applesteamdream


The Sweet Life….
February 11, 2015, 11:36 am
Filed under: sustainable living

We were quite surprised when we moved to Malta to find that due to Malta joining the EU a few years back, The Maltese now have access to a lot of ready made foods including fast foods and ready meals. Unfortunately this seems to be resulting in a loss of skills and enjoyment from creating food stuffs from scratch. No-one bakes bread any more, The Maltese bread is AMAZING, cakes and deserts are bought in more often than made at home.

Consequently we have found people clamouring for our home-made marmalades, chutneys and relishes as well as cakes and desserts.  We are beginning to get a regular free supply of fruit from new friends that just ask for some sample jars of our preserves etc. We have made, so far: Orange marmalade; apple chutney; marrow chutney; tomato relish; caramelised onion marmalade; Nan’s piccalilli ( over a hundred year old family recipe); and chilli jam. Other things that have been popular have been my deserts: Chocolate Pecan GF Brownies; baked lemon cheesecake; Bounty cheesecake; Raspberry Cheesecake on a plain chocolate brownie base; Banoffi pie on a chocolate oat base; and a lemon polenta cake with a sharp lemon syrup drizzle to name but a few.

Most of the recipes will be appearing in an Applesteam Limited cookbook at some point in the future.

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WOW…..
February 17, 2013, 8:27 am
Filed under: Applesteam, Fruit, New life, sustainable living | Tags: , , , ,
can't wait to get this made into marmalade...

can’t wait to get this made into marmalade…

We have both been through a lot over the last few years, both of us have lost people really close to us, both family and friends; we have both been manipulated and emotionally battered by those that claimed to be friends, and we have both come through together, still in-tact and very much stronger together for the experiences shared.

Last time we posted on here, plans were still going ahead to move to Ireland to build the straw bail house and new life of our dreams. Well the best thing about dreams is they can change and grow as we grow, The Ireland plan has been put on hold, probably permanently, who knows. The new plan and change is already several months through the planning stage and into the implementation stage.

In two weeks we will have packed our home up in Nottingham for good: we will be on route to our new life in Malta, in the middle of the Mediterranean. Some of the ideas we had for Ireland will be implemented in Malta, living a greener life; home baking; self sufficiency (as much as possible) are all still in the plans. As well as furniture design, furniture renovation and creating art inspired by our surroundings.

Our new home is on a hill top overlooking the Mediterranean sea. We have a lovely walled garden, surrounding our property, overgrown at the moment, but with lots of potential.  Some of the garden has already been cleared ready for re-planting. At the side we have a terraced kitchen garden that needs weeding and planting. Luckily we already have established fruit trees, with grapefruit, tangerines, oranges and lemons. There is a grapevine too which will hopefully bare us fruit, along with what we think might be a cherry tree as well as several olive trees and fresh dill.

We will continue to post updates, recipes, and photos as well as green ideas.

Hope you will remain with us for the journey

Ric & Richard xx



Facebook Page
September 16, 2012, 12:53 am
Filed under: sustainable living

https://www.facebook.com/theshellfoundation



There is a lot …
August 28, 2012, 8:40 am
Filed under: sustainable living

Just a few photos from our trip back home to Ireland, 40 years of growth is going to take a bit of clearing lol.



The New Year Begun

Now here we are, 2012, just a number. Lots to be done during this number, we have to secure full planning permission on the land but even before that a survey, a complete design and a bit of negotiation with our neighbours, “a plan is in  the making”.

By the end of said number we would like to have found and secured a local supplier of  Douglass Fir, a softwood yet strong and proven to be a great framework building material. This is available in plenty in Ireland so keeps down the carbon footprint of long haulage.

Again the straw supplier has to be sorted, straw is better if bought the previous year and dry stored ready for the build.

As well as an unknown amount of things that side swipe you along the journey to your dream, BUT this is our dream, our end product is simple living, not easy living. We have a vision, “sat aside upon our porch, overhanging roof sheltering the rain, a cigar, a whiskey and a good book” this is our dream, no fast cars or condos.

Just beautiful and together, every day together.

Happy new year xx  

Our best wishes to all, Richard & Ric 



Home Made Christmas

In the kitchen saucepans boil,

Onions chopped my tears recoil,

Marrow chutney stews and brew’s to ready for the jar,

Applesteam Christmas gifts, the chutney guys we are.

But to do this both together, learning traits anew,

Things that can’t be done, we find are very few.

Now the onion is reducing, aromas fill the air,

Creating the perfect flavour takes a lot of care.

No burning on the bottom or sticking to the side,

A mistake however small now impossible to hide.

The marrow reveals a mushy melt of mess,

Juices plump and purify, help the fruit distress.

Almost ready for the jars all clean and sterile, shining bright,

We fill them full and label up, what a scrumptious sight.

Signed and sealed these Christmas gifts for family and friend,

Not only chutney within these jars, also love we send.

Happy Christmas – Richard & Ric x



Its a Home-Made Christmas at Applesteamdream…
December 12, 2011, 9:22 am
Filed under: baking, Christmas, cooking, sustainable living | Tags: , , , , ,

With the world in recession still, its been lovely to return to a time when gifts were handmade, when preparations for Christmas involved lots of quality family fun in the kitchen. Though preparations started in October, it makes the season all the more special when it draws closer. We’ve found happiness in the day to day things, not in financial gains. The contentment to be found cooking together, whether it is something for a special occasion, or for dinner, is amazing. Sharing tasks makes them more fun, and becomes a way to bond instead of a chore.

Preparations for the coming festive season have been fun, we’re trying old and new recipes for chutneys, cakes and the like, for Christmas presents, but also going forward for our own store cupboard and the forthcoming Applestaemdream cookbook.

Red Onion Marmalade bubbling away.

Red Onion Marmalade took quite a lot of onions, 1kg and makes only a couple of small jars when ready, but it tastes amazing and works out a lot cheaper than the shop bought variety. A great accompaniment for cold meats or cheeses on Boxing Day and beyond.

Marrow Chutney with our labels on

The first chutney we’ve ever made is now in jars to mature over the next few weeks up to Christmas. Chutney is a great way to preserve the excess of fruit and vegetables from the garden, and make sure you have produce throughout the winter season. The vinegar and sugar act as natural preservatives. Why do commercial companies feel the need to add all those colourings and additives when it looks and lasts so well without? All the flavours will infuse nicely and would normally be ready to eat between 2-4 weeks.  Tonight we will be making some apple and cinnamon jam, and some apple chutney.

The Christmas cake is due to be turned over tonight too, the marzipan will be made and added too. The marzipan needs to be on the cake for up to a week before icing, so it should be ready for this coming weekend.

Marzipan Recipe

350g ground almonds

175g castor sugar

175g icing sugar

1 medium egg beaten

juice from 1/2 a lemon.

Method: all dry ingredients into a bowl, mix well, add lemon juice, then enough beaten egg to make a pliable paste. Coat the surface of the cake in apricot jam, roll out marzipan and cover your cake. Don’t worry if you can’t cover it in one go and need to patch it up, it’ll be covered in icing.   As a special treat make another batch of marzipan,  roll into balls and dip in melted chocolate, allow to cool and wrap a few in cellophane with a red ribbon as a Christmas treat.

Next, the home-made sweet mincemeat will be going in the little buttery pastry cases ready for Christmas guests to have a mince-pie with a brandy or whiskey coffee.

Have a lovely Season and enjoy the journey, and don’t get too stressed.

Ric & Richard

xx