preserves

Preserving – Lavender Syrup and Lavender Sugar

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I have a lovely lavender plant at my allotment, although I have no idea what variety it is, and it obviously quite likes where it’s planted because this year I have had a crazy number of flower stalks.
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I decided to cut it earlier in the week because it had spread so much and was covering the path between mine and my neighbor’s plots and was starting to get trampled.  However once it was cut and I saw quite how much I had i realised I had no idea what I could even do with it.

Thank goodness for Pinterest…. (the link will take you to a search for Fresh Lavender Recipes)

The first thing I tried was Lavender Syrup.  I found the recipe here on The View From Great Island blog.  As I had a lot of lavender I doubled the recipe up and ended up with these 2 bottles of syrup.
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It’s super easy to make but mine did need the food colouring to changing it from slightly murky grey to a more appealing lilac shade.

The syrup has a strange more-ish taste, it’s obviously quite sweet, and definitely tastes of lavender, but leaves you with a slightly antiseptic taste at the end – which bizarrely is the bit that makes you want more.  The serving suggestion was with ice cream, but I think it would also work well in lemonade or Prosecco.

There was still lots lavender left so I started looking for other recipes too, and found this one for Lavender Sugar.  It doesn’t say if the lavender should be dried or fresh, so I’ve tried it with fresh and if that doesn’t work I’ll try again with dried!  Further research is suggesting I should have waited for the flowers to dry but we’ll see what happens.

I also now have 2 massive bunches of lavender drying in the cellar for future use…

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Preserving – Rhubarb Syrup

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This year I have been lucky enough to have a complete glut of rhubarb.  Lots of rhubarb means lots of preserving! In fact, we haven’t had rhubarb crumble once yet! It’s looking like we won’t get it either, the last batch of rhubarb I picked was pinched by the other half and is currently marinating in a jar of gin….

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Rhubarb syrup is quite simply one of the best things ever – it’s great with lemonade or prosecco – just remember put the syrup in second! Because I’m presuming that you probably won’t enjoy drinking a glass of rhubarb bubbles as much as you’d enjoy a rhubarb Bellini…..IMG_20150516_151318[1]I am wondering if I can justify one of those straining stands now though…. although the upright in the cupboard and string works pretty well for now! Look at that syruppy goodness….. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

If you fancy making you’re own – why don’t you give this recipe a go: Rhubeena

Preserving – Strawberry and Kiwi Jam

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It’s been a hideously long time since I updated my blog – life has a habit of doing this I find.  You just get in to something nice to do with your spare time and then it throws hecticness in your face. However, 2 months have passed and I am now the proud owner of my professional qualification and a new job.  time to catch up on allotmenting and jams!

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If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know that I was incredibly excited to receive my copy of Preserving by the Pint from amazon.  Marissa McClellan has some fantastic recipes for preserves of all types which don’t leave you with a million jars or so of jam to shift.

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So, having devoured her book and covered it with little “to do” post it notes from cover to cover – in hindsight it may hav ebeen easier to just tag the recipes I didn’t fancy making – I moved on to her blog www.foodinjars.com and started going through the same process on there.  And then I came across this wonderful recipe for strawberry and kiwi jam.

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I often buy kiwis because they look yummy and I think I’ll enjoy eating them – and I do – I can just never finish a whole pack of them.  So I got some strawberries and gave it a go.  The day I made it was beautiful.  It was a lovely sunny Saturday morning, the other half was still in bed snoozing, we were off to a bbq that afternoon – seemed like the perfect time to make jam!

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I was a little apprehensive about how this jam would turn out because kiwis are pretty fibrous in the middle but the jam is great!  It comes out really smooth and a fantastic colour.  I gave a jar to my parents – they too were a little apprehensive at first but from memory the jar was empty within the week – I guess they liked it too!!

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Check out my incredibly fashion sense in the bottom of that picture ^^^^ Clearly floral leggings and pink fluffy boot slippers are the way to go if you’re cooking jam…. I love that picture though – molten jam is one of my favourite things.

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You can find the recipe here: Strawberry and Kiwi Fruit Jam by Marissa McClellan