Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Optimism Over Experience

Each year I have a go at making strawberry jam.

Now I am not one of those 'earth mothers' but I have got into the local ethos to a certain extent - making use of nature's bounties, when it is easy to do and cost effective.

I also need to regularly have home made things available to give to friends in the village who are so generous in giving us so much of their own produce!

So I have a go at making strawberry jam each year, using the same recipe each time with jam sugar. Trouble is, it is always too runny.

Therefore this year I have tried a recipe for conserve (meant to be firmer than jam!) and used jelly sugar. Am I getting too technical? Have I lost you yet?! Well it was a little less runny but still not like all the experts make it. But we tried it on our breakfast baguette and Richard declared it super!

But then again, God help him if he hadn't said that......
***
There is at least one vegetable that Richard REALLY misses - and that is runner beans.

For the first few years he tried to grow them and whilst we had enough for one meal (yes, I said ONE meal!), it was never a success.

Seems it is too hot for the bees to be really serious at pollinating the flowers, and you need truly frantic bees to get runner beans to develop.

Anyway, this year it seems he has been secretly doing more research, and has found some runner bean seeds actually on sale down here in the Mediterranean region - and he has planted some.

Look! We even have some shoots showing! Will keep you posted on progress. But don't hold your breath.......
***
Trout was on offer at the shop, so guess what we had?! They even looked great on the plates when Richard served them - but we ate them too quickly and I had no time to get the camera out!

5 comments:

Lesley said...

I hope that the jam funnel came in handy! Love Lesley

Jacqui U said...

It did indeed! Told you at the time it was an excellent choice as a present for us!!

Trouble was, I forgot to take a photo of it being used to fill the jars.....next time I will try and remember!

xxxx

Jacqui U said...

It did indeed! Told you at the time it was an excellent choice as a present for us!!

Trouble was, I forgot to take a photo of it being used to fill the jars.....next time I will try and remember!

xxxx

Jan said...

I love runner beans too, and tried to grow them one year with seeds from England. They grew, but even with copious watering were not good - hard and stringy. Shame!

I made some strawberry jam recently too and find that using the jam sugar here does work. My sister says if you want extra pectin then some lemon juice helps.

Jacqui U said...

Jan, you will pleased to know that Richard's runner beans are still looking promising!

I will try and remember to take a photo this week.

I add lemon juice and the pips to my pot - but I still get runny jam!? Maybe I am just not a good cook!!!

Jacqui
xxxx