Thursday, 21 August 2014

Blackberry and Strawberry Jam

I've not made jam for years. The first time was DECADES ago now in Domestic Science at school and then when my children were little and we did fun stuff like blackberrying. My one vivid memory is the time I picked an old walls ice cream 4litre tub full of blackberries. Rinsed them.  Froze them. Months later I defrosted then to make some lovely blackberry goodies, only to find them writhing ( great word ) with teeny little white wormy maggots! I'm going to google image this now to see if you too can relive my utmost horror! Hang on a minute.....  Ugh no I can't do that to you. I'm super grossed out now - again- on your behalf!

Fear not this time, the blackberries came all the way from the Supermarket. Whoopsed ones of course. The same can be said of the strawberries.
Thankfully maggot free jewels! 

The HG spoilt me again and presented me with a lovely new jam funnel and pan. My oven has an induction hob so needs pans than can make a magnetic connection. 

I had 1.5kg of fruit so used the same  weight of sugar  ( a kilo of which was jam sugar ) - as it was the first time I'd made jam for a long time I wasn't going to meddle with the recipe. Next time I'd use less sugar. I used the juice of one and a half lemons and I popped in half an apple. Stirred until all the sugar had dissolved
then set it boiling merrily away! 
I tested it several times for setting point, the old wrinkle test on a cold plate. I think it was ready, but decided to give it three minutes longer. Some of the fruit caught on the bottom and my kitchen smelt like a candy floss shop! The scum was removed and my sterilised jars filled to the brim with delicious jam! I made three for storage, one for my neighbour and one to eat now! 

The cardigan is almost finished, just one front band and the neck band to go.
Oh well, I suppose I should  go do some packing for our jollies. Catch you laters potaters!! 

Love from
Rachel "Maggot free jam" Radiostar xxx 

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Sunny Saturday, Soggy Sunday

Hello Blogsvillers,

How was your weekend? Mine was full of lovely things beginning with S. ( ooooeeeerrrrr!! )
Sunshine - despite the forecast- plenty of it on
Shelves - The HG was busy building new ones in the
Shed - the new one he built for the bikes which got a covering of
Soap as the boy gave them a wash mainly to get rid of the
Spiderwebs - my garden is FULL of the pesky eight legged creatures. They make their homes everywhere, on my garden chairs, and should I leave my pegs on the line overnight , my bloody pegs. Peg spiders, where the bloody hell do they come from? Where????
Shopping - I went to Aldi on
Sunday - after  the HG and I dropped the
Siblings - off at the train
Station - She to work and he to see his new girlfriend a train ride away.  Off we went in the car
Singing our heads off to the COUNTRY CD - it's a great
Sing a long actually. We do a great Islands In The 
So today in the low cost high value 
Supermarket we bought ( amongst other things )
Seeds - for the garden birds,
Soft fruits for us to eat in fruit Salad, 
Sirloin Steak,
Semi skimmed milk and some
Sweets. A
Short journey later 
Saws, on offer at B&Q. When we got in I made us a
Sandwich of
Salad, chicken and
Salad Cream. And as it was absolutely chucking it down in
Stair rods I caught up on some
Soaps - I'm a
Sucker for Hollyoaks, midday through the omnibus, the wind picked up and it got a bit
Stormy. Barry didn't mind, happily taking himself in and out of his cage,
Sitting on various high points in my lounge and
Shitting on the carpet!!
So, I'll post a few pics and I'll
Sign out for now.
Sky - blue

Silver flash in the sky - a magnificent Vulcan bomber on it's way to an airshow - absolute pants photo with my phone. We could see it clearly. 

Soooo blue, he matches the sky, it's Beautiful Barry! 

Smashed to smithereens - the Salt Pig ordered from Amazon - already waiting for collection to their returns dept. 

Sitting pretty on my light fitting. 

Those Stair rods I told you about! 

Rachel 'all the S she could get in a weekend' Radiostar!!!

What letter did you get up to??

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Tuesday again

Relentlessly the week marches on.

Not much to report lately. I've started a new knitting project. It's a vintage pattern I've used before ( I made  a wee matinee set for Foster/FrugalMummy's FIRST grandchild - implying there's a second .... THERE IS! Mama and baby are fine I'm reliably informed :-) )
I've got four boxes of wool. Those large flat stacking boxes you can get from all leading storage box providers.  Four. Full. I've even a couple of large vacuum seal bags if yarn. Wool I've bought, collected, been given I decided on a gorgeously soft pastel peach colour for my friend's brand new baby girl. It's very fine. I'm not sure if it's 3 or 4 ply. I'm thinking 3 as I can only see 3 strands if I unravel a bit. I'm all about the science! As with most of my stash there are no labels! I'll advise a gentle wash and no tumble drying! 
Let's start at the very beginning! Or a left front as I like to call it! 
Fancy lacy edge with a picot finish - will be stitched up at the end. 
The back  has some sunshine knit into it. 
Note the state of my nails. I bought a new mint green colour because I thought it looked sweet... It went on like tippex! Hands up who tippexed their nails in the 80s?! We were so definitely rock and roll!

BREAKING: garden news. 

 After three years I finally have a Hibiscus flower! Obviously you will know the colour before I even post the photo! 
I bought three plants, gave them EVERYTHING they could wish for ( did what it said on the label ), only two remain. This is the first flower on the weedier looking plant. There are two more buds. That's it! The stronger looking plant is very leafy but not a single sniff of a flower so far! I have no idea why?! 
It's so gorgeous! And rather tasty it would seem looking at the nibbled leaves. THREE YEARS I WAITED FOR THIS! 

I have a hang my head in shame moment. You know how I likes to share my manky veg recipes with you from time to time? Well, I have rather deep drawers in my fridge and I am guilty of just shoving the shopping in with a view to sorting it out later. Later, this time it seems, is a good few weeks! Warning -  all you haters of food waste look away and unfriend me now, for I am about to show you something so tragic. Even *I* wouldn't include these in my manky veg curry/stew/soup. 

Eeeeewwwwww! Call myself a domestic goddess??!!! I'm firing myself!

Finally we had a really long stormy storm. My mop bucket ( that was outside )was half full of rain water just from the weekend, but there was rather a lovely rainbow that I thought I'd share. 

Right, much to do today! Best get cracking* 

Love from 
Rachel 'mankiest veg' Radiostar xx 

* makes another brew and faffs about online a bit more.