It’s the first day I’ve felt properly recovered from last weekend’s vaccination, and able to do things. I’m celebrating with a raspberry flan, using nearly the last of the home-grown raspberries frozen last summer.

raspberry flan

final batch

Today was the final batch of marmalade. The first and third batches turned out fine, with no problems. The second batch – identical oranges, identical recipe – took a great deal of boiling before it would set, so is much darker than the other two batches. Seems to taste OK, though.

That’s 16 jars, one of which I’ve already started, and one of which will go to Mum (at her request).

jars of marmalade on table

marmalade marathon

Day one of a three-day marmalade marathon! It has to be spread out, as my biggest mixing bowl only just holds 4 litres plus peel plus pith to soak overnight. And my big muslin square seems to have vanished! But my grandmother often used a pillowcase as a jellybag … so I’ve done likewise (after putting it through the washing machine, with no soap powder!)

24 Seville Oranages, 5 lemons


Bowl of zest, juice, water


pillowcase as jellybag


I failed to make parkin at Halloween (which is the traditional time for such indulgences).
However, this afternoon caught me in a “sod-the-diet” moment, and having the ingredients to hand I made a half batch. It needs to be stored for three or four days to achieve proper squidginess, of course, but an early sample showed that it tastes OK.
squares of parkin

Apple and quince jelly

Having put the boiled mush in the jellybag to drip overnight, I pretty much had to finish the job this morning, despite it being a “bad arthritis day”.

It’s a mix of Laxtons Superb and a quince (both from my Mum’s) with a couple of Bramleys left over from my last Ocado delivery, so although the quince element isn’t very pronounced it can still have the label “Apple and Quince Jelly”.

5 jars of jelly


It’s that time of year again, and Mum’s pear tree is laden. Yesterday I came home with a carrier bag almost full, and today it was into bottling. There were just enough left over for stewed pears as pudding tonight.

heap of pears on kitchen table


5 kiloner jars done

Deacons Pear

My first pear of the season! Actually, it’s only the second pear I’ve ever had from this tree, which is “Deacons Pear”. A reasonable dessert pear, but mainly an excellent pollinator for the Worcester Black Pear.

It was glowing in the afternoon sunshine – the change from green to gold happens pretty much overnight, and signals full ripeness.

Deacons pear

It’s chutney time !

Normally, I reckon on making chutney at the end of the season, to use up green tomatoes that are never going to ripen. this year, I’ve got too much of a glut of red tomatoes, as both Latah and Urbikany are in full flow at the same time. Fortunately, there was a pint of pickling vinegar in the cupboard …

I made 2/3rds of the recipe (I think I usually make half), which was enough for five jars of chutney and a “taster”. Recipe says to simmer for 90-120 minutes, but it actually took closer to three hours before it was done.  The chutney now goes into a cupboard to mature, until at least Christmas – I have several jars of last year’s still, so won’t be tempted to raid them early, though there’s a couple of spoonfuls as a “taster jar” to try out with the tail-end of pot-roast beef currently in the fridge.

tomatoes, apples, onions, sultanas, vinegar


5 jars of chutney, and a "taster"

fig !

My first-ever homegrown baby fig! £1 coin for scale. It might be tiny, but picked and eaten still warm from the tree, it was just wonderful.

I’ve had the tree about two and a half years – this is the first fruit. There are a couple more fruits, of a more normal fig size.

fig (with £1 as scale)


fig (cut open)