Tag Archives: autumn

5 great autumn DIY ideas

6 Nov

Autumn is such a beautiful season that it seems a shame to start too early with Christmas decorations. Pumpkins, chestnuts and apples are all in season, and there are plenty of possibilities to use them in a creative way. These are our favourite ideas.

1. Apples and pinecones

Go for a walk in the woods and pick some pinecones to decorate your house. Their natural colour is beautiful, and you could place them in a bowl with some apples, as a simple centrepiece. The pinecones will be great for Christmas too, either with their natural colour or spray-painted.

Image via Frenchlarkspur

2. Gourd garland

Miniature squash looks great in a simple and natural garland.

Image by Martha Stewart Living

3. Apple cider cups

Apple cups are a cute idea to serve a Spice Chai and apple winter warmer.  Add a cinnamon stick as a stirrer!

Image via Gimmesomeoven

4. Autumn candles

Use the smallest squash to make tealight holders.

5. White pumpkin centrepieces

There’s something surprisingly elegant about white squash. They look beautiful when combined with natural colours and can be used as a centrepiece, around a simple big candle.

Spice Chai and pear loaf

24 Oct

The warming blend of Chai spices suits well the autumn weather, and when it gets darker and colder outside we can’t help but feeling like baking all the time! Emily, the head chef at Lahloo Pantry, has shared this Spice Chai and pear loaf recipe with us.  With a moist texture that oozes autumnal flavours, it’s easy to understand why it’s being a huge sucess at the Pantry!

Ingredients:

Pear topping:

Loaf:

  • 265g butter
  • 265 caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice
  • 265g plain flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 115ml full fat milk

For the topping:
Peel and slice the pear and combine with Spice Chai, sugar, and water. cooking down in a saucepan. Save the sugar syrup to moisten the cake and line the bottom of the loaf tin with the fruit.

For the loaf:
Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the eggs individually. Combine all dry ingredients and add, then slowly pour in the milk.  Pour into the loaf tin on top of the fruit and bake for 20 minutes at 170c. Cover and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes. Once cooled, remove from the tin. Trim top and flip over so fruit is on top. Poke with a knife and drizzle with sugar syrup.

Our tip: try using apple instead of pear. Have it with a cup of Spice Chai! 

 

 

Chutneys and jellies with Lindy Wildsmith

10 Oct

Making chutneys and preserves is one of the pleasures of this season. Chutneys, jams and jellies are great Christmas presents and there’s something enormously satisfying in preparing them (and enjoying them afterwards, of course!).  Lindy Wildsmith, the author of  Cured, has shared two delicious recipes with us, and we’re giving away a signed copy of her stunning book too!

Images and text taken from Cured: Slow Techniques for Enhancing Meat, Fish, Fruit & Vegetables, by Lindy Wildsmith. Photographs by Simon Wheeler. Published by Jacqui Small at £30.

Lindy Wildsmith’s PLUM CHUTNEY 

Makes 2x 200-250ml Jars

  • 500g of fruit (if using plums or other stoned fruit be sure to remove stones and chop; apples should be peeled and chopped)
  • 100q onion chopped
  • 5g Whole pickling spice, tied up in muslin
  • 125ml Malt vinegar
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 5g Seal salt
  • Pinch of dry mustard powder

Equipment

2x 200-250 ml jars with lids washed and sterilized, and cellophane discs (jam pot covers)

This lovely old country recipe can be made with any plums, greengages, damsons, apples, rhubarb or whatever fruit you have available. Plums and damsons make a marvellous purple-coloured concoction.

Put the prepared fruit and onion in a preserving pan with the tied up spices and half the vinegar and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

After this time, stir in the sugar, salt, mustard powder and remaining vinegar and simmer until the fruit has evaporated and the mixture is creamy. This may take upto an hour, but remember to stir regularly, as if the mixture sticks to the bottom of the pan it will burn.

Put the preserving jars to warm in a preheated low oven at 110 oC/Gas mark 1/4

Leave to rest for about 20 minutes before potting. Spoon the chutney into the warm sterilized jars, cover the surface with cellophane discs and seal. Leave to cool before labelling. Store in the dark for at least a month before opening. The chutney will keep for at least a year.

Enter our competition to win a copy of Lindy Wildsmith’s Cured

Lindy Wildsmith’s FORAGER’S JELLY

Makes 1-2 x 250ml Jars

  • 1.5 Eldederberries, blackberries or hawthorn berries
  • 400ml water
  • Preserving sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Equipment

1-2 x 250 ml jars with lids washed and sterilized; and cellophane discs (jam pot covers)

Jelly making is a little more involved than making jam or chutney in that the cooked fruit needs to be left overnight in a suspended jelly bag to drip before boiling it with the sugar. But it is well worth the effort, especially when using berries gathered from the hedgerows. Bear in mind that the yield is lower than with the jam.

If using hawthorn berries, be warned that they turn a peculiar green colour when cooked, but the resulting juice, albeit it low in yield, is a glorious red.

Put the preserving jars to warm in a preheated low oven at 100 oC/ Gas mark 1/4.

Wash the fruit, drain well and transfer to a large saucepan. Add the water and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the fruit is tender. carefully transfer the fruit to a jelly bag and suspend over bowl. Leave the juices to drip overnight.

After this time, measure the juice and transfer it to a preserving pan. Add 400g preserving sugar to every 600ml juice (this quantity of fruit may yield less than 600ml). Add the lemon juice and set over low heat, stirring regularly until the sugar has dissolved.

Increase the heat and boil rapidly for for about 5-10 minutes until setting point is reached. Pull the pan off the heat, take 1/2 teaspoon of the juice and set it on a cooled saucer in the fridge. Leave for 10 mins. If the jelly has started to set it is ready. If not boil again for a further 5-10 mins, stirring and watching that it does not stick to the pan and burn. Test again. Be patient and if nescessary boil up again for a further 5 mins. The setting time depends how much water is in the fruit.

When ready, transfer to a wide-mouthed jug and pour into the warm sterilized jars, cover the surface of the jelly with the cellophane discs and seal while still hot. Leave to cool before labelling and store in the dark for a month before opening. The jelly will keep for two years or more.

For more info on Lindy’s work and to buy her book, you can visit her website here

Win an Autumn Hamper

10 Oct

To celebrate the arrival of autumn and the first anniversary of Lahloo Pantry, we’re giving away this Autumn Hamper that will make your autumn days cosier and warmer! A selection of three warming and comforting oolongs, a jar of  tomato and chili chutney, made with love at Lahloo Pantry, and a copy of the book Cured:  Slow Techniques for Enhancing Meat, Fish and Vegetables, signed by the author Lindy Wildsmith! A runner-up will also receive three tins of oolong tea.

For a chance to win, tell us what your favourite oolong tea is! E-mail maria@lahlootea.co.uk with your answer, including AUTUMN HAMPER as the subject line.

Terms and conditions:

1. This competition is open to residents of the UK, 18 years or over, with the exception of employees of Lahloo Tea and their families or partners.

2. All entries must be received by midnight on Wednesday the 31st of October 2012.

3. Only one entry per person. The winner will be drawn at random from all entries received by the closing date.

4. By entering into this competition you agree to have your name released as the winner. The winner will be contacted through e-mail or telephone after the 1st of November.

5. If the prize winner fails to respond to correspondence from Lahloo Tea or to claim his/her prize within 72 hours of receipt of notification, Lahloo Tea shall be entitled to select an alternative prize winner. The prize winner who has not responded won’t be entitled to a prize.

6. Prize is non transferable and there are no cash alternatives.

7. Lahloo Tea reserves the right to record the entrants’s e-mail addresses for promotional purposes.

Spice Chai and Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

3 Oct

Nothing says autumn like pumpkin spice! Our favourite spice blend here at Lahloo is chai spice. One of the pleasures of autumn is drinking a cup of the warming, comforting and invigorating Spice Chai by the fireplace -but it’s even better when you have something sweet to go with it! This recipe has it all: the warm, incredibly comforting flavour of our famous Spice Chai, the seasonal flavour of pumpkin and the creaminess and sweetness of a classic dessert. Ingredients

  • 330ml double cream
  • 20g pumpkin puree
  • 1 inch of ginger julieved
  • 1 vanilla pods
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 50g caster sugar
  • chopped pistachios
  • granulated sugar for brulee

Heat the cream in a saucepan, but don’t let it boil. Make sure it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and add the spices and tea. Cover it with cling film and allow it to infuse for a few hours, or preferably overnight.

Sieve out the tea and spices and put the cream back on the heat. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar, then pour the boiling cream and the pumpkin puree into the mixture and whisk. Place it back onto a low heat. Whisk constantly until the custard reaches ribbon stage. Immediately remove it from heat, pour into a cold bowl and continue to whisk for 3-5 mins until it has slightly cooled.

Pour into ramekins and refrigerate.

Just before serving, sprinkle sugar evenly over the surface of each crème brûlée, then caramelise using chefs’ blow-torch.

Have you gone conkers?

5 Oct

ConkersConkers remind me of the simple pleasures of autumn and of being a little girl! We had a huge tree in the front garden and every autumn I was the envy of every kid in the playground!

Autumn days were spent gathering conkers, dashing inside for tea and biscuits in front of the fire and getting them ready for battle! Cracking open the spiky green skins revealed the gorgeous glossy conker. Dad would help skewer a hole right through – carefully, without it cracking – and I’d thread string through.

I just hoped my conker (and fingers – ouch) would outlast swings from the other kids and I’d be the conker champ! So simple but oh so competitive! There’s even been a World Conker Championship every October since 1965 in Northamptonshire!

I saw these the other day walking through the woods and while I didn’t prepare for a conker battle, I did rush home, put the fire on, make a pot of amber oolong tea and grabbed the biscuit tin! Autumn perfection!

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