Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Well the weather continues to be grim although we have been offered a little respite from the rain this weekend. Temperatures though are struggling to get above 11-12 degrees (Celsius) whether it is dry or sunny. Still nice to enjoy the garden even if it is cool. The flowers are colourful at the minute and the one plus of the cooler weather is the absence of biting midges. Flowers currently out are Tulip, Wisteria, bolted cabbage, Pieris and Bluebell. One of the neighbours saw a magazine article on grouping lots of different flowers in small jars and vases and took some of each for here arrangement. Cabbage flowers are individually quite attractive and en-masse when in a field of rape breathtaking. I think my favourite would be rows and rows of lavender in a field in France – that must be an amazing sight. Who knows next year when I have the time I might even go and have a look. See her arrangement below – looks good and I love these 2 dolls. I can remember when women were like this and generally the better for it.

So tell me now why did I build the summerhouse? I bought a lamp for it the other week. I had thought to maybe take a week off last week but cancelled it due to the poor weather. So now shall wait till the Queen’s Jubilee week and take that off instead. I’m trying to be prudent with my works holiday allocation this year and achieve maximum benefit from them. Why do we do that? Especially when all the signs point to the impending implosion of the financial world and really the natural inclination is to enjoy it while you can.

Ran out of jam at the weekend so made some blueberry frangipane jam – not really sure about it but should be good for Bakewell tart bases and sponges. The ground almonds give it a coarse texture. I added them to get a set as I don’t think blueberries on their own have an awful lot of pectin in. I’m not even sure one can add ground almonds to jam but I did and it worked. Jam is so easy to make that it never seems worth buying it anymore. Here’s the recipe if anyone is interested

600g blueberries
600g sugar
100g ground almonds

Wash blueberries and add to pan with sugar and heat till a rolling boil is achieved. You can’t walk away from jam or it will burn. Boil mixture to setting point, (you need a jam thermometer for this) and then add ground almonds. Pot into clean, oven heated jars and seal; and that’s it.

The queen is in Accrington today so expect more pictures from the visit. Let’s see how close they get this time.