Saturday, 19 August 2017

the late summer garden




 August is coming to an end and the heat of a few weeks ago has dissipated. There is a hint of Autumn in the air.
 Not that I mind. I like the onset of Autumn
My pale skin  means I have never enjoyed extreme heat. The gentle warmth of Spring and Autumn are much more my thing.

In the garden, there are signs of the changing seasons. The fresh lush green growth of Spring has faded. In its place come russets and browns. The odd crinkly brown leaf, a withered stem, indicators of what is to come.




And on the allotment, the Rosette apples are ready to pick.
A delicious, crisp, sweet eating apple.
They are not perfect specimens, it has to be said, but what's a blemish or two between friends!





The plums, other than those that have been transformed into jam or tucked up in the freezer have been consumed.
My breakfast for the past week or so has been softly stewed plums with creamy yoghurt, a sprinkle of nuts and seeds and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Delicious!


The past couple of weeks have been very busy.
Aside from tending the garden and lottie, we have been helping lovely daughter and her husband move house.
 I have been on duty helping to pack, clean.
Mr digandweed was allocated the important job of entertaining Tiny Girlie and keeping her out of mischief!

I'm looking forward to a slightly quieter week ahead!
Hoping your week is a good one.

annjenny
x









Saturday, 5 August 2017

river cottage plum jam


Plums -  after last year's massive harvest I was expecting a smaller yield this time round.
The tree on our allotment is only small, barely taller than I am, but once again it has produced a huge amount of fruit.
 70 lbs at a conservative estimate.
They are delicious, but there's only a certain amount of plums a person can eat. 
The carefully staged photo below belies the true situation.
I will admit to being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of fruit.



Mr digandweed, laden with bags, has been knocking on neighbours' doors plying them with plums.
Lovely daughter took more bagfuls to her Nature Play group.
 The freezer is crammed with plums; the fridge with plum compote.
It has become obligatory to eat plums at every meal!



So it was time to get out the preserving pan and start some serious jam making.
This year for a change I tried the River Cottage recipe from the River Cottage Preserves handbook.
Plum jam is one of my favourites.
Easy to make, as the good quantities of natural pectin produce a reliable set and delicious to eat.


The ratio was 1.5kg of plums to 1.25kg sugar.
And the yield  8 x 340g  jars.

The jam is now safely stowed away in the cupboard and spread on hot buttered toast in the winter months to come, will be a delicious reminder of summer.

Have a happy weekend!

annjenny
x