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Marrow & Ginger jam - help please
Thu 29-Aug-13
1:42 pm
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mauramac
Kent

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H everyone wave

I have finally used up the last of an enormous pile of courgettes & marrows given to me by my daughter by making some marrow & ginger jam.

Very easy recipe and it tastes and looks good but I am just at the boiling stage and the pan is sort of exploding with this thick glutinous mix of mashed marrow. I am not sure how I can achieve the necessary boil to get it to set without it either exploding all over the cooker and me and the kitchen or sticking to the pan.

Any ideas - I'm desperate to save it.

Cheers.

Maura.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Wed 4-Sep-13
7:41 am
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Terrier
York

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Hope it ended up well Maura,
I made a batch of Mexican chipotle relish with my large courgettes and some over ripe tomatoes and bought peppers, the chipotle bit was, I admit from a jar of chipotle paste, but has come out brill, roasted the toms and peppers first then blitzed them in the blender - couldn't be bothered to be skinning them, then diced up 'marrows' and 3 onions, chucked it all in preserving pan with 1 pint of vinegar and about 1lb sugar and simmered until thick enough ( couple of hours). Added the chipotle paste near the end. Tastes divine.

Wed 4-Sep-13
7:51 am
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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wave Hi Maura,

I am probably too late with the advice but I had a similar problem a couple of years ago so I finished mine in the slow cooker. It thickened eventually but it took the danger out of the process & stopped it from sticking & burning.  I propped the lid up a bit to stop the condensation dripping back into the mixture. It worked very well.

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Wed 4-Sep-13
12:50 pm
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mauramac
Kent

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Jan - what on earth is chipotle relish - I've never heard of that one but I think my adult kids would love it (from list of ingredients). I might have to give it a go.

Hattie - thanks for advice. I had to pot it up in the end as it kept sticking to pan. It has set but I just couldn't get it past the 'sterile' setting on jam thermometer so I've no idea what to call it. It was like a puree in the pan with no liquid at all. I did wonder about the slow cooker - if I ever get stuck again I'll try to remember that - thanks.

I always worry about selling anything that doesn't turn out as per recipe and as I couldn't get this to boil like jam on a rolling boil then I panicked. I seem to remember my quince jam being a bit like that as well so we kept it for ourselves and it was very tasty.

I'm going to try to make some different chutneys - so I'm looking for recipes using apricots or figs or oranges or any combination. However - and I know this is seriously boring but I just can't stop eating my apple chutney, it is so moreish and I love it.

On a positive note I went to a pop in session held in our local housing association flats for the elderly - literally just down the road from me. They have a meeting once a month where the local baker, butcher, greengrocer and few craft stalls are set up for the residents and locals who can't get to the shops easily. I asked if they might be interested in my jams and they were over the moon. We sold over 20 jars in a couple of hours and that was on a quiet day apparently! I thought I might make some individual fruit pies and crumbles for next time as most of them are on their own and struggle to buy small portions. It was such a lovely experience meeting them all and so nice to feel part of their community. To be honest most of them had more energy and get up and go that I have right now. Really cheered me up.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Wed 4-Sep-13
8:16 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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Ref your local housing association - what a great idea for all the local tradesmen to come in to do that! I am in contact with a similar one in our town, and I think I might suggest it to them. ok

"Work for a cause, not for applause
Live life to express, not to impress
Don't strive to make your presence noticed
Just make your absence felt"
Thu 5-Sep-13
7:55 am
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mauramac
Kent

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It's such a great idea and the butcher has small meat pies, packs of single chops and 2 & 4 sausages. The residents are so grateful to be able to buyin such small amounts and all reasonably priced. The fruit & veg are all lovely and fresh as well. I took mainly small jars and reduced the prices as it all helps. I came away feeling really happy as they were such a cheerful bunch of people in the main (a few old grumpy ones) but who knows they may have good reason to be grumpy. There was a lady there sorting out hearing aids (batteries etc) and she had a steady stream of people - all saying how grateful they were not to have to go into town to get this service. Among the other bits and pieces for sale were greetings cards, handbags and dress jewellery and a lady who did aromatherapy (I've booked myself in with her for another day as she goes there regularly), and don't laugh but a Tarot card reading from one of the residents (she also had a steady stream all the time)!! A box for unwanted items, tinned food etc for the Salvation Army, some nearly new clothes and shoes. They served up tea and coffee and snacks as well, it was brilliant. All the proceeds went back into their account to help provide services for the residents - days out etc. They don't charge for the tables but you jut make a donation.

 

Honestly it was a lovely morning and we are looking forward to getting more involved if we can help.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Fri 6-Sep-13
2:59 pm
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Terrier
York

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Sounds like the sort of thing I'd get involved in if they had it round here.
Maura, the relish was another of those bodged recipes, it started off as tomato chutney, the chipotle bit, is smoked chilli paste, which you can buy in the speciality bit of most big supermarkets.

Fri 6-Sep-13
4:38 pm
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mauramac
Kent

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I love your inventiveness Jan - I need to buck my ideas up and stop being such a wimp, afraid to try things out in case I make it worse confused

The lovely lady who runs the pop in called around to see me last night with a huge carrier bag of cooking apples - Bramleys.....I could have cried I was so grateful. Gave her a big box of tins for the Sally Army box and promised her some apple crumbles. Poor woman was hobbling along due to a hip operation that has gone wrong and yet she still took the trouble to deliver the apples to me because she overheard me say I was looking for anyone with a glut of fruit or veg. I will happily go out of my way to help them because they are such nice genuine people and when you find folk like that it really gives you a lift.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Sat 7-Sep-13
6:08 am
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Aly
Normandy France

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How lovely! Really cheered me up reading that. Thanks.

Trying to enjoy life as it is

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Sat 7-Sep-13
9:12 am
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mauramac
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Thanks Aly - me too. I haven't been too well lately, back and forwards to Doctors and hospital, tests and x-rays for this and that and was feeling a bit low, but honestly I feel so much better for being involved with this group of people - they are better than medicine.

The background to this group is interesting and must apply to hundreds of places all around the country. Formerly local Council owned, warden controlled rented flats for elderly residents in the area. Now run by a Housing association - no warden - reduced funding - and very much left to look after themselves. Previously they had a lot more care and help when owned and run by the council. There were mini buses to take them to nearest shops, hospital etc, a warden to check on them daily, get their prescriptions organise days out, get them to the doctor and liaise with family members. Most of the residents are frail and would be housebound if not for help - this is a semi-rural location with shops a mile away and hospital about 10 miles. They need opticians, dentists, chiropodists, hairdressers everything we take for granted really - you don't stop needing these services just because you get old.

Rather than sit back and moan about loss of care, the fitter of the residents got together and have organised a whole raft of things to help all of the residents. They now have permission to use the small hall/residents lounge to hold these 'Pop-in' mornings for fund raising and the money allows them to provide some of the services that have been lost. They don't have a warden anymore - apart from one visit per fortnight but they all look out for each other and try to get local residents involved in the pop-in mornings which helps avoid them being an isolated group. It can only continue all the time there are 'fitter and more active' residents who are willing to run things but I am so full of admiration for them. Times are hard and there are so many cutbacks but if only some of the whining youngsters out there could see what these folk do they would (or should) be ashamed of themselves. I'm making posters this weekend to put up around the village and in the surgeries to advertise their pop-in market and coffee mornings as they need someone with some computer skills and a printer. It's not a lot for me to do but every little helps and I'm really looking forward to it - see I've forgotten my aches and pains again. It's a win win situation smile

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Sat 7-Sep-13
9:29 am
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Terrier
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well done Maura, I definitely believe in helping others less fortunate and when you do, it also puts your own problems into perspective.

Sat 7-Sep-13
9:35 am
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brightspark
Wilts

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Inspiring, Maura.

I'll see if I can get on to this, too. As I said, I have been involved with our local sheltered community, and again, as you say, funding has been lost. When I first started visiting, they had an on-site warden who was brilliant and always spoke up for them.

She went on to pastures new, (to Spain, actually!) and it was at that point that it was decided to dispense with the warden altogether. They now have only two visits per year, unless more is requested, which they have to pay for. Unbelievable.

Anyway, I'll have a discussion with some of them and see what we can come up with.

Thanks for that!  welldone

"Work for a cause, not for applause
Live life to express, not to impress
Don't strive to make your presence noticed
Just make your absence felt"
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