The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...


Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Fruits of my Labour

My jam pan has been earning its keep again.

Gerry and Jane came up for a few days just before Paul went to Toronto, and one evening we went out to pick the wild raspberries up the road. The next day I gave Jane a jam-making demonstration - and a small jar to keep her going for a few day's worth of toast.

I had another picking session a week or so later with Penny, and those are now in the freezer.

Won't get many more as the hedge cutters have now been along there now, severely limiting the canes to those actually in the hedge. Not a good year compared to the previous few, with me only getting about three pounds but at over £12 a kilo for "tame" ones in the shops I shouldn't complain.

Next came the rhubarb and apple chutney. Unfortunately bought cooking apples - but give it time. But my own rhubarb and onions.

A little improvisation from the recipe. Brown vinegar instead of white. And white sugar instead of brown. Should balance itself out :)

I added some ground ginger and cinnamon for flavour.

I forgot how long chutney takes compared to jam, with frequent stirring to stop it becoming a gungy mess on the bottom of the pan. There was an almost disaster when I forgot about it and accepted a scrabble match on ISC.

But it seemed to turn out okay. We will find out in about three months time when we get to taste it.

My rhubarb crowns have excelled this year - it is coming to the end of the season so I must get out there and pick a load for the freezer, if this rain ever stops.

And this year, for the first time, I have managed to pick the blackcurrants before the birds demolished them all. A couple of sessions, freezing the first lot whilst waiting for the rest to ripen. About a pound and a half - enough for my first attempt at blackcurrant jam. If I thought the raspberry set quickly this is the Usain Bolt of jam making, needing only a couple of minutes of rapid boiling.

Just over three pounds of fruity loveliness to join the two and half pounds of raspberry jam...

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