|I utterly love daisies. Beautiful, simple, perfect.|
Took this lovely photo of a daisy today on a garden visit, how beautiful are daisies, they are my favourite flower I think they are perfect. And, talking of beautiful, almost perfect things, Mr Flowers, arrived back, somewhat earlier than anticipated up to the windswept homestead, catching me with the wholesale catalogue in hand, lolling on the sofa, looking at fruit trees. Its hard core fun here, what can I tell you! Well, when the weathers the way its been over the last wee while, arm chair gardening is as good as it gets 'til the polytunnel is up. In the mean time, I'm fantasy gardening, pad of paper in hand, catalogues out, plan of tunnel on paper and thinking how I'll select fruit and then veg for the tunnel, where it won't matter if the wind blows hard, I can still garden.
We're planning on feeding ourselves from that covered garden and we're going to do that for utterly everything fruit and veg wise we like to eat. Well almost everything, lets face facts, I doubt a banana will grow well with us, (although they do grow in Iceland in their geo-thermal greenhouses) I doubt I'll manage to grow a coffee tree, nor a cocoa tree in time to produce those products before I'm very old. And, dear reader, let me tell you I'm already *quite* old. Therefore the plan to enhance the wish for an almost pure 'Orkney diet' is to try and grow everything we possibly can and reduce the shop bought fruit and veg as much as is practical. Without going insane and being deprived of coffee and bananas and chocolate - we'll buy what we can't grow. Well thats the plan, up here in the frozen north, a good life garden, under cover in a polytunnel to attempt to grow more things than we could in our climate and for longer.
|Jam, scruffy but tasty. Local real food doesn't have to be perfect, to taste gorgeous.|
I've said previously the family are, quite rightly, my feircest critics. We've a family of jam lovers, except me (the ficklest of all, I don't have a sweet tooth), I do like spicy though, therefore I've made myself 5 jars of chilli 'jam' for adding to savoury dishes. Whilst the rest of them all have their favourites, strawberry jam is usually dismissed in this house due to 'lumps' (fruit) this is a bit of a pity as its a quite easy fruit to grow here - HA foiled them this year I've blitzed the strawberry jam and now its got the same texture as raspberry, lump free. One hurdle over come. Aside the 'lumpy fruitness' of my normal jam, now blitzed by hand held processor in to zero pulpdome, the jam most craved here is raspberry. Its a firm favourite of Mr F, who's opinon is, 'why eat other jam if you can eat raspberry'. I think he needs to broaden his horizons, lifes going to be a bit boring if we only ever grow raspberries! Therefore he's open to new things, just as well eh? We had the great jam taste test today..........
|Left to right (top) strawberry, bramble (unset) jams|
then, raspberry jam, elderflower jelly.
All jams/jellies had a good texture although the bramble didn't set too well, better luck next year.....The strawberry is loved by the cellist who's warned me not to make too much as she'll get sick of it. Righto, got me orders there. Bramble jam is well accepted, although its runnieness noted, not much good for a decent piece (scottish word for a sandwich). Again, noted. The elderberry jelly has been viewed with trepidation, the cordial so well recieved earlier in the season, could the jelly of the berry be any good? I think the texture of it and the colour is stunning, it set well and aside a rather purple pair of hands for a day when dealing with it and a purple tea towel from straining it, I think its worth the bother. Its got a big thumbs up from me certainly, I think I'll use it alot in cooking, although it would be lovely on a scone. Its a taste not unlike brambles, but hints of elderflowers. Darn site easier to pick as well! I'll be trying that again.
Mr Flowers however, whilst receptive to all these new treats, has given the double thumbs up to the raspberry jam. He's just too much of a fan of it to see past it. Lucky for me raspberries do grow well here! I'll have to ration the rotation of the jam otherwise I can see the reds going before the others!
When not eating a jammy piece, raspberry of course, Mr Flowers enjoys playing one of his several guitars, scoffing my lovely home made elderflower cordial and having recently had a quite serious mountiain biking injury (bust shoulder) in Canada, isn't out on any of his bikes at all at the moment. All the more time to eat jammy pieces he informs me. Better make sure I get a good selection of raspberries for the polytunnel garden hadn't I? I read a brilliant article about autumn fruiting types I quite like to grow as they are less fussy than the normal ones. And for how to make the harvest even better, I got brilliant information from a great blog (thank you) about seasonal food and growing 'My Tiny Plot'.....Here why don't you pop over and check it out if you like.
Ps, we've reached the heady heights of 99 followers - I'd never have thought that possible and I'd like to say a big thank you for popping by, every one of you. x Jam all round I say!