Posts Tagged fruit

Buckland St Mary Flower Show 2015

Yesterday (Sunday) was the day of the annual Buckland St Mary Flower and vegetable show.  It’s always good fun and categories are hotly contested, but all the money raised goes to charity.  This year it was the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.  We entered several categories and won a few prizes.

I got a first for my peas in a pod. That’s the red ticket.DSC00428And a second for my lovely blueberries. that’s a blue ticket.

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Neil got a second place for his potatoes.

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And a second for our eggs.

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I got a third place for my lovely yellow courgettes, that’s a green ticket.

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Altogether we got, one first place, three second places and eight third places.  We got third place for Neil’s Blackberry wine, my strawberry cordial, my strawberry and red gooseberry jam and two of my photos.

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When we came home we put all our winning exhibits on the table and took a photo.

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We saw lots of our friends at the show, and were comparing notes on who had entered and won what.  We also had afternoon tea and cake there, so a very enjoyable afternoon all round.  We showed our B&B guests our exhibits and told them they could have prize winning eggs and jam with their breakfast this morning!!

http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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Our first peas and glorious fruit from the garden

We have had a week of lovely sunny weather here and it has done the garden good, bringing on the fruit and veggies after all the rain we have had.  Yesterday we picked our first peas.

Our first peas

They were lovely fat pods of really sweet peas.  We have never grown peas before so this is a definite success.

shelled peas

We had them last night with baked trout and our home grown potatoes – yummy, followed by home grown raspberries that have been so abundant this year we have been eating them daily.

Home grown raspberries

We have the raspberries served with meringues and squirty cream, an unbeatable combination.  Not only do we have raspberries but loganberries and for the first time tayberries, which are a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry, so quite dark in colour.

Also the blueberries have been plentiful.  I think all the rain made them swell up, we have never had so many big ones.

home grown blueberries

Our gooseberries are now ripe and I have been picking both green ones and red ones.  I made strawberry and gooseberry jam with some of the green ones and raspberry and red gooseberry jam with the others.

Green gooseberries

Red gooseberries

So what with the blackcurrants and strawberries we had earlier our fruit garden has been bountiful.  With regard to veggies as I said we have harvested peas and potatoes, our beans and cabbages are coming along OK and we have had several courgettes, but our sweetcorn doesn’t look up to much, got dashed down by the rain we had, and the seeds of our carrots, parsnips and beetroot have all come to nothing.  Also there are very few apples on the trees.  Our British weather has a lot to answer for, but we must be grateful for the fruits we do have!!

Our B&B guests will be enjoying freshly picked fruits with their breakfast.  www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Something else to do with Blackberries and Apples

The Blackberries are at last coming to an end.  I seem to have been picking them for 2 months now, not that I am complaining.  I have made Blackberry jam, and Blackberry and Apple crumbles, and we’ve eaten them raw with raspberries, cream and meringues.  We still have the cooking apples at the top of the tree that we can’t reach and are waiting for them to fall, so I thought what else can I do with Blackberries and Apples?

Blackberries in our garden

So I have made “Squidgy Spiced Apple and Blackberry Cake”!! – Delicious

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

125g butter or spread

225g dark Muscovado sugar (or I have used half light muscovado and half dark)

2 eggs

225g plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

150g blackberries, washed and dried

150g or cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut up really small

Method:

Heat the oven to 160 degrees C or gas mark 3.  Cream the butter and sugar with an electric food mixer, then mix in the eggs.  Mix in the flour, baking powder and spices. Then fold in the apple and blackberries.

Pour into a buttered, base lined 8 inch cake tin and bake for one hour or until a knife comes our cleanly.  Leave for 10 minutes, then remove from the cake tin.

Can be served with cream or ice cream, or just eaten with a cup of tea.

This is a moist cake that will keep in a cake tin for 3-4 days if wrapped in foil.

Guests to our B&B may get the opportunity to try out my Squidgy spiced apple and blackberry cake.  visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Blueberry Vodka

We’ve had a terrific number of blueberries on our 4 bushes this year, best ever.  So I have made blueberry muffins, and we’ve eaten them raw with raspberries and meringue and cream – yummy.  But then I started looking around for a blueberry liquer recipe and found one for Blueberry Vodka.

First you pick the blueberries and wash and dry them.  You need between 450 to 500g for this recipe.

Beautiful blueberries

Then you tip them into a demi john or large jar.

Blueberries in the demi john

Next you add 210 grams of white sugar. I used granulated sugar.

Add the sugar

Then add 500ml of vodka. For a larger bottle of vodka, increase the quantities of sugar and blueberries in proportion.

Adding the vodka

Then give it a good shake and cover and keep in a cool place for at least 2 months, shaking daily.  After at least 2 months, strain off the berries and pour into a suitable bottle.  The blueberry vodka, or blueberry liquer should be ready for drinking.

 

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Buckland St Mary Flower Show 21st August 2011

One of the highlights of the village calender is the annual Flower Show which took place in the village hall today.  It is very competitive, with entries from an 8 mile radius of Buckland St Mary. No exhibitor shall have more than one entry in each class, and all exhibits to be grown or made by the exhibitor. There were 115 classes in various categories: Category A = flowers and floral art, Category B = Vegetables, Category C = Homecraft such as eggs, honey, jam cakes etc. Category D = photography and E,F, G were childrens’ classes.  We entered in 21 classes out of the 115.

The Flower Show was very well attended with lots of exhibits.

Vegetable and fruit exhibitsMore exhibits at the Flower Show

Well out of the 21 classes we entered we got a win in 10 of them. We were well chuffed with ourselves.  Neil got a first place for his potatoes and his elderflower cordial.

Neil's winning potatoes

I got a 2nd place for my blueberries and my marrow under 12 inches long, 1 photo, my eggs plus my courgettes and cooking apples.

2nd place cooking apples

I got third place for 2 photos but there were lots of entries.

What a fantastic start for Neil and I in the flower show to get 10 wins.  We are very happy today.

www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Making Rhubarb Jam, Mrs Beeton’s way

Our rhubarb plants are strong and healthy and we have been picking rhubarb since April this year.  The stems are still plentiful and the beauty of having several plants is that you only pick a couple of stems from each plant, that leaves the plant strong to grow more stems.Plentiful Rhubarb 2011

So I decided as we had so much rhubarb, and I was running out of freezer space, to make some into jam.  But I’ve never done it before with rhubarb, so I asked my neighbour if she’d ever made rhubarb jam as I wanted to get the proportions to sugar right, which depends on whether the fruit is high or low in pectin.

Anyway, Val searches through her books and comes out with Mrs Beetons Cookery Book, 1923 edition.

Mrs Beeton's cookery book 1923 edition

I just love the bit on rhubarb jam, where it says “place the pan by the side of the fire, and let the contents come slowly to boiling point”.  I suppose this was in the days before cookers.

Text from Mrs Beetons cookery book 1923

Anyway, I made my jam using equal amounts of fruit to jam sugar, the same way I had previously made the gooseberry jam.  I made one batch adding the ginger powder – the taste is quite subtle – and one batch without.  Both were delicious and set firm, so a success I think.  I hope our guests at the B&B will enjoy this with their breakfasts.

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glorious goosegogs!

Last year we saw a small advert in the local Londis shop  “Free to good home, 2 mature gooseberry bushes”.  So we phoned the number and the lady said to come round to collect them.  When we got there, she presented Neil with a spade and said “you’ll have to dig them up!”. So he did, and they were big and we only just got them in the car.  We brought them back, dug them into the garden, and over the next couple of weeks, all the leaves fell off.  We wondered if we had killed them, moving them, but thought we would be patient and see what time would tell.

This spring, we noticed the first few leaf buds, then flowers, then slowly the growing of little gooseberries, until they were glorious and ripe and ready to pick.  One bush is red gooseberries and the other the ordinary green.

Red gooseberry bush, JUly 2011

So the other day I picked a load of lovely red gooseberries, sat in the sunshine and topped and tailed them all, then made them into jam.

Glorious goosegogs, topped and tailed

This is how I made the jam:

Ingredients: 600g topped and tailed gooseberries

450g jam sugar (Jam sugar has added pectin and as gooseberries have natural pectin I used less sugar to jam than normal)

Knob of butter (I used Flora)

Method:

Heat the washed gooseberries and sugar in a large saucepan on the stove top.  Mash the gooseberries with a potatoe masher to break them up.  Stir to disolve the sugar.

When the mixture is hot and starts to bubble, add a knob of butter and stir to disolve.

Bring the mixture to a rolling boil (when you cannot stir the bubbles down) and let it boil for 4 minutes.

Take some of the mixture on a spoon and drip onto a cold saucer.  If it firms up then the jam is ready, if not put back onto boil for another minute or two.

Tip the jam into warmed jars and seal straight away.

This mixture made 3 small jars.  for a greater quantity just multiply up the ingredients.    I shall be serving this to my bed and breakfast guests with their breakfast. Yummy!

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