In the limelight

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Excellent books – especially if you don’t want to make huge quantities.

Since Friday I’ve been very busy, on and off, with lime-related activities – zesting, juicing and freezing quite a lot of them. I loved the suggestion (from several of you) about making lime curd, but then dithered over which recipe to use. Finally, I settled on one from Marisa McClellan’s book Food in Jars (which I’m pretty sure was recommended to me by one of you two or three years ago). I chose this recipe because it suggests using a boiling water bath after putting the curd into the jars to extend the life to as long as four months, compared to the usual week or two (not that it’s likely to last four months in this house). Whilst looking for the recipe I browsed through Marisa’s other book Preserving by the Pint and discovered an interesting recipe for something called Caramelized Meyer Lemon Syrup – a sauce that she suggests drizzling over yoghurt or waffles. Basically you caramelize some sugar and then stir in lemon juice and zest – I decided to have a go at a lime version.

So, this morning I set to and zested, juiced, stirred, boiled and bottled and produced two small jars of Caramelized Lime Syrup and two of Zesty Lime Curd:

I was devastated to realize that I’d got slightly too much lime curd for the jars, so I was forced to consume the left-over bit on some toast for my lunch.

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Homemade bread and homemade lime curd, using eggs laid by our own hens.

I still have a dozen limes unprocessed and I think a lime drizzle cake is on the cards for the weekend.

Eggs and citrus

Frosty mornings

Frosty mornings

Despite the cold nights and frosty mornings, all four of the hens have decided that they are going to lay (Lorna had a year off – June 2013 to June 2014 – but is fully back in the swing of things now despite being about five years old). This means that we have eggs. Lots of eggs. The newbies are laying pretty much every day and the other two every few days, so that’s about 20 eggs per week. We are genuinely delighted that they are all doing so well, having lost two of our flock late last summer, it’s good to know that the remaining oldies and the new girls are happy and healthy.

Happy hens this morning

Happy hens this morning

Having had a bit of an egg famine in recent months, I had got out of the habit of using them, but I’m remembering what to do with them now and trying out some new recipes. You can always find homes for eggs, but it really is good to be able to make use of them at home; and with so many available this does require some creative thinking. This is where reading other people’s blog posts can be particularly helpful. For example, I was delighted to come across Anne Wheaton’s post the other day about making Seville orange curd. I am not a fan of marmalade, but I really like citrus curds. They only store for a limited time, but Anne’s recipe is for a single small pot and uses one egg – perfect, and adaptable for other citrus fruits too. So, on Friday I made a pot, and as you can see we have already been tucking in:

I also returned to an old favourite – lemon cake with lemon icing. This recipe is from the first Hummingbird Bakery cookbook. It’s supposed to have poppy seeds in, but I don’t bother; and this time I made it with soft brown sugar because I realised once I’d started that I did not have enough caster sugar. It’s a marvellously light cake because you beat the egg whites and then fold them into the mixture right at the end just before baking. You don’t use the yolks, but I’m planning ice-cream for later in the week… a recipe that, coincidentally, requires exactly the number of yolks I have left over.

In addition, we had bacon and egg butties on Friday and waffles for breakfast this morning… even so, I think there are probably the same number of eggs on the eggskelter as when Mr Snail arrived home for the weekend. I see omelette in my future!

Lots of eggs

an eggskelter… in case you didn’t know what one is!

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