Redcurrant Cordial


I’ve never known what to do with redcurrants and have always tended to give them away or do nothing with them. However, this year John had the brilliant idea of experimenting with making cordial as a replacement for the grape/apple juice we buy to mix with soda.

We actually made 3 versions and then did a blind taste test to see which one we preferred:

The first contained 100% sugar, the second contained 50% sugar and 50% sweetener and the third contained 100% sweetener.

Completely unexpectedly, the one that we both preferred was the one with 100% sweetener as you were able to get the full redcurrant taste.

Redcurrant Cordial

For this recipe, you need something to strain the fruit from the juice and for this I used the Jelly & Jam Strainer Stand & Muslin Bag that I’d bought from Lakeland.

Rather than using sugar to sweeten the cordial, we decided to use an artificial, low-calorie sweetener containing Eritritol and Sucralose that we bought in the Spanish supermarket Mercadona in Spain .


  • 1 kg redcurrants
  • 800 ml water
  • sugar or sweetener


  1. Wash the redcurrants and remove any stalks or leaves.
  2. Put them in a large stainless steel saucepan and add the water.
  3. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer for about ten minutes.
  4. Leave to cool.
  5. Transfer the currants and juice to a jam strainer and leave to strain.
  6. Measure the amount of juice obtained.
  7. If you are using sweetener, calculate 50g for every 570 ml of juice.
  8. Put the juice and sweetener back in the saucepan and bring to the boil.
  9. Boil for 10 minutes.
  10. Transfer to bottles and leave to cool completely before putting in the freezer until needed. 

Strawberry Jam with Powdered Pectin


As I’ve never been able to buy jam sugar with added pectin in Spain, in the past when making strawberry jam, the only option was to boil the juice vigorously until it was thicker.

I’ve just bought some powdered pectin and so yesterday, we had a go at using it to make strawberry jam. The jam was a success and the strawberry jam had a perfect consistency.


  • 1kg strawberries
  • 37g powdered pectin
  • 490g sugar


  1. Combine strawberries and pectin in a large pan.
  2. Squilch with your fingers to mix the pectin in thoroughly and to squash the whole strawberries.
  3. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring all the time.
  4. Add the sugar and mix well.
  5. Bring back to a gentle boil for 1 minute.
  6. Put into clean jam jars.
  7. Put a silicone mat on the bottom of the pressure cook and add 1 litre of boiling water.
  8. Bring to pressure.
  9. Turn down the heat and cook for 10 minutes.
  10. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  11. Run cold water over the pressure cooker to quickly release the pressure.
  12. Transfer the jars to a flat surface.
  13. Invert the jars and leave for 30 minutes before turning back.

Cleaning Olive Oil Containers

If we have a good olive harvest, we generally fill these 25-litre containers when we mill the oil. They are a bit of a pain to clean but I’ve found a good method to ensure that they are ready for next year.

  1. Use an outside hose to rinse out as much oil and sediment possible.
  2. Bring inside.
  3. Fill the kettle and bring to the boil.
  4. Meanwhile, fill the container to the 1st line with cold water and some washing-up liquid.
  5. Put on the lid and shake well.
  6. Clean the outside of the container with washing-up liquid and a sponge.
  7. Empty.
  8. Rinse with cold water.
  9. Fill the container to the 5th line with hot water.
  10. Put on the lid and shake well.
  11. Leave until the kettle is ready and then undo the lid and empty.
  12. Pour the boiling water into the container.
  13. Shake well.
  14. The container will expand with the steam, so gently release the pressure by undoing the lid, covering it with a dishcloth.
  15. You will need to release the pressure about 5 times, shaking the container thoroughly after each time.
  16. Undo the lid and empty.
  17. Completely fill the container with cold water. Empty and make sure that the water runs clear. Continue rinsing with cold water if it doesn’t.
  18. Fill the container with a small amount of cold water and add a minute amount of sodium meta-bisulphate to sterilise.
  19. Replace the lid and leave until needed.

Video of wrapping soap

Sarah has now become an expert soap maker and has gone into large scale soap production. We have been selling boxes of 6 soaps in Spain and also around Europe.
We have so far only sold soap to people we know.

We even have an Etsy and a Wish page.

Sarah invented and designed this system to wrap the soaps using a wooden template. 

See the other page about soap making here

ROMMELSBACHER OP 700 electric oil press – Review

ROMMELSBACHER OP 700 electric oil press – Review

Oil Extractor

The oil extractor

We are always trying to find new ways of using our almonds. The price we get from selling them to a cooperative is very low so it is best to use them ourselves if possible. We brought this machine to make oil from almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds.

Results so far:

1 kg of almonds resulted in 230 grams of oil. The oil is fairly cloudy at first but after a couple of days most of the solids fall to the bottom and the oil becomes clear.

We warmed up the almonds slightly. Most of the time the machine works very well. Towards the end of the kilo batch of almonds the screw got blocked and the machine started to produce almond butter in the oil tray. We could have stopped the machine and cleaned the spindle but the almond butter was a good surprise product.

If the nuts are the right size, have the right temperature and the correct oil ratio the machine works very well.

I think this machine is good for small quantities of nuts. It requires a fair amount of vigilance to make sure all is working correctly. It is best to be in the same room so that you can make sure all is OK.

The almond flour which is the powder left behind after the milling process can be used for many purposes. So far we have added it to flour to make bread with good results.