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When am not doing the everyday stuff of life i am making things. Or thinking about making things....

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Mostly Cherry Picking

It has been an awesome year for fruit and the current heatwave is ripening off the currants like crazy. ( see what I did there? Sad i know). A cherry tree at the allotment was seriously covered with delicious red fruit and i recruited J, O Jamie and Jodie to help pick, probably about 2kgs of cherries in the end. I took some to school, I jammed some with Cherry Herring liqueur from my mum ( not cherry flavoured herrings, that would be gross but that is the brand name) and i tried bottling some as well as eating some along the way. They are one of my favourite fruits. Nb fancy pic editing software in the pic above is via a beautiful mess' ipad app.http://www.abeautifulmess.com/. Only 69p and such fun!

The strawberries have been equally impressive too. More child labour employed here!

I made homemade lemonade for the school fair and sold about 20 pots of jam alongside the lemonade. Bonus! Thanks to my lovely mum for making the jars look so lovely. She wouldn't let me keep any scrap fabric leftover though.... She knows me too well.

 
J's lovely strawberry drawing, which if i was clever i would turn into jam labels, as i love it so much!!!
We have also had our first really good lot of blueberries and if i can keep up the watering then they should keep producing little cupfuls like this every few days. Nice on brekkie.
I also made elderflower Jelly for the first time. Very nice, slightly honeyed taste and easy to make. The elders were v late this year but prolific. Link to the jelly is via a dutch website one of my favourites, vlitig. The recipe is here http://helmicoenders.blogspot.nl/search?q=vlierbloesem ( this pic is from that site and very lovely it is too) and you basically put elderflowers in apple juice for a few days in the fridge then strain and boil liquid with sugar. I used jam sugar with added pectin. Helmi's latest post is about cherries too, esp Clafoutis which shamefully i did not make. Still if there are any cherries left.....

I love a fresh pea and so do the squirrels. Lots of half eaten pods. Grrr. These were consumed by me though so that's alright. We do have a heatwave on here in The Home Counties don'tch ya know, so am struggling to water eveything, sports day is cancelled, and our labourer left in the middle of my garden design job for Stokie Bloke. Life is hectic right now.

 

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Mostly solar

Sorry the pics still aren't loading properly grrrr. Anyway pressing on as i've got lots to tell you,: we've gine solar!!! Very exciting and very last minute though we have considered it for some time. The Holts are solar and then on holiday in Cornwall Stokie Bloke saw lots of wind turbines and eco stuff so that spurred him on. A local firm fitted it amazingly quickly and we've have over 70kwh most days. Hurrah and double hurrah. Economically its a no brainer, and as we put ours on the shed roof, no ugly roof on the house either and much cheaper installation costs too. Some not very exciting pics below, but you get the drift. I have been busy cutting up the tonnes of wood we needed to get out of the way so no shade falls on the roof, hence not many posts either....!

Smart eh

 

Revised mostly making our clay oven

Hi all! Sorry the last lot of pics did not load properly. Revised version here. Have lost a load of text but as you'll see my birthday present from Stokie Bloke is well underway. We are firing the oven regularly now so there is a permanent smell of woodsmoke about the place! Kids have loved construction too! You have to mush the clay and sand with your feet and some water, though J chose to use his hands and get naked!!!!

 

 

The barbie is next to it for ease of access and last weekend we had some fab bbq's , summer's here at last!