Wednesday 29 July 2015

R.S.P.C.A. Dog Show

So this year we once again returned to the R.S.P.C.A. dog show at Waddington where we first met Trojan two years ago. This year not only was it the second anniversary of meeting Trojan but also fell on our 17th Wedding Anniversary too so got to spend it with family, friends and people who made our family grow...enjoy the photos!!

Monday 27 July 2015

Red, White and Blue...

Well not really but I liked the title....they started out red, white and black....but quickly turned into red, pink 'ish' and deep purple!!!!!

redcurrant juice
redcurrant juice

whitecurrant juice
whitecurrant juice 
blackcurrant juice
blackcurrant juice

So as you can see I was talking about currants!!!. The redcurrants have been boiled up and strained through a jelly bag and the juice is all ready to go.

This is the white currant juice and you can just see the jelly bag in the top of the picture as these are currently still straining. I never quite understand why the juice goes a 'pinky' colour once they are cooked!!!

And last but not least the blackcurrants. These have not long finished cooking up on the stove and are cooling in their pan waiting patiently to be strained once the whitecurrants are finished!!

There are lots of things you can do with currants and they are a great crop to grow as once your bushes are established you get a great harvest from them but boy are they time consuming. I cut the time down quite a bit by doing the juices this way as it doesn't matter too much if you miss the odd stalk as you are getting rid of all the debris anyway. Having said that I cut my time down though it has still took 4 hours picking time and 6 hours sorting time...not quick at all but well worth the effort!! I know a lot of people don't like making 'jellies' as your end product is as bountiful but this is my preferred way as I hate 'bits' in my jams and if we were all the same it would be a very boring world!!

These aren't the first batch of currants I have done up this year and wont be the last as i still have some blackcurrants yet to pick. Once they are all picked i am giving the bushes a good hard prune as they have got a little out of control this year and I have been pruning the blackcurrants as i pick as I have found them a lot easier to harvest after I have cut the branches....I really wish they grew the same way the white and red currants did as they are so much easier to harvest!!!

So what am I going to do with all this wonderful juice I hear you ask??? Okay...maybe you aren't asking but I am going to tell you anyway. I have already made some blackcurrant syrup and redcurrant sorbet up and even if I do say so myself they are both delicious!!

I did also put some blackcurrants to one side in a kilner jar which I have then filled up with a few months i will have wonderful blackcurrant vodka to sip on!!

On the cards for this lot is some blackcurrant sorbet and some juice put to one side for Juliette who wants to make some of the syrup as she loved mine and her picking efforts only gave her about two teaspoons of juice!! Some redcurrant jelly and depending how much there is when I measure it I may try a little syrup with this as well.

With the blackcurrant left on the bushes I intend to make some blackcurrant jelly as this is one of my favourites and as for the whitecurrants....well to be honest I haven't a clue yet. I haven't looked anything up for those and have to be honest and sat this is the first time I have actually managed to harvest them so if any of you have had some experience with what to do with whitecurrants I'm all ears...failing that I am sure I will come up with something!!

Besides the currants I am harvesting raspberries, broad beans, potatoes, strawberries. I even have one ripe tomato on my plants in the green house!!

Well thats all for now but I do have lots to catch you up on so will be letting you know more soon as summer holidays are here and with them a little time off work, YAY!!