the message (yes, i know, i've probably jinxed it now)
This was the view this morning coming back from the shop.

Speaking of shops, i got a great bargain this morning!
3 boxes of plums for only 29p each!
One box has already been converted into cordial (we're addicted!)

It's ever so easy to make cordial
You core and slice the plums and pop them in a pan with a sprinkle of sugar
This looks like a lot of sugar but it's just the glare from the pan
Then you make what is called simple syrup which is just equal parts sugar and water (i use one cup of each per box of plums, you get around 10 in a box, then add more water or more sugar to taste once it gets going) in a pan boiled up until the sugar has dissolved
Then you pop the plums into the syrup and bring it back to the boil until the plums are soft then take the heat down a simmer and mash the plums up until they are pulp (The pulp won't go to waste as you can freeze it for crumbles and pies, which is what i'm doing) 
Once the plums are at the pulp stage sieve them through a funnel into a sterilized bottle
A note of warning (you will probably know this already, but i'll tell you anyway,just in case.) it is best to use boiling water to sterilize your bottles, pour a little in first and swill it round the bottle, then pour in the rest, as the hot water hitting cold glass can make it crack (scientific stuff lol) and this will make sure it's hot enough to pour the plum cordial in the glass
Whatever you do, don't sterilize them in the oven, as the dry heat can make them explode. 
My hubby is a trained chef, so he knows his stuff :)
To get every single drop of juice you can then strain the pulp through muslin cloth, which is sticky but very worth it :)

p.s Did you notice the new decor?
I wanted it to look nice and light- preparing for spring early haha :)
I rather like the avatar me ;)

How did your Christmas go?


  1. Glad you had a lovely time, the throw was a real bargain, it's nice when you find nice things so cheap then you can afford to have a few different ones for changing around every so often. You are getting very good with your cordials, a very good idea, I don't drink sweet stuff, I am mad on water, when I find cheap plums I make jam.
    Can I ask where did you get the new blog decor from?
    Marlene x

    1. Exactly Marlene, i love my blue one, but it's more of a spring throw, this one is a bit thicker so perfect for winter :)
      I'm truly obsessed with making cordials, they are jut so much fun to make, and it makes me happy to see a row of shiny bottles with lots of jewel colours :) I think i'm going to make jam with one of the other boxes, and possibly sugar plums with the last one

      The background was from http://thecutestblogontheblock.com/
      they have lots of free backgrounds and headers for blogger and easy to understand instructions(which i needed at first lol) i made the header myself on an online editor called Canva and then i made the avatar on http://avachara.com/avatar/ i uploaded it to Canva then added the flowers etc :)

    2. If you like i can make one for you? :) just let me know if you need a hand xx

  2. Hi I will take a look tomorrow afternoon, if I get in a pickle I will give you a shout, lol. Xx

    1. haha my email is myempireofdirtgarden@gmail.com

  3. Love the new look - cutest blog have some great stuff. I also use free pretty things.
    I am making lots of lemon cordial here as our lemon tree is overloaded. I'm the mean mum that won't ever buy soft drink, but this is way better! I'm going to do ginger beer soon as I haven't made that for a while. Love all your bargain goodies too!

    1. Thank you :) i forgot about free pretty things, i'll have a have a look see if i can find more stuff :)
      what i'd give for a lemon tree,i'm not sure if it would survive our climate though :(
      we aren't major fans of fizzy pop, though the ginger wine goes nicely with fizzy lemonade and it does just taste so much nicer when you make it yourself , and cheaper too!i haven't tried ginger beer yet, it's on my list of things to try :)

  4. I have never thought of making cordial with fruit, although there is not usually much on offer when I do my shopping! Your Christmas presents look great, charity shops are great for bargains aren't they?

    1. i know the feeling , i have to hunt high and low some days for mine haha if i'm struggling to find a bargain i always keep a supply of pure lemon juice,you can get them for about 50p, so i have some on hand for when i fancy lemon cordial/ lemonade :)
      i practically live in charity shops haha the only bad part about living in the village is there is only 1 , and to get the proper charity shopping experience is to go to the nearest town about 7miles away, but it's good that it's far away, otherwise we would have no money left at all haha :D


Thank you for your comments, they are always appreciated :) <3


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