Pigs, more harvests and epic fail on the redcurrant jelly

Our pigs only have 3 weeks left with us now.  They’re going to work with Ste on a Tuesday and will be coming back in a different state.  I’ve got some reading up to do as to how we want to process them so I’ll be checking out blogs on here plus my River Cottage handbook of course.
The pigs have a slap mark on their shoulder which identifies them when they go to slaughter.  It’s one of the marks the vet will look for.  Think of it as a tattoo.
The farmer thinks they will be weighing in at 65 kilos.
Look at this!  A cabbage that I thought was done for!  This is one that the birds or slugs ate and left skeletal.  What a trooper this little thing is.  There’s plenty more where he came from too.  At least these are doing well this year as the cauliflowers are non existent and the broccoli all bolted.
It might look strange, posting a photo of an onion but I grew this!  Yeah!  Really excited, no need to buy any more onions again I hope! 
Now to the carrots.  I have never ever managed togrow carrots before so imagine my excitement when I saw loads growing in my black bin!  I’ve been nursing them daily only to check on them today and discover an ant’s nest.  Well I panicked and pulled them all out.  Only to be told by my neighbour that ants are pretty clean and wouldn’t have eaten them.  He said they like light soil which this bin is.
Another thing I wanted to share with you is this little gadget that my friend has bought me, how lovely is it?  It’s a dibber for planting out and I think it is very thoughtful of her.
The dogs like it too!!
Even after living here 18+ months we’re still finding trees that we didn’t know we had.  Is this one hazelnut or acorn, does anyone know?

For my records, broad beans and first peas have done dreadfully this year!  Aren’t broad beans supposed to be amazingly easy to grow?!  We’ve had some, but not loads.
Oh and the sheep broke into the new chicken area!  Hooligans!
Also a quick update on the recurrant jelly.  It didn’t work!  That’s ok though, you win some and you lose some.  The overnight dripped juice only yielded 350ml when the recipe expected over 600ml.  We got 1.5 small jars when we expected 4 – 5 so something is amiss.  I think it’s going to set solid, so I’ll maybe try to loosen it up and add water and boil up again or if I can slice it (haha oh dear) then I’ll make gravy up adding it, then I’ll freeze the gravy. 

More where they came from though, we’ll get there!  The 2nd lot of strawberry jam was just as amazing as the first though – wahoo!

18 thoughts on “Pigs, more harvests and epic fail on the redcurrant jelly

  1. Hi TraceySometimes the yield on the juice is limited. I always add a little water but not too much when this happens. I was also taught to make jam and jelly by the same amount of sugar to weight of fruit or in the case of jelly the equivalent amount of sugar to liquid. Jellies sometimes take longer to set than jams. A little lemon juice also helps with the set for both jellies and Jams or a little home made pectin. When the crab apples are out this is something you should seriously consider making Don't throw it try boiling it up again. Or put what pulp was left over in with some water and redrain and then mix the two liquids together – be careful though as you do not want to make the redcurrant juice solution too weak as you want the flavour from it. Remember this is a learning curve and at least you have had a go at it. Bramble and apple jelly is a good one to do because you have the pectin from the apples. Please do not give up as Jellies I personally think are far more rewarding as a lot more effort goes in and you end up (as long as you don't squeeze the bag) with a clear bright jewel coloured jelly that tastes wonderful on bread and butter or can be used in baking and cooking. Just a note I have found that the time it takes per recipe to make jams or jellies does not always reflect the true amount of time it takes. On average I have found the time to take longer so I don't always take much notice of the time its supposed to take as when its done its done. However at least you have got to grips with the Strawberry jam. Told you could do it. Well done for being brave and having a go.Take care.Pattypanx

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  2. Thanks Tricia, I'm glad you commented as always. Oh I won't be giving up, I have the bug! I certainly won't throw it and will see how hard it has set tomorrow before deciding which route to take. I love redcurrant jelly so I have to have something to show lol. This took minutes to set and I probably over boiled it if anything (forgot to get jars out of oven so left it on whilst I did that). The 8 minutes Pam said would have been like tar in the pan. Again she meant that for a higher yield of course. I wonder why some currants give drastically more or less than others. As I said these were nice and plump and a beautiful colour too.I'll look at my own pectin definitely, thanks for the tip xx

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  3. Yup, that's a Hazel leaf. As Kev said, you'll need to beat the squirrels to the nuts! Good tips from Pattypan on the jelly making. My redcurrant \”harvest\” was a scant few ounces but hey, that's better than other years when the birds have ALWAYS got to them first. Gooseberries very poor too – a late frost did for them I think. Everything over in my soft fruit patch needed cutting back and I need to get some manure on it from a neighbour's donkey stables.Keep at it with the jellies, at Pattypan said, they glow like jewels and are so rewarding.

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  4. TracyThe recipe for Blackberry and Apple Gin/Vodka is Scheduled to be posted later on today together with a recipe for Sloe Gin/Vodka.Kind regards.Triciax

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  5. Looking forward to seeing all the joints, cuts etc from the porkers. It is fab growing things which are so useful as onions. I love it, too. Lovely looking cabbage but as I said before, sorry about the redcurrant jelly.x

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  6. We still have a walnut tree somewhere that I've yet to discover, surely a walnut tree can't hide! Our gooseberries are dreadful this year. Best of luck with the muck.The currants are amazing to look at, so pretty!

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