Thursday, 6 October 2011

My first home-made marmalade!

So here is the result of several hours of peeling, slicing, boiling.... six and a half jars of wonderful Green Tomato Marmalade! Yum. I added a little crystallised ginger to it which gives a lovely bite to the sweetness of the tomatoes.  I'm still not entirely confident about getting the setting point right with jam-making, but it'll still taste good even if it is a bit runny. In fact, one of my favourite creations this summer was Apple and Blackberry Jellyish which, whilst not having the ideal jelly texture I had intended, is absolutely fab dribbled over Greek yoghurt.

And more good news - our newly acquired hens have finally started laying!! Hooray! Nearly a month ago we took two ex-battery hens and a little bantam from a couple who didn't want to keep them any more and we've been waiting ever since for them to lay. The ex-batteries were in quite a state still, with missing feathers, and as they were totally unused to being completely free-range it took them a long time to adjust to having a quarter of an acre to roam about in: they didn't seem to know what to do with themselves and spent most of their day hiding under the whitecurrant bushes. We treated them with some red mite powder last week even though we couldn't really see any evidence of infestation (apart from the feathers dropping out & lack of eggs), and it seems to have made a big difference, as they look much healthier. The little pointy ones at the top are from the bantam and the enormous pale ones are from the batteries. None of them have names yet, unlike our original girls, Nellie & Gertie. Suggestions welcome!

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