Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Hello from the Make it and Mend it team

The Make it and Mend it team are having a team meeting and lunch today at Clare O's. When we arrived we were greeted by this trayful of home grown tomatoes from Clare's garden. We're now looking forward to tasting some of the chutney and tomato pickles she's bound to make soon (yum yum).

Clare has really excelled herself with her urban garden this year. Here are some pics:

The veg garden also featured at lunch - with home-grown chard and tomatoes. Clare also showed her MIAMI creds by serving us a delicious soup based on her leftover chicken casserole. We're now looking forward to tea and home-made cake while debating what content we're going to create for the MIAMI website

Clare F

Sunday, 1 August 2010

The conversion of the reluctant jam maker

About a year ago I wrote a piece on our main website entitled Confessions of a Reluctant Jam-maker. I thought I would need to be dragged kicking and screaming into making jam, seeing it as the preserve (sorry!) of the Women's Institute and retired people. Despite a shaky start, I quickly discovered it to be a very relaxing and enjoyable activity with the added bonus of making the kitchen smell delicious and your mates and family grateful to receive your sweet donations.

Since then I've become positively evangelical about it. In the last few weeks I've made raspberry, strawberry, fig and gooseberry/elderflower jams. There's a big pile of rhubarb on the table waiting for me to get stuck into tomorrow. The biggest pleasure was making fig jam from my own home grown figs. I'd originally planned to eat the figs with Parma ham, if I was lucky enough to harvest any, but in the end there were so many I was able to do that and make a few jars of jam.

Today's effort - gooseberry and elderflower jam was another double-whammy, as it was made with my own homemade elderflower cordial, this giving me two bites at the elderflower cherry! The recipe was from the good old Women's Institute, whose jam-making book was a Christmas gift last year.

I haven't ventured into pickles and chutneys yet, but my homegrown tomatoes are looking very green so if they don't turn red I'll be giving our Italian recipe for green tomatoes under olive oil a try.

If you haven't had a go at 'jamming' yet, do give it a try!
Check out our big Jam-making page with loads of info

Clare F