Friday, 30 October 2009

making ham

Today I made ham and I thought I'd share the recipe.

I don't know where the recipe came from originally, or if it's just something my mother came up with, but it makes the most amazing ham.

(My ham is still cooling in the pan, later on I'll add a picture of the finished article here.)


Ingredients

Smoked Gammon Joint (any size)
8 Whole Black Peppercorns
6 Whole Cloves
1 Bay Leaf
1 Onion, peeled and quartered
1 Small Potato
1 Carrot
1 Stick of Celery

Method



#1 Remove packaging from gammon joint, including the papery thing they put over the skin (if you can't get this off, or suspect it doesn't have one I guess it doesn't matter too much - I've boiled a joint with the paper on before, thinking it didn't have one - it just floats off and you can remove it then) and place joint in a large saucepan.
Either rinse the joint a couple of times whilst in the pan, or leave to soak overnight in covered pan (if the joint is smoked you don't need to put it in the fridge, although you can if you're worried). Discard the water from the rinse/soak.



#2 Cover gammon with fresh water, nearly completely but not quite.



#3 Prepare the ingredients (peel and chop vegetables into large chunks) and add them to the water (NB: My pictures don't include celery because I forgot to buy some, oops.)



#4 Cover the pan, bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes per lb (500g-ish) - my joint is 750g so I simmered for about 45-50 minutes.

#5 Turn off gas and leave to cool in the liquor before removing.

The cooked ham keeps for around a week if you keep it covered in the fridge. The liquor can either be discarded, or used as stock in pea and ham soup.

The purpose of the potato is to control the salt content. If you use a larger joint, you may prefer to use a larger potato so it's not too salty.

Enjoy with eggs and chips, in salads, pies and sandwiches! Although we make it any time of the year, it is one of the things we always, always make in the run up to Christmas :)



Tonight I am baking finger cookies for hallowe'en. Tomorrow I'll be making the brainballs and eyeballs out of mini mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes. I love hallowe'en food :)

Thursday, 29 October 2009

clean as a whistle



I finally got around to making the cleaner from this post on design*sponge. I didn't follow the recipe exactly, but it turned out pretty well. It's a lot more efficient than I thought it would be; it cuts through grease with no problem at all and leaves my tops shining. I'm going to try it in the bathroom too.

I would recommend using distilled water (sometimes known as deionized - the mineral-free water you can buy for irons and other items where a build up of minerals would cause degradation) instead of tap or mineral water, as it has a much longer shelf life. I buy my deionized water from the garage! You can get Hydrogen Peroxide from your local chemist; it's used as a mouthwash amongst other things.

I halved the recipe, since I only had a 500ml empty Ecover Squirt bottle spare and Google informed me 32oz is pretty much 1l. I love Dr Bronner's for many things, but if you only want to use it as an ingredient in cleaning supplies you can get a 118ml travel-sized bottle for just £2.50. Summer Naturals has a good range of the travel sizes in different scents, as well as a 500ml spray bottle, a range of essential oils, white vinegar and other natural cleaning supplies at a good price.

Whilst I'm on the subject of cleaning, I'd like to recommend the book Natural Stain Remover: Clean Your Home Without Harmful Chemicals. I've been chemical-free for years now, I've tried many different natural products and read many books on chemical-free living but this one tops the lot for cleaning and stain removal. It's an A-Z guide of stains/surfaces with general cleaning recipes in the front. The majority of the recipes use the basic, cheap natural ingredients you either have or should have in your house if you're interested in green living. Every recipe I've tried has worked, which, after as many failed attempts as I've had, is a bit of a miracle. But then, I am forever dropping things on myself or on the floor so maybe I just need these things more than most!

Monday, 12 October 2009

padded noticeboards - an etsy update

I am so tired at the moment, I can't believe it. In the fashion of my mother (and my grandmother for that matter) I'm going to blame it on the change in season. I do love autumn but the cold gets to me.

I listed two new padded notice boards on our uk etsy shop a couple of days ago.

The first board is pirate themed:




And the second board is french themed:



Daisy Mae is all about themes at the moment.

Even though I'm swamped, Daisy Mae is crafting constantly at the moment, so I'll be listing a lot more items over the next few months. I will probably post about them here eventually, but if you want to be kept up-to-date as soon as new items are posted feel free to follow our Twitter. It's only updated with new product notifications, occasional craft comments and, in future, the odd interesting etsy/craft related link. We won't bombard you with tweets!