Sunday, 11 July 2010

Good Morning

Wow hasn't it been hot.  Too hot for me I haven't done much so far this weekend, but we have a nice breeze coming through the house at the moment so I intend to attack the preserving with gusto today with  the help of my Tefal jam maker as it frees me up to do other things at the same time and to be honest this heat knocks the stuffing out of me.

I am still picking cherries off the tree picked another 6lb last night (these are the ones further up but whether will be able to get many more is another matter - the are certainly up there but I cannot get up!).  I have 4lb of whole cherry jam already processed.  Should be very nice with croissants for breakfast in the morning or in a home made black forest gateau or roulade.

I have blackberries forming on the shrubs in the lower part of the garden, so I am hoping I get a reasonable amount from here, but I intend to go blackberrying later anyway - not just for myself but for my mum too.  We freeze a load and use them for puddings etc, but I also make a lot of preserves and I also intend to do a mixed fruit compote which can be served with pancakes, with home made yogurt or as a pudding in its own right( i.e. bottle them so that when needed can just be taken from the larder shelf) serve them as a hot compote with home made vanilla ice-cream etc. 

I also have strawberries and apricots to process, as well as Tomatoes for passata and ketchup.    Bought a load more apples for drying and I also have some peaches.  I thought perhaps I might make a peach wine as I am not sure I have enough bottles for doing home made sliced peaches in syrup. The jury is out at the moment will have to see what I can find in the way of bottles  - not all of them are in the house but are seconded here there and everywhere.

I also have the last of my elderflower champagne to bottle up this evening.  I also intend to set the ginger beer plant off again and do some Apple pop.  Very dangerously I have also been going through my wine making books.

I had an interesting chat with the veg shop owners yesterday.  I was asking about potatoes and also cooking apples for later on in the season.  They have indicated that out in the Fen Spalding way that they are irrigating the potatoes from the drain at the moment as there hasn't been enough water by way of rain.  That will put the prices up.  But they also indicated that there was  problem with the wheat as well as it is far too dry and the land is parched and dry they said that one of their farmer friends could get the whole of his hand into one of the cracks in the ground of which there were many.  So it may well be worth slipping in that extra pack of bread flour or SR or Plain flour and store them in the freezer until ready to use. Its the same with most things if you have the basic ingredients to hand you can always make something out of relatively little ingredients.

Then I asked about apples - apparently this way on the blossom got hit by the frost quite badly.  It would appear from what they are saying that Cooking Apples may be few and far between from this area, although there may well be imports.  So if you get the opportunity to put up in the freezer some apples or bottle them it may well be worth the effort.  These are staples that we very much take for granted in our kitchens.  If the grain is affected it hits the whole of our lives because animal feeds go up, we use flour for bread and pastries, and cakes.  The price of corn affects how much we are charged for our meat  it is ever spiralling.  At the end of the day we can only do what we can do and that is dictated by our own particular purse

It is at times like this I remember all the hard graft my Dad did with his allotment and the lovely produce he used to grow and share between the family.  I not only miss my Dad I also miss the goodies and fresh veg he used to provide and not only that he used to belong to a lovely allotment sight where all the tenants used to grow different things and if they were "cucumbered" out with one particular glut it used to get shared about.   It was also surrounded by good old hegerows that were dotted with sloes, rosehips and elderflowers/elderberries so it really was a good setting.

Anyway I had better get on as this will not get the preserves done.

Catch up later on.



1 comment:

  1. Hi Tricia =)

    Just catching up, you've done so many foodie/recipe posts. I'm not one for 'preserving' much, but your posts have piqued my interest a bit I have to say!

    I'm back 'at it' with the new blog (at Google profile page), please stop by when you've got the time. Have been meaning to get an email out to you laid plans!


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