Sunday, 12 July 2009

The fruits of their labours.......!

Given our surfit of fruit, the Gnomelets were dispatched to pick a load yesterday. To hear the initial grumblings and chunterings you'd have thought I was sending them to forage deep in a dangerous forest where they'd be surrounded by wild and ferocious beasties, rather than going a hundred yards up the garden to the fruit cage!
However, bless 'em, they soon recovered their normal good humour and chattering and singing could be heard from within the depths of the fruit cage - along with the occasional moan about 'currant-pickers back' and 'slave labour'!
This is their haul after about an hours' work!

Then they sat and carefully prepared all the fruit, stripping the currants from all their zillions of little stalks - what a pair of stars they were! (First-Born is on the left, Last-Born is on the right)

Total outcome from a day's cooking = 7 jars of redcurrant jam, 4 jars of raspberry jam, 2 jars of blackcurrant jam, 1 large kilner jar of redcurrant vodka, 2 medium/large kilner jars of redcurrant gin, a tray of 'topped and tailed' gooseberries in the freezer, a pint of redcurrant juice let down 50/50 with water and one of my all time favourites sweets - a summer pudding! Not a bad days' work!

Though I am curious to know why the redcurrants float in gin, but sink in vodka?!

I've never blogged about my cooking before, but Shady Gardener of 'Does Everything Grow Better in my Neighbour's Garden?' at yardisgreen asked me if I shared recipes - and it appears that, as of now, I do!

The photo below is the recipe for the redcurrant tart. It's from the July 2008 Sainsbury's magazine, but you can see why I kept it!

If you click on the photo it'll enlarge and be easily readable - enjoy!

Anyway, we're off on our holidays at the weekend - to a cottage in the Dordogne in France! Along with all the sleeping, eating, sleeping, canoeing, cycling, sleeping, eating, swimming, walking, sleeping etc. that we plan to do (do you get the feeling that I'm just a tad tired today?!), we're also hoping to pop in to see Rob of ourfrenchgarden whilst we're down there and to see his lovely garden - I can't wait!

Normal service on the progress of the Japanese Garden and the erecting of the Tea House will be resumed in a fortnight or so when I get back - exciting times ahead!!!

Friday, 10 July 2009

Summer Goodies!

At last ...... my fruit and vegetables are finally ripening!

We've had to bung lots of the raspberries straight into the freezer as I've not had enough time to make any jam this week, but the prospect of my family coming for a meal tomorrow night (I have to just put 'a meal' as I'm from Yorkshire and call it 'tea' but Himself calls it 'dinner' - because he's posh and from Leicestershire!) ......... anyway, they're all coming and the redcurrants are ripe so I made a Redcurrant Tart!

There was some of the scrummy gooey mixture left over, so I popped up the garden and picked a few raspberries and made a pastryless tart - but it looked so nice that we ate the lot before I had chance to take a photo!

Enjoy your summer bounty!