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Damson Jam….not for the faint hearted

I have just spent the best part of two hours making Damson Jam. I bought the Damsons from a great greengrocers in Bridport the other day as we were passing through.

Bridget’s Greengrocers

I believe its the same one Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall visits on some of his programmes. Anyway, having bought my Damsons, Plums and some lovely Cox’s Apples l decided to make jam out of these lovely deep purple nuggets.

Weighing Damsons

I used 3lb of Damsons, 2 3/4 sugar and 1/4 pint of water.

In a large pan slowly simmer the damsons in the water until the damsons break up and release their stones.Now l am guessing maybe l should have made this jam at the start of the day rather than at the end of a rather hard days work. Standing there and slowly removing the stones was not my best job of the day! Top Tip: It is easier to remove the stones once the sugar has been added as they all rise to the surface, Its still a real fiddly job.

Removing the stones

Bring to the boil until setting point has been reached. To test just spoon a small amount onto a cold saucer and let it cool a little. Push the jam with your finger and if it wrinkles and looks like a skin has formed then it should be set.

Pour into hot jars and seal immediately. I made about 5lb. I hope it sets otherwise it will be lovely with rice pudding. PS The next day proved it had set and tasted fantastic. Well worth the effort!

Did anyone watch Wartime Farm? I thought it had the makings of a great series. The addition of scenes of them sat round a wireless listening to Neville Chamberlain’s speech announcing the outbreak of war and Churchill’s rousing speeches was quite moving. Looking forward to the coming weeks.

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Posted by on September 8, 2012 in September

 

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‘A Brief Period Of Rejoicing’

Today, 8th May, marks Victory in Europe (VE) Day. Winston Churchill told the Commons :

We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead. Japan with her her treachery and greed, remain unsubdued.We must now devote all our strength and resources to the completion of our task, both at home and abroad. Advance Britannia.

After six long years and millions of lives lost, the war in Europe was finally over.In London over a million peoplecelebrated and crowds massed in Trafalgar Square and up the Mall to Buckingham Palace, where King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by the Prime Minister Winston Churchill, appeared on the balcony of the Palace to cheering crowds.

“This is your hour. This is your Victory”, Churchill told the crowds. “It is not a victory of a party or of any class. It’s a victory of the great British nation as a whole”.

The crowds burst into song singing ‘Land of Hope and Glory’. If there was one place l would like to have been it was there and then. The atmosphere must have been electric. Britain at its united best.

Click on this link to see a wonderful piece of film in colour of that moment in London: VE Day

Broad Beans

66 years on and my thoughts are also on my garden! We have been having tremendous thunderstorms and huge downpours with strong gusty winds.

It's raining again!

No problems with dry soil now. In fact, the garden is growing by the minute. My runner beans love the rain and are putting on some strong growth. So are my courgettes, squash and pumpkins. The spuds are looking good and so too are the peas and dwarf beans. I applied a soft soap solution on the blackfly on the Broad Beans and it seems to be working, albeit slowly. Thank you to Janet at Plantalicious for sending me a garlic spray recipe to get rid of the nasty blighters. I will use it if the soft soap solution doesn’t work.

I am also taking a chance with nature by planting out my courgettes this weekend. If a frost is forecast l will lay a fleece over them. the same with the spuds and runner beans. This hot weather has brought everything on so quickly l don’t have a choice really. If they stay in their pots their growth will be stumped and they never really fully recover.

Courgettes, squash and pumpkins ready to plant out

The Salad Bar

Everything comes up Roses in the end!

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2011 in May, The garden

 

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Thank God for Churchill

So people are casting their votes as we speak and, it looks like a Conservative government could be coming back in. I will reserve comment but suffice to say that the only true conservative leader this country has ever seen has to be the one and only Sir Winston! It was only through his sheer guts and determination that we eventually won the war. There was no room for the ‘shall we, shan’t we’s’ of this world. He was the right man, for the right job, at the right time. We could do with someone like him now! Deep breath and lets see what the next 5 years brings us all. God Save the Queen!

A true leader

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2010 in May, Uncategorized

 

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