Tuesday, 16 July 2013

and the heat goes on ...

Are we in week two of a heatwave or week three?  I never thought I would wish for rain in Cumbria but having spent the best part of two hours watering newly planted shrubs and perennials I'd dearly love some precipitation.  Last year we had 4½" of rain which was far too much but the 5mm to have fallen so far in July is insufficient.

For a dog who hates being cold, Daisy isn't too thrilled about being too hot either and regularly retreats to the cool of the house.  In fact, so do I, and we're spending most afternoons chilled out indoors - her sleeping and me reading, and then going into the garden around 5.00pm when the heat and humidity have eased up a bit.  I think the humidity is probably more draining than the heat.



This is a rubbish photo but it's very hard to sneak up on Her Ladyship to take a photo without her sitting up!




This morning Madam relaxed in front of a large tower fan whilst I made a second batch of Strawberry not-Jam.  Despite adding extra lemon juice AND commercial pectin neither yesterday nor today's jam making sessions ended in a product that is prepared to set.  I know strawberries don't have a lot of pectin and I know ripe ones have even less.  Doesn't mean I'm not thoroughly ticked off, especially as I've never had a batch of jam fail to set before.  Never mind, it will keep in the fridge and I see lots of strawberry conserve on ice cream or french toast and numerous other indulgences in our future :}





10 comments:

  1. The strawberry not jam will still be lovely! One contented pooch! I've also decided to go into holiday mode and pick out a novel from my shelf!

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    1. Thanks Sue. When I told Management about the not-jam he immediately said "pancakes" followed by jam roly-poly, and tartlets, and a few other things besides! Glad you are also able to go on 'holiday' and put your feet up with a good book.

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  2. Hmmm...sorry the strawberries didn't jam for you. Luckily, I've never had that happen. DH would be utterly stricken if he didn't have his homemade strawberry jam.

    Just eat it up like it is. And, you can just can up the not-jam, too. I see no reason why not, anyway.

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    1. Thanks FFG. The first batch, which has been sitting in the fridge, has now solidified and looks as if it will be a lovely 'spreadable' consistency. I am confident that the second batch will do the same (nothing like optimism!)

      The next flush of ripe berries are going in the freezer to be added, later in the year, to milk shakes and summer's pudding - yum, yum!

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  3. Never had any luck with jam and hubby doesn't eat it at all, so don't make it. Love fresh strawberries and vanilla ice cream though. Not really the weather for jam roly-poly!!! Daisy has the right idea in the heat. Hope it rains for you soon. We certainly know what it is like to have no rain, though we are on permanent water restrictions here in our area.

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    1. We could do with just a little rain but after the previous two awful Summers, and the coldest Spring on record, I'm not complaining. It will turn chilly soon enough (we can have frost as early as mid-September here).

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  4. Can highly recommend Jam sugar, not too much more dear than the usual stuff but will set pretty much anything! I was a non believer till I tried it but am now converted, sure you'll have a great time using up the conserve non the less. Our cats can sympathise with Daisy especially Mabel (long haired and black) they've been flaking out on the laminate and we even found Mibs asleep in the sink the other evening. Nice and cool I suppose. I do like hearing of your ongoing adventures at Bag end :-)
    Vikki

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    1. Welcome to Bag End, Vikki, lovely to hear from you.

      No such thing as coincidence - only connections. Last night it occurred to me that for possibly the first time ever I had used 'normal' sugar instead of the jam sugar with added pectin. I will have to remember that for next year (as we now have 12 jars of strawberry not-jam I think that will do for this season!)

      I don't think Daisy would fit in the sink but tell Mibs it's a great idea :}

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  5. I love home made strawberry jam, always used ordinary sugar for mine and never had a problem but did end up with almost strawberry toffee jam one year! You have inspired me to make some more if I can remember how lol! Always used Delia Smith's recipe so I will have to dig her book out.

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    1. Jill, I followed Delia's recipe/method. I think Vikki has hit the nail on the head about the sugar - first time I've used regular sugar. Am currently freezing loads of strawberries before they go too soft and might have another jam session later in the year. Good luck with yours.

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So there I am, chuntering on to myself, but it would be lovely to hear from you. Thanks to all who take the time to comment - it makes my day :)

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