Saturday, 9 July 2011

Dear Mr Hartley

I came across this abomination in a magazine I was reading

I would like to take you to task on a number of points if I may.

'Great for kids - no pips or bits' - What? Jam should have bits and pips, it's made of fruit, no? Kids are young goats. Children like 'pips or bits' too you know.

'Real jam full of fruit' - er, no, it's not real jam (see above). Taken from your website:Raspberries, Sugar, Water, Gelling Agent: Pectin, Stabiliser: Guar Gum, Preservative: Potassium Sorbate, Acidity Regulator: Sodium Citrates, Citric Acid. Bleurch. Jam has fruit and sugar in it, that's all, maybe a little water and lemon juice sometimes. Teh sugar acts as an adequate preservative and has done for hundreds of years

'Easy and convenient format' -why? how? What is more easy or convenient than a glass jamjar and a teaspoon?

I'd say you were having a laugh, but it's really not funny. Plastic bottles in this day and age?

More from your website:

'Hartley’s was a grocers founded by William Pickles Hartley in Lancashire. When one day a consignment of jam didn’t show up, William made his own.

By 1885 Hartley’s was so successful that when they came to build a new factory at Aintree, they built a village to go with it.

With a history and expertise dating back to 1871, Hartley's knows what it takes to get the most out of fruit and produce jams that are second to none.

By the turn of the 20th century, Hartley’s had branched out from spreads into jellies. The jelly range stretches from classic tablet jelly to ready-to-eat jelly in individual pots, and more recently offers fruit in jelly for kids and grown ups alike.'

- and don't start me on about ready-to-eat jelly...................

This is not food, and you should be ashamed to have added it to your repertoire




Friday, 8 July 2011

Sewing in the ends............

Job for this evening - sewing in the ends of  this pile of granny squares on their way to being a blanket, after finishing the dark green edging on the last few.
I like sewing in ends - both literally and metaphorically. A lot of folk find such jobs tedious, but I don't, I relish the chance to do something repetitive like this - gives me time to muse and ponder, plan and mull things over. Likewise, I really don't mind topping and tailing berries and currants, or pricking individual sloes for the gin in autumn, waiting for the bread to rise, waiting a few seconds or minutes for a page/s to load on to the computer, handwriting letters, hand sewing buttons on (yes, my electric sewing machine has a function for this, never used), darning socks, hand knitting, ironing things properly, folding the laundry, washing the dishes by hand............... all those sorts of things really give me the pleasure of a good job done by my own hand. Tedious?No. Satisfying? Oh yes.

Ofcourse, a  poke of your favourite sweeties helps a lot............

Simple lunch

My little private Friday treat this one! Freshly picked salad leaves from the garden, with a boiled egg from my trusty hens up the top, followed by a wee bowl of loganberries. I  mkae a dressing of walnut oil and Amish honey vinegar (homemade) for the salad, and will have a dollop of lcoal organic cream with the berries. Roll on lunch time :)

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Put the kettle on

I got one of these a while back; hugely useful, take minutes to light and make a good cup of tea . Very good investment for outdoor living if you're into that.
Anyone else got one?

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Watch this..........

Watch this. Then tell me about how pissed off you are with supermarkets, queues at the petrol station, how you can't afford a holiday, or new chickens,  the latest from Kath Kidston, the lateness of postal deliveries, the wind blew your delphiniums over, central bloody heating, a new fridge, a new car,  the price of a pint.....................

Sorry , bit of a rant, but a bit fired up tonight x

In another nutshell

I haven't read a  lot of her writing, but Sally Brampton usually hits the nail slap bang on the head. She was writing about getting rid of bags of clothes she'd kept for some 10 years or so plus.............

'The other day I bought myself a little black dress. It's just that it's a little less little than it used to be. I may not be smaller in size but, in ridding myself of the past, I am lighter of heart'

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


One of my alltime favourites from the wonderful Stevie Nicks

Five summer minutes..............

One of my favourite ways to spend five minutes on a summer's day is to lean over the back door (stable door, I have the top open all day) and watch the summer rain. It's a welcome respite from the heat of the kitchen where the Rayburn is on all day, and higher this afternoon as I'm baking biscuits for a friend.
The air outside is fresh and cool, the rain steady but not heavy. Summer rain has its very own unique sound too -  as it splashes downwards through the leaves, ending gently on the soft earth. The scents of nature jump up at you - rich earth, fresh green smell of the lush vegetation, the pungent smell of fennel from just beyond the start of the path, really fresh and clean air..............
My eye darts around the garden as each drop twinkles as it hits a leaf, and whole bushes shimmer and shiver with their own vibrancy.
I can hear a tractor rumbling along, tyres swishing the wet road, and hear the chickens grumbling, trying to outdo the quacking of the somewhat happier ducks, all against the background of gentle splashes and dripping..........
Even the bindweed looks pretty..................
The chiming of the church  clock tells me it's been a wee bit more than five minutes, but no matter, I return to the kitchen refreshed and bouyed up by nature - again.

What would you do with five summer minutes?

Jam thoughts...........

Probably not wholly original (is there anything completely new under the sun?), but I had a wee lightbulb moment; why not use some of my flavoured sugars as part of the sugar amount when making jam? Immediate thought was vanilla sugar with blackcurrant or gooseberry......
Lavender sugar would have to be used with more caution, but wholly possible - apple and lavender jelly?
Food for thought.............


Never done this before, but this was so nice, I just had to take a photo of it lol

-and yes, it all tasted as good as it looked ! lol