The last week has been hectic to say the least. I have managed to nip down to the plot a few times, but not for long. The weather continues to be patchy as well, which doesn’t help.
Mainly I’ve been watering in the greenhouses, only gardeners go to water in the rain! Did take a load of compost material from the garden down and popped that onto the new heap on plot 29 but that’s been about it.
The main news is the launch of our new book; Easy Jams, Chutneys and Preserves. This one is a joint effort between Val and myself. She’s the real ‘expert’ on making these things but I have made some jams and chutneys myself over the years as well as doing the labels and eating the contents of the jars!
We felt the existing books out there made it all sound too complicated when in reality it isn’t. Of course, some batches turn out better than others and we all want to do the best we can but even our ‘failures’ turn out better than cheap jams from the shops.
When you buy a jar of jam or pickle from the shops, you can be assured that it will be just the same as every other jar from the same supplier. They go to great lengths to ensure the ingredients are the same and so last month’s jar of pickle is the same as this month’s and even last year’s.
When you make it yourself, there are always differences. Some may be better than others but there are always small variations. That’s what makes your own special and the flavour never gets boring.
Anyway, there are full details about the book on the site – Easy Jams, Chutneys and Preserves – and I reckon we’ve really hit the spot with it.
Thursday was a bit traumatic. I got a phone call from Radio London asking if I would go on air to talk about the recipes on the web site and I mentioned we’d just got the book out to the researcher.
Next thing I knew they were putting me through and I was live on air with Vanessa Feltz. To say I was nervous would be a bit of understatement and Val wasn’t around so I’m on air without a net in case I fall.
My big mistake was to say ‘My wife’s the expert’ at which she jumped down my throat, although listening again to it I don’t think she was so much being Paxman as joking.
She’s demanding a recipe for strawberry jam, which I’ve made in the past, but by now I can’t remember my own name or what a strawberry looks like. I tried to give them the recipe for our strawberry conserve but messed that up. Oh well.
She asked me what the difference is between a jam and a preserve. Strangely we’d spent ages on that very question as we wrote the book. My conclusion is conserves are just fancy jams with bits in. Oh yes, we’re really technical!!
Anyway, you can buy a signed copy direct from us now or get a copy at a discount from Amazon who will send a copy when it’s officially released.