Monday, 27 April 2009

Jam making!

My weekend was cut a little short, as I had to work Saturday morning (not best pleased) but I still managed to cram a lot in. Saturday afternoon after speeding out of Birmingham I managed to get the time to go to a farm sale, something I haven’t done in years, it was good fun looking round all the tat but I didn’t feel the urge to buy anything. The rest of the day was quite social, catching up with people I haven’t seen in ages and going for a walk with my sister (which turned into a bit of a run thanks to an April shower!). On Sunday I was very productive, spending a lot of the day in the garden (weeding mostly), and I cooked some roast lamb (my dad had given us this the last time he had one killed) with all the trimmings, first time I’ve cooked in ages as I’m always back too late with my job.
As the rhubarb is running rampant I decided to do something with it and make jam (we’ve nearly run out of blackberry and apple jam). The recipe was simply equal amounts of fruit and sugar (in weight) with a bit out ground ginger. This is simmered until its all mushy then boiled rapidly until setting point is reached (it wrinkles on a cold plate). Making jam is so easy and it didn’t take long, not sure why anyone would want the supermarket stuff with all its preservatives in it.
Homemade stuff always tastes better as well!


(An entry for last week as my internet was down!)
This has not been one of the best working weeks of my life! Between the rain, thunderstorms and the gear box going on my car I was pretty down by Friday afternoon, especially when I found out how much the parts were for my car, but the weekend has been a complete turnaround.
I was an usher at a very good friends’ wedding on Saturday and the whole day was filled with sunshine and apple blossom, it really couldn’t have been any better! And the weather on Sunday has been great as well, so Claire and I went for a picnic by the river (about an hours walk from our house) and then lay in the sun for a while. Perfect recharge for the rubbish week I’ve got ahead of me!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009


The weather over the weekend has been lovely, complete sunshine for three days, not like a normal bank holiday.
We went away for the day on Saturday to Hay-On-Wye, one of our favourite places on earth due to it having about 35 second hand bookshops. A really enjoyable day, I only brought two books (one on farming and the other on Kung Fu) and spent the rest of the day browsing even having fish and chips by the river. Sunday and Monday were spent in the garden planting hundreds of seeds, repotting blueberry bushes and herbs as well as trying to make it look nice. Also got a little done on my shed, which seems to be going a lot slower now I’m doing 13 hours a day in the week! I will get it finished by the end of the summer though.
I’ve also managed to talk Claire into letting me hatch out some quails to make use of the old chicken pen. I’ve got to find somewhere that sells fertile eggs and borrow the incubator from mum and then we can add to my growing little garden economy!

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Lovely Rhubarb

Well after working in Birmingham all week with an hours drive either side of a 7 till 6 day I was looking forward to the weekend a little more than usual. Even though one of my jobs was to fix our toilet as it had leaked and soaked the dining room ceiling – I’m always glad I can do jobs like this myself or it would cost a fortune to get a plumber in.
I spent almost the whole weekend in the garden pottering round, tidying up, mowing the lawn and doing other odd jobs. I even managed to sort out some of my herbs and pots.
Planted my early potatoes yesterday (rocket as these did well last year), also took a bit of risk and transplanted my tomatoes and left them in the greenhouse overnight (even though there was a frost – they seem alright today so I’m really pleased).
Also brought and planted some herbs, angelica so I can use the roots to ease the indigestion I get all the time, and chamomile to relax me after a day at my stressful job!
Gave myself a little treat tonight as I had a bit of the rhubarb that I’ve forced dipped in a sugar – so nice! It’s much less sharp than unforced rhubarb. I’ll take some with me to work tomorrow so I can pretend I’m not in the city centre for two minutes!