Posts Tagged jam

Flower Show at Buckland St Mary 2018

Today was the annual flower and vegetable show in the local village hall.  I entered just 6 categories this year as I knew I couldn’t get down there on Sunday morning to put in perishable items as I would be serving breakfast to our guests.

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The show was very well attended and I saw lots of my friends there and I had a cup of tea and a lovely piece of carrot cake whilst waiting for the prize giving.

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I got two 2nds, one 3rd and two “highly recommended” so not bad for only 6 entries.

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I was miffed our eggs only got a 3rd, I really think they should have been a 1st as they had the deepest yellow yolks.DSC02407

But it’s nice to think my Blackberry jam and my Marmalade are up to standard, certainly our guests seem to think so.

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I only managed to print 2 pictures of my container garden instead of 3 as the 3rd file was corrupted so I got a 2nd for that.

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And a Highly Recommended for my piggies down on the farm.

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All in all it was a good turnout and a bit of fun entering various categories. Here’s to next year and a few more entries.

http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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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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Beautiful blackcurrants and making Cassis

We planted our blackcurrant bushes the first summer we were here, that is 2 years ago now but this is the first year we have had any significant berries off them.  With all this rain they are big and beautiful.  Easy enough to pick but what a pain they are to top and tail prior to stewing up!!

beautiful blackcurrants just picked

So I decided to look for what else I could make with them, without having to top and tail first and the first thing I came up with was making some blackcurrant liqueur or Cassis.  This is how I made the first batch. First remove all the stalks and leaves.  There is no quick way to do this, you just have to sit and painstakingly go through them all, but still quicker than topping and tailing.  Then weigh the fruit.  You need: 

600g blackcurrants

700ml brandy

400g sugar

6 fresh blackcurrant leaves

1 small stick of cinnamon

3 or 4 cloves 

Add the brandy to a demi john or similar large vessel.   Add the washed blackcurrants.  I did this with a small spoon. You then add the sugar, the cinnamon and cloves and a stopper and give it a good swish round, then leave for at least 2 months.  After that strain the fruit and you are left with a lovely liqueur which you can bottle up.  I have saved my brandy bottle for this reason.

 

 Today I made my first batch with one bottle of brandy, but I am going to get another and double up on the sugar and blackcurrants to make a larger quantity.  It will all fit into the demi john. 

I used the rest of my today’s blackcurrants to make blackcurrant and raspberry jam, using 200g blackcurrants to 620 g of raspberries and one packet of 1 kilo jam sugar.  Delicous and all ready now for my B&B guests for breakfast. visit us at 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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