Thursday, January 27, 2011

summer fruit

We have had a bumper season in our garden this year. Not too many pests and just the right amount of sun and rain. Normally I plant 4 or 5 tomato plants, but this year I planted only two and we have had more tomatoes than ever before! Our strawberries and rocket have also been utterly delicious!

We had a jam making day today. Mixed Berry Jam, and, I tried out a new recipe this year for Smokey Red Tomato Jam from this book. It is delicious! I think it will be even better in the middle of winter with some strong cheese and bread, in memory of the summer sun. For the Mixed Berry Jam, I just used the basic method from Chelsea with a mixture of blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and strawberries. Yum! The girls hovered in and out of the kitchen telling me continuously how delicious it smelt.

Mixed Berry Jam

1kg Mixed Berries*, hulled and rinsed (I used strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries)
1kg Chelsea Jam Setting Sugar
A Knob of Butter (10g)
  1. Crush berries coarsely with a potato masher or blender.
  2. Place strawberries and sugar in a large, heavy based 6 litre pot.
  3. Heat mixture over a low heat until sugar is dissolved. Do not allow to boil.
  4. Add a knob of butter then increase heat and bring to a full boil (a boil that cannot be stirred down).
  5. Boil for 4 minutes only. Remove from heat, skim off any foam, test for set and bottle in pre-sterilised jars

 * You can use fresh or frozen berries for this.

On a another note. I came across a wonderful blog the other day, Baking for Hospice.  It is a fantastic concept, and hopefully in time will spread throughout New Zealand.

summer days

I can't believe our summer holidays are drawing to a close. We have had such a lovely, lazy holiday; beaches, birthdays, bike riding, baking, zoo days, farm days, swimming, gardening and just simply reading books in the sun. I am in no way ready to go back to the morning lunchbox/school bag rush!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

slow time

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and that you are enjoying some rest & relaxation, and all the holidays have to offer.

I promised myself I would have at least a week with no work, or sewing or making of any kind (apart from a baking a birthday cake for Lucy and some muffins etc - that doesn't really count now does it)... just slow time. Somehow I thought a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle (that has been sitting in it's wrapper in the cupboard for about 5 years) might be a good idea. You know, just pop a piece in here and there on passing. But a. I underestimated how big it was, and b. I underestimated my Type A personality... so it has been bugging me immensely having this puzzle taking up the whole kitchen table... and I have spent far more time that I would like to admit putting it together!