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Jam Lady

Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1925
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 17 9:18 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

Rinse crab apples. Cut into halves or quarters, depending on size. Put in suitable pot. Add cider to just below level of crab apples and cook gently over moderate heat until quite soft.

Puree through food mill. If generous amount of liquid, strain, then reduce liquid and return to pulp. Scrape pulp & liquid into wide pot.

Add sugar. I generally use 3 parts crab apple pulp: 1 part sugar. Prefer dark brown sugar.

Place uncovered pot in oven preheated to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and leave for about 4 hours. Begin checking after about 2 1/2 hours by scraping down the sides and stirring into center, and dragging a ladle through pulp. Crab apple butter is finished when a track dragged through the pulp is very slow to fill / a spoonful mounds up rather than dripping off the spoon.

I prefer to add spices at the end because I think it gives a brighter flavor. Either cinnamon with ground cloves OR cardamom with nutmeg.

Fill clean, sterilized 8-ounce jars and a couple of 4-ounce jars. Wipe rim then cover with two piece lids: flat and band. Seal finger tight. Set jars into pot of hot water to cover, and process at for 15 minutes.

Want to make Iron Mountain white peach butter. Thinking of oven technique - likely peaches are juicy enough not to need additional liquid. White sugar. And saffron for seasoning.


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34114
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 17 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

yum , i assume this sort of thing is good on toast or as a sauce with roast pork?

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9911

PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 17 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That sounds a good way of making it as doing it on the hob it tends to spit a bit and you have to keep stirring it, so either need a heat proof glove or get burnt fingers if you are not careful. I tend to stick to crab apple jelly. I add some rose geranium leaves, and while it doesn't flavour the jelly much, it adds a little something.

Your friends barn sounds a big project Gregotyn. Sounds as if he is the sort that may not settle until he really can't physically move any more.

We too have had some difficult times over the years, but because like you we had always been used to saving a bit we managed. Some people either don't have enough to put any by if they are on a low wage, or are not such good managers as us though. Also sometimes sudden long term illness, a family death or marriage breakup can cause some people all sorts of trouble financially. We have a social worker who joins us now, so she hears most of the problems and can sometimes help people to find the right provision, but sometimes our clients just want someone to talk to, so we sit and talk to them and hope that we can at least help them that way as well as giving them some food and essential toiletries etc.


Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 6291
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 17 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I should think the oven method would be less likely to "catch" than the pan on the stovetop. Worth a try, Apple butter/cheese is the next on my making list.
Thankyou JL

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9911

PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 17 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We were at a show yesterday. You know that a field is poorly drained when a fenced off bit in the middle has ducks taking up residence! Found a stall that has woolen tops, patchwork quarters and spinning wheels. They have a shop, so will probably visit some time. People were coming round wrapped up in coats and hats, but didn't find it too cold, but then we are used to being outside and find it warm inside quite a lot of the time.

I really must try to get on with my jam and wine making. I have loads of blackberries in the freezer that need to be converted, and need to visit a local lane to get sloes. Someone has given me some quinces and my own ought to be ready soon.

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9911

PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 17 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Forgot to say yesterday that husband came 3rd in the besom making competition. The rosette will be displayed prominently at home.

We were at the show again yesterday and the weather and visitors were a lot better. The wind had dropped and we had some sun and no rain, so everything much more comfortable, and had to take sweat shirt off for a while. I contented myself with buying some mixed colour merino/silk tops in a combination called 'Blaze' which is mixed red, orange, yellow and brown with a bit of a dark 'Moss Green' with a touch of glitter to do a sort of fair isle band on the jumper. There was some really lovely Shetland tops in both white and grey which I hope to get at some stage as it is really beautiful and will spin up very fine.

We sold 5 besoms altogether over the weekend, which is a record for us. One was one of the first ones I made, and we thought unsaleable, but a man wanted a very small one for his wife who is rather petite, and was very happy with it when we showed it to him, so he had it at a lower price, and came back for a full sized one as well. Luckily we had taken lots of birch and had some ready made handles and some hazel to make more. Seems as if the log sack filling will be interspersed with besom making over the next few weeks.

Also had a go, under instruction, at splitting a spar. I couldn't do the first split, so my instructor had to get it back on track, but managed the second split quite well, so improving a bit. Also had a go at splitting thicker hazel for making baskets. Managed it fairly well, except for the bottom bit which was a bit stringy, but was shown a good way of dealing with that, so a productive weekend on the learning front too.


Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1689
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 17 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

They seem to be packing the shows in your way MR. I suppose you get more visitors at this time of the year, October being a slack month with many summer gardens' and farms' work done ready for winter; and a day out is always welcome at the in between time. Take a canoe with you next time. Mind, you will be warmer than us down there; almost gone chilly in the mornings at 5am. The sticks are flying off the shelf at present and I will be carrying a stock in the van all the time for a few weeks till 'they' start to switch the heating on. I have moved into my house recently and am packed out with so much "stuff''. Slowly I will get myself together. The main thing is to get the wood burner going in the kitchen, to be able to have a hot water bottle or so in bed in a few weeks time will be essential! I normally have 6 hotties as I call them when the weather gets cold-3 for feet and then knees, back and chest. I have been known to get up in the night and refresh 1 or 2 of them too!

I have an electric log splitter for my logs, freshly bought for this season. Normally I would use a splitting axe, but decided I would take life more befitting my age! I plan to fell a 'weed' ash tree growing close to a building, so I may revert to axe splitting those, but one tree type unknown is very hard to split so that will be done by the machine. Annoyingly I have a local pub who want my entire stock of logs; I think they knew I was getting some log nets, MR!
I don't like any engine unless it starts with a key. My pulling on a rope days are over. Slow and steady is my policy too Jam lady, then I can go all day. I have slowed to sensible pace; I used to be known as tear a... at work as I ran everywhere!-fit, young and stupid!

The fallen barn is really very good and has as they say "enormous potential", but fails to add if you are rich, young and fit! I am nearly 70 and the friend is a few years older, so I hope he is not going to rely on my comparative youth, but I had a good time and we dug a large hole round a tree stump that had been felled and started exposing the roots so that it can be removed to make way for rebuilding a wall. It is a lifetime project for the mate and I don't think he will be doing much of the real work himself. There will be a lot of water to go before they who are i/c will give any planning on it anyway as it is in the Snowdonia Park. 'They' will be calling the shots. I will be going again and maybe take a tent with me and do a weekend. I think my friend appreciated me being there and us achieving something more than he expected. He has a sheep dog as a pet and he loves the place. He never attempts to jump the fence and chase the sheep in the next field. Back to reality now and to my bed sit as I call it. The one thing I did notice was how much warmer it was up there with the sea breezes, as opposed to the cold when we left the village inland only 3/4 hour later.

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9911

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 17 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There are a few more shows around Gregotyn, but that is our last of the year now. In some ways I would like to do one for Christmas, as that is a good time for selling, but we are so busy then that I see it isn't really a good idea. Round this way some of them are at least partly outside, but it is usually warmer down here.

Yesterday, as son is still away, husband and I had a day off and went to Wisley, the RHS garden. They are demolishing some of the old buildings and redeveloping it as a new entrance, garden centre and associated bits. Sadly the demolition could be heard over most of the garden.

Some of the trees are starting to be lovely. The liquidamber is starting to colour, but not really at its best yet. There are quite a lot of odd maples around the place, and they were looking good. A good display of Michaelmas daisies in the bed opposite the Food Hall, and plenty of other odd flowers still. On the way there we passed the Canadian Memorial Planting of maples, and they are really lovely at the moment. A good day out after a busy weekend.


Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1619

PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 17 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We're starting into show season here at the moment. I will be doing demonstration spinning at the Brighton Show which might result in some more yarn for the future vest. So far I have 120 gm of each of the dyed colours and 60gm of the dark brown. Another 60 of that, plus the mid and light brown and I will be able to start knitting.

Life has been a bit busy of late what with one thing and another. My extreme lethargy seems to have been a sub-clinical bout of the flu as it has now gone away and been replaced with a cough. I am glad I didn't get a fully fledged version as it has been a nasty one this year. But nana naps at ten in the morning are not encouraging, so it's good it's gone.

That Apple butter looks good JL - I will have to wait till Autumn but will put it on my list - though the crabs seem to be unfurling leaves with no sign of buds at present.

The apricot has bloomed and gone, the plum is in full flower and the apples are just starting to flower. Oh, and the greengage is also putting out the odd flower. Hopefully on Saturday I will be able to get into the garden and start hacking down the fire hazards that have suddenly burst from the ground and will dry out rapidly with a few hot windy days. Fortunately at present it is just windy, not hot and tomorrow will be both windy and cold.

The firewood situation is a bit grim as all I have left is the large logs that fit, but do not leave room for supporting wood. So I bought a couple of bags of lighter wood from the little wood man who supplies my kindling, and one big log a night seems to do the trick.

Long day in the History Room today, but now i am administering the fB page we are getting some serious followings - over 400 members and the last post had over 800 hits - so I am feeling a bit smug. I have also discovered a long and bland document someone once prepared that lists all the buildings in the town with a pocket history. I am typing it up, matching it with historic photos (where available) of the relevant buildings, and am thinking we could publish it as a souvenir self-guided tour around the town (ie with accompanying maps suggesting routes for particular themes - industry, military history, houses of note, people of note, churches and cemeteries - that sort of thing. As a glossy printed book it would be a nice souvenir, and we could probably sell it for $10.00 or so, and also through the Tourist Information Centre.

I also had ten visitors and many wanted to chat and do family research, so a full day and I am glad to be sitting back in front of the fire and anticipating an early night.


Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1689
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 17 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We are in free fall up here of anything attached to a tree, acorns and leaves mainly and quite skiddy if negotiating at speed at 5am-well lucky there is only me about for the most part, but I have been meeting a couple of early timber lorries lately-empty so they are going on a bit. You have reminded me, Cassandra, that I have to go and get the flu jab sometime. The surgery usually send me a letter but I have, I guess, slipped through the net! I suppose if they had my email address they may be more forthcoming with the dates. My dentist sends emails to tell me when and what time, then I go in and alter the times 'cos for some reason she always does the mornings when I am working, and it hasn't sunk in yet. I have been thinking that it is time I retired, but keep on going to work and enjoying the money, and of course the timber for the wood working!

There really is the realisation that spring is underway when the blossom starts, at least 6-7 months to go here where I am living, and then we are lucky to get a crop. This year's offering is however, very good, so as the saying goes, good harvest, hard winter! My new neighbours are picking their bramleys which are ready, but not over large-north slope, but the pies she brings are very good. They are a young couple and have 2 horses-both hers-and she allows him to do the feeding! The one horse is grazing my top fields and the other they keep at home on an acre and a stable at night.

I am glad the history room is doing well Cassandra, a feather in your cap. I don't know how much $10 is in UK terms for the history of the town, but be careful you don't have too many done on the first run, or your shed will be over full at home. But what an ideal Christmas present for some who is Tasmanian by birth, but living on the mainland, or away.

I am hoping my new kindling nets will have arrived at the shop by now and I can get bagging up, I have boxes everywhere, but I want to bag them and get them into the lorry body store and release some space in the new shed, so that I can find things after the move. I have no idea where most of my clothes are, except they should be in the new shed but so much to move.
I realise now that if I had built a shed twice the size it still wouldn't have been enough-hindsight, wonderful thing, just passing it on, so that you, my friends, can learn from my mistake!

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9911

PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 17 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I sometimes find it confusing that so many of your towns have the same names as ours, especially when a Devon town is within a few miles of say a Sussex one. At least Oatlands is a little different as I don't actually know of a British town of that name, although there might be one somewhere. Anyway, hope the demonstration goes well. You seem to be making a lot of difference at the History Room, so doing well.

Hope your firewood holds out until the warmer weather, supplemented by small amounts if possible. We do nets of about a dozen logs for people that don't have a fire very often, and those seem to be going well. I have to make another load next week.

Gregotyn, we seem to be losing leaves and acorns etc. well lately too. The wind is supposed to be up for the next few days, so I suppose we won't get good autumn colours as it will all be on the ground. Good luck with your kindling nets. I assume they found the right size for you in the end.

Managed to turn half a compost heap yesterday and it is going nicely. Incorporated some more green waste and some more woodchip, but found parts of that were rotting quite well too, although some is still virtually as it went in.

Our cooker clock, which controls the oven decided it had had enough the other day. I was thinking I wouldn't be able to use the oven, so might have to do the joint on Sunday either in the slow cooker or by pot roasting on the hob, but husband managed to take the cooker apart and sort out the clock so it doesn't work, but the oven does. He is ordering a new clock that looks the same, so hopefully will work. Cheaper than a new cooker, although that one is now over 20 years old, so not too bad I suppose. My parents kept their first cooker for over 30 years, but it got rather erratic towards the end, and had to be kept turned off at the mains as the hobs sometimes came on even when turned off.


Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1689
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 17 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If there is an Oatlands in the UK it is most likely to be in Scotland where most oats are grown in larger quantities than in the lower countries. We get a fair few acres here in Wales too-bit more altitude and rain tolerance than the other cereals, and 'they say' a better food for sheep-but I couldn't prove it.

There is a trick to cooker maintenance MR. My next door neighbour insured her cooker from new. Now she is just about to get another new cooker from the insurance she has been paying-reasons have varied for the problems, but this time it is the door and the timer; men have been and "fixed" it 3 times and it still doesn't work! If she gets a new cooker it will be her 3rd on the insurance. The first time it was on Christmas Eve, and they failed to bring in an alternative for next day's lunch having defrosted the turkey for a couple of days she was not happy. So if you want to keep up with Richardsons', my neighbour, insure the cooker! She is a fantastic cook and I used to go every Saturday, but since the husband died I only get to go to eat there when her parents come over, the boyfriend doesn't like me and the parents don't like him!
The log nets won't be on the market for a week or so yet as I have to deliver 2 trailer loads to the local pub who want a new supplier, but will buy where they can till they find someone they like. That should leave me with enough to fill the nets. My kindling nets have yet to arrive from your supplier. I have had to have 2000; they are not as before but will do. I have to get a 25% rise in price of the kindling as that is how much extra the new nets hold. It will be better as they are a better quality of net than the previous net, much easier to fill as the lad told me they would be. As that is how much more there will be in the nets so the stock should last an extra year on current level of sales, but I won't be holding my breath. The difference in the net is such that although shorter it is also deeper so they won't stack in pairs, unless tipped on their side which will give old Mrs. Jones a slight problem of separation to get them out of the sales point. Any way the company you told me about are very helpful to an old forgetful chap like me, and the rest is up to the shop who buy them for me to fill. I have just filled the last of the old stock and am waiting now for the nets to arrive-my only hope is the rats and mice don't was to set up home in them!

I really enjoyed going to the friends barn so we are going again this Sunday, I prefer Saturday but mate says it is a better day on Sunday.... what do I know? It is always raining up here at this time of the year. I will want to be back early-ish to get ready for Monday at 5am in work.

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9911

PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 17 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yes, I have heard oats do well in cooler, wetter areas, but we still have some round here in the sunny south of England, although wheat and barley are more common, with maize and OSR pretty popular too, and the occasional field of flax.

Pity the boyfriend next door isn't friendly. He should see your relationship with your neighbour as a useful friendship on both sides. Hope the kindling nets go well, and that the pub doesn't decide on you for its next wood supplier.

I had food bank yesterday, so nothing very useful to report. We are getting a lot in from Harvest Festivals at the moment, so our stores are being replenished from having to miss out on certain things like custard, rice pudding and tinned carrots, to sorting stuff as it comes in and trying to find room for them. Plenty is also going out each week, and at Christmas I expect we will do over 100 hampers for those in need so they at least have a decent Christmas. Then the cupboard will be getting a bit bare again, so hope donations continue into the New Year.


Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1689
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 17 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The boyfriend of 'her next door' lives in Welshpool, so he's not there all the time, where his problem lies is that I saw him out with another woman arm in arm when I was in Welshpool, and as I passed he turned round, as did I; from then on war sort of broke out from his side. I have said nothing and never would, but he is so funny towards me. He also comes with a limp, wet handshake. I wouldn't take her on anyway as she has very different political views to me, but we are friends and she looked after me when I came out of hospital twice and collected me too. I looked after her children when she had to do 'things' after her husband died, football and theatre rehearsals and so on. They don't need me now, all gone through to uni.,last one finishes in June; but she was landed with 4 children, all in school,14 down to 6, a very capable woman, fantastic cook, but she couldn't do it all-oops I am going on! She does 2 playgroups and I get roped in to make "things", the latest being the mud kitchen craze. and I will be producing the 'mark2' saleable version. In the past I have made theatres, wigwams and erected the play house outside!

Yes, I will be holding out for a big price on the bulk logs, I have already taken them from the production point store to my home-twice handled and now if I sell them to the pub, it will be twice more. I think farm gate sales is where I want to be, easier to do, 12-15 logs in a net and gone!

Glad the Harvest Festivals are still producing for the food banks. I hope the tinned stuff has long dates on it, and can be kept back a bit for the leaner times in January and February. I must admit to using well out of date tinned stuff myself-well I am still here and when I open the tin if it looks and smells ok, then I'll eat it. At least if it goes wrong then you won't have to put up with my posts, and the gov't will be able to afford to pay a whisker more on the expenses to the politicians-win win!


Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1619

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 17 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Best to keep quiet about that sort of carry on Gregotyn - she will find out eventually and you will be there to pick up the pieces and return some of the support she has given you (though you seem to have done your fair share already).

We seem to be heading in to Spring with a vengeance, with the temperature on Friday being 12, yesterday being 16 and today 21 - by Wednesday it will be 25 and then suddenly back to 13 - all very confusing but at least it means I still have a few logs.

Yesterday I did several loads of washing (still to be put away), and attacke the back yard, cutting a wide fire break between the house and the longer grass below. It is all very green at the moment, but one day of hot dry winds and it will be tinder, so I have to get it at least half way down the block so I can relax a bit. that is my job for tomorrow. I might even weed a few garden beds and see what has survived my neglect.

Life in the History Room is getting exciting as we seem to be running the risk of becoming embroiled in a major defamation action, haha. It all started a year ago when a professional historian was commissioned by the owner of a building in one of our smaller hamlets to write a history of the place which definitively identified it as a particular hotel. Unfortunately it was not that particular hotel and when the book came out the owner of the earlier building took umbrage, engaging a retired journalist and self-styled historian to write a rebuttal. I have no problem with that, and it seems from the (rather incoherent) argument he presents that there is a basis to her claim. What concerns me is that he frequently, throughout the book, impugns the reputation of the professional historian and toward the end has a chapter which effectively states that she colluded with the owner of the first building to establish its status for financial gain. Steph did query this with him and he assured her he could be sued to their heart's content as he had nothing of worth, but my concern is that we, as the Historical Society, vending and aggressively advertising the book (which has an equally provocative title) might become embroiled as the owner of that other pub is a member who is active on the committee. Also we have run out of copies of the first book so can not claim a balanced view in terms of the material we are selling (though I am sure I can lay my hands on some additional copies if that is an issue). Fortunately we have the former editor of a mainland newspaper resident in the town, so I have asked him for a confidential meeting to see if he knows where we might stand in the case of litigation (as I have no doubt at all the owner who commissioned the professional historian would pursue that action).

All good fun - slashing the yard tomorrow and now I am about to relax with my feet up.

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