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Latest posts by Tootles

Any blackberry jam makers out there at the mo?

Posted: 23/08/2015 at 14:37

Thanks so much for the responses. 

I've separated into four pans. Added a sheet of galatine to one, a couple of apples to another, more lemon juice to one....corn flour to the last one (my other half got involved!). 

The gelatine one and the apple one worked on the wrinkle test so have put in jars. The other two...the lemon one is really runny and the corn flour one looks, erm, interesting!! 

The shows is on 5th September so I think I'll pick some more next weekend and try again!

Jo47 - that is so funny! 

Now on to mint jelly! It can't be worse than my jam efforts! 

I'm entering 14 categories! Eeeek - got to practice carrot cake, chic chip shortbread and Victoria sponge yet! 

I think I'm going to end up being the comedy entry but never mind!!

Any blackberry jam makers out there at the mo?

Posted: 23/08/2015 at 11:47


am having a go at blackberry jam for the village show in a couple of weeks. I've simmered and then boiled, but it just won't set. I added lemon juice and followed the recipe to the word  (Thane Prince book). Does anyone have any tricks to make it set? Would gelatine help?? Or an apple for more pectin?

thanks! at the moment and I'm. Looking into a massive pan of hot liquid!

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 22/08/2015 at 21:00

I'm in Nottinghamshire Pat. The East Midlands. Almost slap bang in the middle of the country. It's been the hottest day of the year so far today. All of the high pressure was meant to result in severe electric storms but they must have bypassed us! It's very muggy and I'm not relishing going to bed in this heat. 

Has anyone else had the storms?

I will not be seduced.....!

Posted: 22/08/2015 at 20:47

Of all the catalogues, I don't mine Chiltern as it has no, or very few, pictures. 

i felt rather stupid, but in all these years of gardening I only just realised last year that the photos in the catalogues are computer generated, or rather 'titivated'.  It was the pictures in the Sarah Raven catalogue that first made me realise! Such perfect blooms and strong colours smothering the plants in almost perfect symmetry!  At least I don't feel so bad about mine not looking anything like the pictures! 


Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 22/08/2015 at 20:37

Watering, deadheading and tidying.  Put the gazebo up and got the summer table and chairs out for the first time this year. Better late than never! Then took the canopy off the gazebo in anticipation of the gusty storms we were promised. Turned out to be a few spots and a bit of a rumble! 

Totally cream crackered! 

Having a go at a cut flower patch...

Posted: 21/08/2015 at 08:04

It's been really good for picking plants for the borders in terms of heights and seeing what flowers at what time. 

Compost bin

Posted: 18/08/2015 at 05:56

Bargain Fishy! Let us know how you get on with it. 

Any ideas for an entry.....

Posted: 18/08/2015 at 05:53

Thanks so much for all of the ideas! I can't wait to start practising this weekend. 

Does anyone know how many tomatoes should ideally be on 'truss'? Are they ok to present on a paper plate? 

Also, should show cucumbers be straight ones or a bit curved?

I need to get my hands on that Women's Institute book!

My other half has decided to make an entry into the song title category, and he's going with 'you don't bring me flowers' and says he's just going to plonk down an empty vase!! Not sure how well that will go down!


Any ideas for an entry.....

Posted: 17/08/2015 at 05:07

Wow Daintiness! That looks delicious! Did you go for strawberry or raspberry jam? Where do you stand on butter cream? To include or not to include....?

Any ideas for an entry.....

Posted: 16/08/2015 at 19:21

Some cracking ideas coming in.... thanks!  Keep going!!

Very good question Fairy. When I win (that's how confident I am in the ideas and tips from this forum!) I shall retire and set up a sanctuary for knackered gardeners where they can come and eat cake and talk about cuttings and drink tea / wine / beer. I shall also set up a TV company to make telly programmes just about gardening featuring forum members who in turn shall make bucket loads of money so that they too can give up their day jobs and set up a chain of garden centres! 

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