Mrs Beetonís apple chutney
Made with Granny Smiths, and following her recipe exactly,
was lovely to eat, but as usual a bit runny.
Huge crop of Walnuts, but I picked them just a little too
late. (Iíve forgotten the exact
date). I went heavy on the ginger
in the spices. They tasted great but a few had fragments of
shell, which were easy to discard, but put some people off.
Mint jelly worked well.
Mrs. Beeton again.
I made a load of redcurrant jelly.
Lovely, albeit a bit runny, but itís a devil to find people to eat
it. We hardly ever eat lamb these
Another huge crop. Pickling
went perfectly this year - my best effort ever.
The only problem is the bits of shell last year have made
some people a bit wary of taking a jar off me!
I tried drying some to eat as nuts but they all went
rotten. I wonder what I did wrong.
Hardly any Victoria plums this year.
Absolutely no crop this year. The same with Victoria plums.
I wonder why. My broad beans
failed as well but that may have been because I got all the vegetables in rather
late. I didnít plant anything
till after May 5th -
Election, in case you didnít know!
Take some very hard Conference pears. Skin, core and boil in half a pint of vinegar with 8oz sugar, a couple of cloves, a piece of cinnamon stick, some mixed spice and ginger for 10 minutes or so. Pack into warm jars and pour over the vinegar mix. Eat with cold meat. (recipe from Delia Smith).
A good crop this year so Iíve made some damson gin (21 August). Iíve never tried it before. I filled jars 2/3 full with pricked damsons and topped up with gin (Beefeater). Most recipes for sloe gin say add a bit of sugar but I thought Iíd leave it out for now. Damsons are a bit sweeter than sloes, and I can always chuck a bit in when I sieve it in December. Iíll do some sloe gin for comparison in September.
Nov 11 update.
The damson gin needed a bit of sugar but was lovely. With a great effort I stoned the damsons and dipped them in melted chocolate to make damson liqueur chocolates. I think it will be worth the trouble.
Picked mid September, frozen a few hours and then mixed with one litre of gin in two wine bottles. Sloes about 1/2 full, sugar about equal volume topped up with gin. Maybe picked a bit early and not properly frozen pre-use. So I also made a small test batch with sloes picked early October, frozen one week. Same quantities.
Also the usual apple chutney topped up with a couple of bananas. Pickled beetroot.
18 Oct. I picked a mountain of sloes at the w/e so will have to make some sloe jelly. Here's the recipe.
18 Nov. Well I made it, the sloe jelly that is, but it took two boils
to set, and the final result is not that nice. Which I guess just proves
the dictum that the main reason for using sloes to flavour gin is: "They
are absolutely no use for anything else whatsoever".
July 2006 update
The damson liqueur chocolates were a howling success. I also made some sloe liqueur chocolates which were good, but the berries were smaller than the damsons, so it was a hassle to make. Margaret Coggan writes about the popularity of sloe gin and sloe liqueurs with North Yorkshire's shooters. Hear hear! Support the country sportsmen!
An excellent crop this year and I remembered to pick them early so they should pickle well. I'm testing the effects of a range of spices. Click here for the full story.
Last year my senior taster objected to the bananas. She didn't have a specific taste reason she just did not like the idea - so this year no bananas.
Instead Mrs. Beeton's usual recipe with the addition of two hard pears and two onions both from the garden. The pears weren't going to get eaten any other way. I also found a whole ginger root in the fridge. So, instead of Mrs Beeton's recommended preserved ginger or my usual dried ginger powder, I cut the root up small, skin and all, and bunged it in. I also put in eight unripe Victoria plums. We're going to have a great crop of these in Notts this year so I thought I'd shift a few early.
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