I have had two classes now, over the last four weeks, billed as learning how to make Elderflower Cordial - some hope. Not a flower for the first class, I managed just 10 heads for the second class - so we made some Elderflower Vodka instead! Although it has been warmer this week, the flowers are still only just beginning to break into full flower - I don't think I have known it so late. We still managed to cover cordial making in the classes but substituted citrus flavours instead. At least we could make the Herb Jellies and Strawberry jam!
The Rosie Makes It Easy Clubs are proving to be well received and we have had a request for individual packs as the lady is a carer for her husband and can't get out to a club night. I thought this was a very valid point as there are shift workers - and those who do not particularly like group events. So, of course, there is now an individual pack for just £15.00 per month. All details are all on the website or you can email me for to find out more.
I have been busy this week stocking up making Strawberry Jam, Piccalilli and Fiery Bengal Chutney - oh, and Courgette & Mint Relish and Herb Jellies. Hmmm, busier than I thought! Everything will start gathering pace now though so it is a good chance to make enough of the things like Herb jellies, that you perhaps don't need lots of, for the whole year. I have also been making herb halts and a new range of barbeque glazes for my Rosie Makes shop.
More news on the Jam Regulations - I requested the background information from Defra under the Freedom of Information Act and they failed to reply within 30 days - which are the terms of the Act. I emailed to chase and had no reply, and it was only when I threatened to take the matter to the relevant authority that they did reply. I have published this on The Guild of Jam and Preserve Makers website and you can read it for yourself. I have a meeting to discuss this with my MP, Alan Duncan, during July and I will update you after that meeting.
Also in July - the 13th - we are collecting 6 rescue chickens which is very exciting. The poor things will take around 2 months to return to full health, for their plummage to be restored and for their legs to strengthen. We are spending this weekend making their accommodation ship shape and I really hope that they come to love living in the country. Oscar, 4, can't wait either - 'I can start having an egg for my breakfast again Nanny'. I do hope so.
New recipes on my recipe site m.rosiemakesjam.com - lots of ways to search the site, the page will scale to phone, tablet or computer and recipes can be adjusted automatically by entering the weight of your main ingredient. Let me know what you think!
Making Piccalilli - yum!
Well, it's certainly great to see some sunshine at last. I have been overdoing it in the garden of course, so now ache all over. I have been able to take advantage of some odd bits of time whilst running my pop-up nursing home, but son has returned home now, stitches out and feeling very much better. So, I must return to work proper.
I have been able to be making a few things though - one of my favourites is Lemon Vinegar and with the Lemon Balm growing well I have picked around ten sprigs and put into a large jar with the pared zest of two lemons and 1 litre of white wine vinegar. (You don't have to use the herb if you don't have it.) Leave to soak for two weeks, shaking the jar daily. Strain through muslin or kitchen paper and put into pretty bottles. This is one of the most versatile things to make at the start of (whispers) Summer - try using it with wholegrain mustard and melted butter to make a vinaigrette to pour over hot new potatoes. Great with a barbeque and salad - I could, and do, eat them on their own! If you make a Lemon & Dill Mustard as well you can combine the two together in gorgeous lemony-ess. I also use the vinegar on salmon with some fresh dill before baking in the oven - fantastic.
I can see that the buds are forming on the Elder trees in our garden - like everything else this year they are very late but will be worth waiting for. It will soon be time for making all sorts of cordials and the Elderflower is usually first although this year I have made Rhubarb and Ginger already. The soft fruits will be coming along later so it would be good to get stocked up with citric acid. Many of you who have come to classes at The Old Smithy have told me that you cannot find citric acid anymore so I have packed some to stock in my shop. We have mustard seeds and some herbs and spices as well, so as I publish recipes I'll make sure that anything hard to find is there for you.
You will see also that I am starting Rosie Makes It EasyTM Clubs - you can get together with a small group of friends to learn in your own locality with support from a monthly pack and DVD from yours truly. All the details are on the website - email me if you are interested in the scheme. It is also possible to receive the pack as an individual if you prefer - you may be a shift worker or carer and not be able to join in with a group but still like to learn more of this fascinating subject. Again, email me for details - the scheme is in its infancy and I would prefer direct contact at the moment before we set up on-line registrations.
Lots to get started on then - have fun!
all my recipes can be found on my site for mobile - you can enter the amount of main ingredients and the recipe will be adjusted accordingly - clever Trevor!
lots of seasonal advice on my main web hub