Latest posts by obelixx

What to do with a blackcurrant glut?

Posted: 18/07/2016 at 10:45

Cordial sounds great.  Good for winter drinks.

For the spiced jelly:-

1 kg blackcurrants

900ml water

200ml cider vinegar

1 cinnamon stick

12 cloves

white caster sugar

Wash the fruit then bring to the boil in a stainless steel pan along with the water and spices.   Simmer for one hour.   Strain overnight through a fine mesh sieve or muslin cloth.   Squeeze gently nut don't force it or the jelly will be cloudy.

Combine the resulting juice with the vinegar in a clean pan and then add 450g of sugar for every 600ml.   Heat gently and stir till the si-gar is dissolved and then a rapid boil til setting point is reached.  Skim, pot and seal.   

Good on toast, with cheese or rich pâtés and a spoonful is good in sauces for fatty meats like duck and pork.

Last edited: 18 July 2016 10:53:47

What to do with a blackcurrant glut?

Posted: 17/07/2016 at 20:33

Blackcurrant vinegar is good - google for recipes - and I make spiced blackcurrant jelly which is a standard strained jelly recipe but with added spices in the boiling phase - cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, vanilla pod on their own or in combination.  Good on plain toast and butter but also with cream cheese on an open sandwich and fab if you use a generous spoonful in savoury sauce for meat or game..


Posted: 17/07/2016 at 17:39

Good pic Chicky.  How many wildflowers and any really good ones?  A friend of mine in the Charente has left part of her large lawn to grow long and now has slipper orchids..

We have a Miele Busy but it started to get old and decrepit so I use it in my attic sewing room now.  Got so fed up with the bl**dy Dyson I've finally managed to fox the Miele's dodgy closing and bought it a new head and it works fine again.   Possum will have it in her new student flatshare.

We can't leave things lying on the floor anyway here as a certain Labrador thinks it's either food or the terrier thinks it's a toy.   Good discipline for OH who does leave PCs and their bags and cables lying around......

Verdun has indeed posted some good photos.  I don't like knipophia as a rule but he has a few good looking ones.

Meant to ask Busy - do you grow sweet peas?   Haven't seen any in the last week in the Vendée but did see some great looking pumpkins in potagers.  We have one whole yellow courgette and no potimarrons here. Been too cold and too wet and now probably too late.

Last edited: 17 July 2016 17:42:03

Camera Talk

Posted: 17/07/2016 at 16:46

Some lovely photos on here but I have a techy question and hope someone can help.

Possum wants a new camera which will take better photos than her mobile phone and allow her to do videos she can edit afterwards.

She's looking at a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90 and a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ57 and I don't know enough to decide whether the former is worth the extra price tag.

Any helpful comments would be much appreciated.


Posted: 17/07/2016 at 16:36

Joyce - thank you.   OH is muttering but it's cheaper than an annual gold subscriptions he's after - 3 clubs for the price of 1 - as if he's going to be allowed out to play them one after the other every week!

Chicky - sounds good to me.  Even the keenest gardeners need down time sometimes and if you can have flowers too......  icing on cake.


Posted: 17/07/2016 at 15:10

Thanks Joyce.   Which model do you have?  Ours would have to do 3 rooms a hall and a kitchen, all with tiled floors but also rugs.   Love the idea of it working while I play......   We have a cat too but she stays upstairs as she doesn't approve of dogs or too much outside - and she's a shedder too.

OH has the golf on TV while he's looking at cameras for Possum who wants one she can use to take decent photos and do little videos.    I can't cope so I'm off to put in another wash load and do some deadheading.


Posted: 17/07/2016 at 14:35

Clari - I can empathise.   Our Labrador is a shedder, though shorter hairs, but I so dislike the Dyson OH chose in January that he gets to do all the vaccing downstairs now.   I expect the darn thing will last years too.   I fancy one of those robot jobs that just trundles quietly around all by itself or at least a proper vac with bags so it's easy to empty.

.Dry here so far and fairly warm so I've been out and cut the grass and watered my treasures at the front.   Lots of washing to do after the break and curtain and furniture measuring.

I never feel sorry for golfers Joyce.   Getting cold and wet is self inflicted and the ones at the Open get paid a great deal to spend their 4 hours or so whacking and chasing a wee white ball down holes.  Mad.

Does putting slate on your pots help keep the soil moist?

Posted: 17/07/2016 at 13:12

I use pea gravel, small pebbles, expanded clay pellets or chipped bark depending on what is in the pot and how big it is.   They certainly help lessen moisture evaporation and look a lot better than bare soil or compost and weeds that inevitably try to invade.

Haven't tried slate because I haven't seen it on sale here but I suspect it would look good under plants like Japanese maples in pots.   Wouldn't put it with hostas as slugs could lurk so easily under it.

Bad year for raspberries

Posted: 17/07/2016 at 00:38

Our autumn rasps aren't ready yet but the redcurrants were very good and the rhubarb has really enjoyed the weather.   Blackcurrants looking good so far but the birds have had the blueberries while we were away last week.  Tayberries and loganberries OK so far.   Purple gooseberries doing well and the strawberries have been tasty - when we got there before the slugs!

Just disappointing summer rasps.


Posted: 17/07/2016 at 00:21

Take away Chinese for dinner here as we got back from our week in the Vendée too late to shop and cook.   It was bad apart from the Peking duck but I knew it would be.  Last night's meal in Avrillé was pretty bad too - a first for us in France - so I'm really looking forward to proper home cooked leg of lamb tomorrow.  I've already fished it out of the freezer to thaw.

Such shocking news from Nice but the French media reports I saw indicate he was a suicidal loner who decided to take people with him - like that Lufthansa pilot.  Doesn't help the victims or their families to deal with it any better though.

Been watching UK political developments with great interest.   Upon the appointment of Boris to the foreign office, a former Belgian PM said it was good to see the British haven't lost their sense of humour.   Clever move either way.

Got home to find Possum hadn't watered my pots as well as they needed but only one plant looks really dodgy.    Huge mole hills in the lawn for OH to play with tomorrow and grass to cut, of course.  I find pruning/hacking therapeutic too so will go and check the roses and the wisteria which is probably ready for its summer haircut.

Haven't had time to read back a whole week but I trust all the sickies are off the sofa now and feeling better.

Discussions started by obelixx

Another ID please

Replies: 6    Views: 199
Last Post: 20/07/2016 at 12:46

Shrub ID please

Replies: 4    Views: 299
Last Post: 05/06/2016 at 20:00

Beechgrove has started

Replies: 48    Views: 2046
Last Post: 03/04/2016 at 11:22


Horticultural Retail Therapy 
Replies: 2    Views: 591
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 15:29


Horticultural Retail Therapy 
Replies: 0    Views: 734
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 13:04

Phuopsis stylosa aka Crosswort

Replies: 8    Views: 793
Last Post: 02/10/2015 at 10:01

Lawn care after moles

Replies: 4    Views: 571
Last Post: 05/08/2015 at 23:00

Plant id for Obxx

Who knows what this is please? 
Replies: 8    Views: 910
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 12:49

GW 2015

Programme content discussion 
Replies: 46    Views: 2818
Last Post: 16/03/2015 at 18:44

Chelsea photos

Replies: 36    Views: 2597
Last Post: 02/06/2014 at 09:30

Hello Jro - and any other old friends

Catch up chat 
Replies: 3    Views: 1214
Last Post: 27/05/2013 at 09:18

Mare's tail

Replies: 3    Views: 1849
Last Post: 01/08/2013 at 17:01

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Replies: 23    Views: 2331
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:35

Beechgrove this weekend

Replies: 6    Views: 1218
Last Post: 12/04/2013 at 11:05

Weekend 22 March

Chat about plans for the weekend 
Replies: 108    Views: 6022
Last Post: 24/03/2013 at 18:19
1 to 15 of 19 threads