| New toy!
|♥Aug. 31st, 2013 // 09:15 pm♥
For my birthday, my mother got me an enormous steamer, which I mostly wanted for making cordial in.
The first try was my standard ginger-and-lemon cordial, which I usually make in the stock pot and then steam. There was something of a fail on my part, when the juice slowly seeped out onto the kitchen counter, where it pooled in the window: after much washing and wiping to de-stickify things, I ended up with about a (litre) bottle of juice, when I would normally make four bottles with the same ingredients. Even without the leak, I suspect that it would only have made a couple of bottles at best. It wasn't nearly as gingery as with the other method, but you could taste the honey much more when it hadn't been simmered to death.
Next up, I got Mike to get a couple of bags of plums with the veg box*. They made a very, very purple juice that didn't taste desperately of plums.
* Gosh, but we're eating a lot of veg. I suspect that Mike might struggle a bit when Brassica Time comes, but so far we're enjoying it, and the add-on fruit really is very good. Does anyone have any cucumber suggestions? Mike loathes it, I'll eat it if it's in my sandwich but wouldn't add it voluntarily. I suppose I'll have to pickle them, or something? (We're only allowed two do-not-wants, and we've taken them with cauliflower -- my least favourite brassica -- and celery -- which even I will pick out if it's not rude to do so.)
Today, having yesterday passed a stall in Canterbury that was selling two punnets of local** strawberries for £2.50, I tried those out. I got about a bottle and a third of juice from them, and I think it's lovely: Mike's not so keen, but then he doesn't like the taste of cooked strawberries, and I do. There was a very dramatic moment when, having been out and about for a while, I'd not obsessively lifted the lid to check on the fruit for nearly an hour. When I did, the slightly-grey-looking strawberries visibly shrivelled and collapsed in the time that it took for my glasses to completely steam up.
** I'm fairly sure that they actually were local: the sign had the name of the farm on it....
I suspect that there will be more experimentation in future! I might go and have a look at the apple trees tomorrow, to see what's happening there. (They're annoyingly tucked away in the corner of the garden. Last time I looked was a week ago, when there were a few windfalls on the floor. We don't even know if they're cookers or eaters!)
In other news, today our fencing work finally started: they've ripped out all of the old fencing, and are getting ready to put the new posts in tomorrow. I spent a fun hour out in the field going across the line of the old dividing fence (which we're not replacing: we'll use electric tape to strip graze instead) filling in the holes with A Conveniently Available Organic Material, which the boys helpfully provided.
Although it was a lovely day, and scorchingly hot in the conservatory when we popped in there this afternoon, it's now a bit bloody chilly out here beyond the heat island. I've got to go and give the boys their hay*** in a minutes, and I'm wondering if I should go and get some socks.
*** I finally got around to calling the guy who farms the valley, who had, we think, been ordered to supply us by the Woman Who Owns The Valley. He brought a (round) bale the same day, for us to try, and today we've rearranged the barn so that we'll be able to fit eight of them in, which Mike calculates should be very nearly, if not actually, enough to see us through.