As you can imagine, the Summer Holidays are already eating into my blogging time, I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago but here it finally is!
We have picked all the fruit in the garden now, except the thornless blackberry (OK, so not all the fruit then).
The most recent has been the redcurrants; the plant is on it’s third year and we managed about 3Kg fruit, which has been turned into a mixture of redcurrant jelly and currant shrub, a fruity, alcoholic cordial made to a recipe found in River Cottage Handbook No. 2 – Preserves. It looks very pretty sitting in the kitchen steeping in it’s jar, as do all the other red preserves lined up and waiting for their labels.
(mental note: must clean the windows!)
The Cassis made from the blackcurrant bush has been sieved into sterilized bottles and we’ve made plenty of strawberry jam from the abundant berries we get here in Kent. In fact, the boys helped me to make a batch as teachers presents. We had great fun and so far they have gone down very well.
Sadly, the birds have stripped both my pink gooseberry bushes. They’ve never touched them before but I noticed the bushes shaking rather vigorously the other day and on further investigation saw there were only a handful of fruits left; serves me right for not netting them, but the birds have been uninterested in past years. It always amazed me how quickly a fruit bush can be stripped once a single bird has found it, in this case 2 days for a huge amount of fruit.
I really need to spend some proper time in the garden, it’s the last week of school/pre-school right now and it’s a little hectic. We are still waiting on rain, I am surprised the border is surviving, it’s in it’s green phase at the moment, before the later flowers come into bloom but I’m a little worried about their survival in this dusty heat.
Finally, I am still trying to move us completely back into the living room after some recent floor laying. The painting is a slow process, but I am thrilled to finally get the understairs cupboard finished and for the first time in 4 years our preserves and pickles have a proper home. I used apple crates on their sides, fixed to the wall for a quick storage solution and I am super happy to get rid of some more of the plastic stacking boxes that clog up the hallways. We just need doors now 🙂