Wednesday, 31 August 2011

No pics. today.

My USB lead is out on loan so I can't post any pictures today. I have been creative in the kitchen and made some crabapple and sloe jelly. I had a few crabapples given to me, then added the meagre crop from our little tree, only planted this Spring, and needed something else to bulk up the quantity. The River Cottage Preserves book gives a recipe for Hedgerow Jelly which uses a half quantity of crabapples and half of any hedgerow berries. I found two sloe bushes only yards from our house, which are laden with wonderful fruits. I have never seen such big sloes - I picked 2lbs in a very short time. I'm sure they are sloes as the leaves look right and I have the scratches from the thorns as additional evidence! They have given the jelly a beautiful rich purple colour and added quite a plummy flavour. I skimmed off the froth and being unable to waste anything I tried it on a piece of bread and butter - delicious and sweeter than I imagined though there is a tang as well. I have never used sloes before and am going to pick some more shortly and make sloe gin for Christmas. There is also a recipe for making thin strips of candied orange peel dipped in chocolate. They sound very good without being too rich or wicked.
I am going to start work on my course today and when the new blog is up and running I will let you know, in case you are interested.
Will September bring us an Indian summer? In case it doesn't, I have taken down our two hanging baskets of cherry tomatoes and put them in the greenhouse in the hope that they will ripen more quickly. Three cherry tomatoes at a time is not enough, even for a small household.


Toffeeapple said...

I know of only one person who has a glut of ripe tomatoes and she lives in York, everyone else has hard green ones. I am hoping for an Indian summer too.

I finished making crab apple and chilli jelly today. I have sloes from last year in OH's freezer, waiting for me to get Gin which I always manage to forget.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you get up to on your course

Anonymous said...

Heather, Can I come to yours for Christmas? I love a good Sloe-Gin Fizz!
Cherry tomatoes are so good aren't they - just like candy! Hope your crop ripens up so you can have a little feast!


Carol Q said...

ooh, they sound lovely Heather. the orange peel dipped in chocolate is fab (I can vouch for that!) all the very best for your course. definitely would like to know when the new blog is launched. I've signed up with the local college today to do a year's drawing & painting course. ooooh!

The Weaver of Grass said...

I have never thought of using sloes in a preserve Heather - we are surrounded by them so I might try something along those lines. Good luck with the course. I am progressing slowly and finding it hard going but am keeping going thinking that an hour a day is bound sooner or later to mean improvement.

Gina said...

My tomatoes are still mostly green too... but it is sunny today so I live in hope! Thanks for leaving me a comment about the cakes. If you want me to send you a pattern please email. Good luck with your course.

Julie said...

You've been very busy Heather. My friend used to love to make Sloe Gin. I love the osund of orange dipped in chocolate. Perfect! Good luck with your course, we'll be cheering you on :-)