Saturday, 20 September 2014

Time to hang up the jam pan for a while

We have been so busy so far in September, and indeed, the last couple of weeks of August were pretty hectic as well.  Here we are more than half way through September, and finally time to have a rest and a day off tomorrow - although that is a Busman's Holiday as it's a trip to Malvern Fleamarket.

I have more than satisfied my urges to make quantities of jams, jellies and chutneys using produce from the garden and what isn't cooked up is either still on the tree, or else in the depths of my deep-freeze!  All the apples, however, are yet to come . . .

Yesterday we had to go into town to replenish jam-making stocks.  I had to buy the Wilko Jam Kit although all I wanted was cellophane tops to go on some of the smaller lidless jars I have.  Whilst in Wilko's, I couldn't resist their 2 for £4 offer on bulbs, and got these pretty tulips for my pots front of house.

I needed to replace a thick oven glove I had managed to burn a hole in - this was £1 in a charity shop.

Then as we were passing The Works, I thought we could just have a wander round as I'd not been there for ages.

Naturally, I was drawn to a few Preserving books, and came out with this one by Dick and James Strawbridge.  Reduced from £12.99 to £2.99, so a good reduction, and some interesting recipes and new ideas ideas in it.  I am drawn to the idea of the solar-powered dryer but can't see it being of much use in the average Welsh summer . . .

I spent the most money in Aardvark Health Food Shop, where spices and herbs are cheaper and fresher than the supermarkets,  I bought two good size (250 g) bags of crystallized ginger, which I use a lot in baking and stewed up with fruit (rhubarb especially).  Also on my list were Coriander Seeds, Yellow Mustard Seeds, Turmeric,  Chilli Flakes, and four packs of Ground Ginger (a staple in this household).  Most of these were 40p - 50p a 25g pack, so much better value than the big stores.  I noticed they stocked Goats' milk butter, so as I am OK with goat milk in my tea, I thought I would splash out £1.95 on the butter and see if it was a worthy replacement of diary cow products in my diet.  I am pleased to report that it doesn't taste the least bit goaty and doesn't affect my asthma either.

Hopefully my recent makeshift posts will now be livened up with some jottings about the other things which interest me when my jam pan isn't calling!


  1. Wish I lived near enough to sample that chutney.

  2. I wish I could guarantee a pot would survive the post, so I could send you some! I will put my thinking cap on . . .

  3. A kitchen smells so appealing when jam is simmering. that said, I discovered that several pots of it made a few seasons ago had not been touched, therefore I don't feel badly for not making more this summer.
    At this point I am very OVER preserving and canning!

  4. This all sound so wonderful to me !
    Have a nice day off you need it.

    cheers, parsnip

  5. I can just see all the preserves and jams lining the shelves. Well stocked for the winter!

  6. I've had goat's milk butter a couple of times and really like it.

    The only thing is, being so pale, you half expect to be eating toast and dripping!

  7. You always get such good bargains.

  8. Sharon - I had a clear-out in the pantry this year and emptied out several year's worth of odds and ends of jam and chutney and reclaimed the jars. I don't use a great deal, but I adore making it! It's handy to give as presents.

    parsnip - it was a great day off, as you will shortly hear.

    thelma - I keep them down in the pantry where I have a slate slab and wooden shelving.

    Blue Shed - I am OK with it, which is brilliant, as now I can have crumpets again, and make Garlic Bread : ) Next post will have an update on the Cats' Cottage .

    Suzie - we have developed an eye over the years, I have to say . . .