apple turnovers

to make the filling just peel, core and slice the apples  you have and cook them for 5 or 10 minutes in a saucepan with a few tablespoons of water; you can add a little sugar and butter if you like

to make the frangipane, mix the following: 50g softened butter, 35g sugar, 20g self raising flour (or plain flour with a pinch of baking powder), 1 egg, 30g ground almonds

I used ready made puff pastry rolled out and cut into saucer sized circles, spooned a little frangipane in the middle,  added the apple filling and folded the pastry over on two sides

brush the pastries with a little beaten egg and bake for 20 minutes in a medium oven, 180C /350F

serve warm dusted with icing sugar.




forest salve

10 tablespoons of walnut oil

3 or 4 tablespoons of beeswax

about 20 drops essential oils in the combination you prefer: pine needle, cedarwood, eucalyptus

an amber glass jar and lid

to melt the wax just put the pieces into a glass jar and stand in simmering water until they softens then put the oil in a similar jar to warm

once the wax is translucent take both jars out and pour the wax into the jar of oil and stir with a spoon or stick of wood

add drops of essential oil and stir briefly before pouring into the presentation jar

allow to set

this one is quite firm, I used the four parts oil to one part beeswax recipe you’ll see elsewhere on-line

I’m using this salve on a nasty burn on my hand and it’s healing beautifully, also good for dry skin issues and insect bites.


almond cleanser

40 ml almond oil or 4 large tablespoons

1 teaspoon of wax

a few drops of essential oil like calendula or mandarin

the method is the same as for the salve

don’t worry if it looks very liquid as you pour it into the the presentation jar, it will set in 10 or 15 minutes

a really good way to use almond oil on your face without drips and cotton wool pads; the cream is soft and easy to apply and wipe off with a cloth.



pomme or apple brandy

2 kilos of dessert apples (about 20) sliced

750 ml  of brandy

750 ml of vodka

put all of the above together making sure that the apple slices are submersed by using a weight like a ramekin, or saucer

leave for 40 days before tasting, and if you want more sweetness add 250g of granulated sugar and stir to dissolve. Let the flavours develop for a week and taste again. I don’t think you’ll want to sweeten it further but you can.

you can strain and bottle your pomme from this point or whenever you want to serve this lovely winter tipple.


lavender cleaning spray

two parts white vinegar

one part lavender flowers, fresh or dried

mix together, you’ll see the vinegar start to turn pink almost immediately, allow to steep for a day or so, strain and keep the liquid in a bottle with a cap

to strain the mixture, I use muslin to line a sieve and then gather the corners of the cloth to squeeze out as much liquid as possible, any piece of cloth will do though

you can make a fun label for the mother liquid but to be honest the aromas are unmistakable

dilute the vinegar and lavender mixture, using one part to three or four of water, you can use an old spray bottle for misting or a simple bowl to dip the edge of your cloth into

the concentrate should last without going mouldy.