Thursday, 25 June 2009

Beetroot, soil baths and jam....

Well I cooked the beetroot......for 5 hours!! Ha ha, I put the beetroot in the Aga to cook away for an hour and promptly forgot all about it. That's the problem with an Aga once you close that door there's no cooking smells to remind you that somethings ready.
I popped it into the oven after bringing it to the boil on the top of the Aga and then tootled out into the veggie patch yesterday morning to salvage the veggies that haven't been eaten or just trampled all over by the chickens and to make them a space at the edge of the large bed for their dust baths. Very clean ladies my chickens they spend more time getting ready for their day than I do!! I sieved them some fresh soil for under the chicken house, so they had their en-suite available too and guess what........they decided that the tyres full of compost that the beetroot used to live in were their preferred bathing area for the day!!
After shooing them out I replaced what compost I could salvage from the stones around the tyres and went in for a well earned cup of coffee and YES the ladies had beaten me to it, now where would you say would be the best place to shake all that pesky soil and compost out from under your wings, yep you've got it the kitchen floor..............!
No wonder the beetroot was the last thing on my mind!
Still the it seems to have survived.......just! Of course much sampling had to be done and although it is soft, it is yummy. I've still pickled what was left (only enough for one jar!) and we can only wait and see if the pretty looking results are edible or will morph into a lovely vinegar mush. (Beetroot flavour vinegar anyone?) Now I will be planting some more seeds to plant out into the poly tunnel to see if I can get another crop in before autumn. One jar will not see us through the winter!
Today I'm having a go at strawberry jam. The lovely chap on the next stall to me at the Farmers Market was selling freshly picked (he was up at 4am!!) strawberries from his farm just outside Wallingford. At the end of the day he was selling the few remaining punnets off for the amazing price of 3 for £5, and these were beautiful strawberries, not your supermarket well travelled variety picked young to look good in the punnet, the aroma I had next to me all day was GORGEOUS, fresh and inviting. He sold me some even cheaper, for watching his stall whilst he went to fetch his van, and a lovely punnet of raspberries thrown in for good measure (which went down a treat for sweet last night smothered in strawberry and cream flavoured yogurt.....yum yum!!).
So today I will be adding them to the all the ripe strawberries from my planter and making my first ever batch of strawberry jam. Wish me luck, if it works I may even take a photo!!
Have a good day.
Sue xx


  1. Hi Sue,

    chickens do make me laugh!

    I remember going and digging over the ground as a child and they would all rush around to fight for the worms...

    good luck with the jam, I look forward to seeing the results!

    Rose XXX

  2. Ah - agas where the doors do not allow any smells out until opened. Which is why my sister once left sausages in the aga for 3 days. It was summer and we were generally living off salad until Mum wondered where the pound of bangers she'd bought had gone!

    Rosie x


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