Saturday, 14 September 2013

JAM - A JAR TO FAR? 2013

 This year we had to find a new pick-your-own farm as the one we have been using had not been cared for as well as it should, the cherries were good but it would appear that the fields hadn't been watered so the fruit wasn't very good.  The farm we found was near Sittingbourne  best range of soft fruit we have seen for a long while, they even had redcurrants and blackcurrants.
Usually after hot (yes there were a few this year) summer days picking fruit I freeze it so I do not have to spend hot summer evening sweltering over the jam pan.

This summer a lack of foresight meant that the freezer was too full to stock with fruit, especially as I still had some beautiful golden cherry plums that I had been given last year lurking in the bottom of the freezer.

Jam making for me always means pouring over the pages of one of my favourite cookery books - THE GOOD HOUSEKEEPING COMPLETE BOOK OF HOME PRESERVING, 1981
before using a strawberry jam recipe - slightly modified  Strawberry and Raspberry jam.  The other jams I made were :- blackcurrant (a half batch of this one); cherry and pineapple; golden cherry plum jam.
1.75kg fruit 
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1.5kg sugar
knob of butter

Place the fruit in a preserving pan with the lemon juice and simmer gently stirring occasionally for 20-30 minutes untill really soft.
Take the pan off the heat add the sugar stirring until dissolved, then add the butter return to the heat and boil rapidly for about 20 minutes.
Test for a set and when setting point has been reached, take pan off the heat and remove any scum with a slotted spoon.  Allow jam to cool for 15 minutes to prevent fruit rising in the jars, then stir gently and pot and cover in the usual way. 
 I use this recipe for mixed fruit jam especially if I have any small amounts of left over fruit.

CHERRY AND PINEAPPLE JAM - this is a really nice jam.  I wasn't sure if I would like it and had only made it because I had been a little carried away while picking cherries.

Labelled and ready for storing.

A very small house and kitchen means storing the jam where there is space.  Lots of room behind the DVD collection, which is just as well as this year I seem to have made an awful lot of jam.

Just the mincemeat to make in a couple more weeks, when the apples are ready.  That will give it pleanty of time to mature before Christmas.  

Monday, 9 September 2013


 This is the latest card that I have made. Some time ago I used a pre-printed kit to make this effect, this time I wanted to start from scratch.  The end result has a different picture depending on which side of the card you view it from.
 To make my card I printed two photos just under A5 size - one was a picture of Broadstairs, Kent and the other was of Campbells Bay, Auckland.

I cut each picture into 1cm  wide strips being very careful to keep all the strips in order.

Then I stuck alternate pieces onto a sheet of A4 paper with double sided tape.

I photocopied the photo onto thin card.

Using a bone folder I scored the line between the different photos.


Making nice sharp folds I worked my way across ....

The beach at Broadstairs.

The beach at Campbells Bay.

With the photos scored, folded and stuck onto the card it was time to add some papers and embellishments to finish off the card.

A few paper flowers, card fish and some tiny seashells .... then a twist of ribbon.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

A little sewing/a little shopping

After visiting the WAR AND PEACE REVIVAL SHOW at its new venue (Folkstone racecourse) I became very inspired by the fantastic array of vintage clothing, hats and bags.  If you love vintage then this show is a must for you.  It may be advertised as the largest display of military vehicles on the planet but don't be fooled.  There has always been vintage clothing stalls and as there are dances 'for the troops' in the evenings places to have a make-over 40's style.  This summer was even better with an entire vintage village.   Original and repro items to suit every budget.  I even found a parasol. 

We also went to MILITARY ODYSSEY - we have been visiting this show at the Kent County Showground since the first show. 
This is a multi-period show and covers so much history from stone age through to modern day.  Quite apart from all the 'living history and arena events there are wonderful opportunities to buy items that would be either hard to find or only available on line.  This year I found the range and number of stallholders very disappointing - several traders that I have dealt with in the past weren't there and things seemed to be spread out so the lack of traders wasn't as noticable.  

 Still I did manage to find a fabric stall and get some very nice linen and cotton.  A length of what I think may be matress ticking and most importantly a length of (small) dog tooth check.  

This weekend dressmaking has begun!  A pinafore out of the ticking to begin with and enough left for at least two more items of clothing.  And now I have the sewing bug again I might even do the few items that need mending.