In a bid to live a little more with good intentions and be a little more mindful of the things I buy and consume I have been looking into natural and homemade things for our home to help make the “everyday” chores and necessities a little more joyful. Reusable, natural beeswax food wraps are the perfect alternative to using clingfilm and tin foil to keep food fresh, not only do they look and feel more beautiful to use they are also a good choice to make when thinking about cutting down on waste and making an intentional decision to do our bit for the environment.
I find making things for our home to be both joyful and satisfying, even more so when the finished result serves a good purpose and is something really useful. These beeswax food wraps are really simple to make, just sprinkle a few natural beeswax pellets onto a piece of clean, natural, unbleached cotton and pop in the oven* on a low heat for five to ten minutes. Once the wax has melted into the cotton it is time to take them out and allow to cool.
The wraps can be used over and over again for months providing they are kept clean between use. Use a little soap, rinse with cold water and leave to air dry. The warmth of your hands is enough to make them malleable enough to wrap.
Here are some great reasons to give them ago:
- Natural beeswax has antibacterial properties and is safe to use with food.
- The wraps can be used again and again eliminating waste
- The process of making something useful for your home is highly satisfying
- A beautiful alternative and it won’t get all tangled up like clingfilm tends to do
Do you like to make things for your home that are both beautiful and useful? Please do share your makes with me I would love to hear them.
*use an old baking tray
This time of year is the best when it comes to inspiration for feeding my family. I love the wide variety of seasonal produce that autumn has to offer, berries gathered amongst the hedgerow just as summer fades away, a basket full of fallen apples picked in the autumn sunshine and the promise of ripening squash in the fields at our local farm shop (I could feast on this soup all season).
With a basket full of brambly cooking apples and a challenge set by Steamer Trading we spent a cozy autumn afternoon in the kitchen making chutney. I chopped the apples and onions, whilst Arthur mixed in the raisins. I dug deep into the back of the cupboard to find a jar of mixed spices that smelt so amazingly fragrant the kitchen was instantly warmed by the aroma.
I have never bought a good quality knife before and I didn’t realise just how much of a difference they made until Steamer Trading got in touch and asked if I would like to take part in #TheSteamerChallenge to compare a Chefs Knife with a Santoku Knife. A good quality knife makes the job of chopping and preparing food simple and effortless, here are my thoughts on using each knife:
- A versatile, all purpose knife that’s great for chopping fruit, vegetables, fish and meat. I think I would make this my go-to knife and perhaps, with the exception of a bread knife, I would say this is all you need
- I really like the way it feels to hold, the handle fits comfortably in my hand and feels weighted and balanced which helps with the performance and feels safe to use
- The curved blade allows for a good “rock, chop” motion meaning the knife does not need to lift away from the chopping board whilst preparing ingredients
- Best of British design with a 25-year guarantee
- A good everyday knife. Although it’s roots are in eastern cooking where finer ingredients are used, it is a suitable knife for many vegetables, fish and meat
- The hollow dimples along the blades create air pockets so finely chopped ingredients like herbs don’t stick.
- The depth of the blade makes dicing easy, it is also a great knife for scooping up ingredients and transferring it into the pan for cooking
- Best of British design with a 25-year guarantee
When choosing a good quality knife, look for one that has been fully forged from one single piece of steel – where the blade continues to runs through the handle, this makes for a stronger and more durable knife. No knife will stay sharp, one made from a good quality steel, however, will stay sharper for longer. Both knives featured in this post provide an excellent ability to chop smoothly and with ease. However, my preferred favourite is the Chefs knife as it felt more comfortable in my hands.
Old English Apple Chutney
This recipe is taken from an old WI magazine and makes about 1kg of chutney. Preparation and cooking time is about two and a half hours (ensure you sterilise your jars before use)
- 250g onions, chopped
- 1kg cooking apples
- 125g raisins
- 1tbsp ground coriander
- 1tbsp paprika
- 1tbsp mixed spice
- 1tbsp salt
- 350g sugar
- 700ml vinegar
Put all the ingredients into a heavy pan and slowly bring the mixture to the boil, stirring often until the sugar has completely dissolved. Then simmer for an hour and a half to two hours, stirring from time to time to stop the chutney from sticking to the bottom of the pan. To check the chutney is ready, drag a channel through the mixture with a wooden spoon so that the bottom of the pan is visible. If the channel fills with liquid immediately the chutney is not ready. cook for a further fifteen minutes and check again. The chutney is ready when the channel does not fill immediately and the mixture has become thick. remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand briefly. Fill warm, sterilised jars with the chutney and allow to cool before labelling and storing.
With thanks to Steamer Trading for sponsoring this post and providing
me with two excellent quality Robert Welch knives.
And so summer has finally arrived here in our little corner of the world. This week has been truly beautiful, long slow sunny days, seeking shade beneath the big tree bottom of the garden and splashing in a makeshift paddling pool. It seems like perfect timing to share this simple recipe with you. Peaches make a delicious summer treat and we have been enjoying these after dinner most days this week.
juicy ripe peaches
a sprinkle of soft brown sugar
a drizzle of honey
toasted almond flakes
Halve the peaches and remove the stones. Pop them on a baking tray and drizzle with a little honey and a small sprinkling of soft brown sugar. Roast them in a hot oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the sugar begins to caramelise.
Serve with natural yoghurt and toasted almonds.