The Great Reduction – update

I’m sure I’m not the only person who can’t believe we’ve reached the end of August already!  Where has the time gone?  I really don’t feel like I’ve achieved very much this year for various reasons, certainly not in terms of sewing projects that’s for sure.

There will have to be a concentrated effort to produce some autumn and winter wear as the new eating regime introduced for Mr Jane Makes continues to have an impact on my waistline and some of my clothes are decidedly loose.   While I’m happy to take in seams on dresses and tops where necessary, I’m not sure I can face all the unpicking of my previous hard work to adjust waistbands and linings on skirts.  There may be more tucking in of tops than usual to fill the space!   It’s also a good opportunity to start from scratch with some lovely new or re-purposed fabric from charity shop finds (which I don’t mind pulling apart).  I’ve already got quite a bit ‘in stock’ which was acquired last winter and never got as far as the sewing machine.

Back to the main event.  Mr J-M has shown a dedication to his diet that has surpassed anything I was expecting, even allowing for the fact that he had the major fright of a heart attack to motivate him.  Those of you who know him will be aware that he had an impressive appetite and was never known to refuse food!

He’s still working towards his self-imposed target but the current statistics (as at last Sunday) are as follows :

  • Total inches lost (waist) : 5
  • Total weight lost : 15.1 kilos

I could also include number of miles cycled (on his new bike) but I don’t have that information to hand.

Whilst much of his wardrobe is now falling off him there are several things which have always been somewhat snug which are experiencing a revival.  I’m planning a BEFORE and AFTER photograph once the target is reach, which is anticipated within the next month.

One thing I do love about this time of year is the opportunity to pick blackberries.  There are lots of brambles along our walking routes (I’m trying to achieve at least 10,000 steps a day) and we’ve had a few foraging trips.  The first thing that springs to mind when I’ve got a bowl of blackberries in the kitchen is a crumble but as all added sugar is now being avoided I had to come up with a revised version.

Blackberry Crumble

I’ve noticed that fruit does taste sweeter when you’ve eliminated chocolate etc. from your diet so I decided not to mess around with the blackberries for the filling.  I added a couple of nectarines and a pear that were going a bit squishy in the fruit bowl and sprinkled over a teaspoon of vanilla essence.

For the crumble element I used :

  • 50g spelt flour
  • 50g oats
  • 50g ground almonds (I ground these myself in the blender)
  • 75g chopped dates
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

The dates were pre-chopped as this was all the local supermarket had in stock when I discovered the jar was empty.  The pieces are coated in rice flour to prevent them sticking so I blended them and then rubbed the resulting sticky wodge into the dry ingredients.  I stirred in the olive oil and pressed the mixture on top of the fruit.

The crumble was cooked for 35 minutes on 170° and here it is.


Next time I will add more oil to the crumble mix as it didn’t hold together very well and wasn’t especially crumbly but it tasted pretty good and was even better cold.  There was no custard obviously (sad face) and I’m still thinking about possible alternatives.  There is an oat milk cream which looks quite interesting so I might give that a go.

We have an enormous fig tree in our garden which started life as a tiny plant in a pot.  The figs are just stating to ripen and with the next haul of blackberries I added some figs and made an approximation of a cobbler with the same ingredients but this time I cooked the dates in a cup of water and added all the liquid so that the mixture could be made into patties.  Not quite as good as the crumble but it all got eaten!

There were also some breakfast pancakes with grated apple which tasted fine but were very messy and certainly not photogenic.  More work required.

It will be September tomorrow so here’s to autumn sewing plans but hopefully there are still some warm sunny days ahead before we have to abandon summer clothes.




19 thoughts on “The Great Reduction – update

  1. Yummy! I do love a berry crisp/crumble and those figs look delicious.

    Congratulations to all on the adherence to the revised diet and to Mr JM on his resultant weight loss. And here’s to some new clothes for autumn and winter so that excessive tucking in need not take place. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That Mr of yours is doing incredibly well and it’s great that both of you are feeling the benefits of the diet. Those berries look fantastic and I do love crumble. Several friends of mine are switching to gluten free ice cream? Maybe this could be an alternative to the custard? I think you’d know better than me.
    Also I heard people at work talk about using courgettes and other vegetables cut into strips with some kind of gadget? to replace spaghetti? You probably already know this but it sounds like a good and healthy alternative.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A spiraliser! I do know people who have these and the spirals of veg look lovely but it is another gadget that needs a space in the kitchen! I’ve not seen gluten free ice cream but I suspect the fat and sugar content is still high. One gadget I do have is an ice cream maker which NEVER gets used but perhaps my experimentation should continue in that direction!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That crumble recipe is nice. As you may remember my husband is also cutting down due to heart issues and he has been cooking from Deliciously Ella. The meals are very tasty and I would recommend, even for someone who doesn’t need to loose weight. And, if you are like most people, summer is for going outside – autumn and winter are for sewing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That crumble looks very delicious. Its not been very autumnal here up north. In fact I ma beginning to realise that I was too hasty in packing away my summer wardrobe – its been so very warm that its put me off the idea of autumn sewing. I am back to finishing off some summer projects instead 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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