Saturday, 21 April 2012


I haven't found time for crafting but I've made time for preserving.  I've had some strawberries in the freezer patiently waiting for me to get around to making a batch of strawberry jam.  We only managed to freeze enough for one batch of jam this past summer - two summers ago I made four batches of strawberry jam, and had strawberries for breakfast every day for 3 months (all homegrown, of course).  Oh the good ol' days.

It's labelled 'Mostly Strawberry Jam' because there's a few other berries from the garden thrown in, but it's 95% strawberry.  Next on the jam plan is ...

Feijoas.  Feijoa jam makes for some delicious jam tarts, even my husband (who doesn't like feijoas) will devour feijoa tam tart served with ice-cream (I have mine with unsweetened yoghurt).  Yum, winter fare.

Next year we're hoping for another bumper crop of strawberries, we'll need it because Ruby loves eating them so if we've any hope of getting any into jam we'll need a big crop.  Our strawberry plants have been busily sending out runners and now our back garden is covered in strawberry plants.  The photo below is of half the back garden in September last year, the day I planted these runners from the previous season.  They'd been left far too long and weren't looking overly healthy by the time I planted them but I just knew they'd come away. 
September 2011

The photo below is taken today, all of these plants were free - either runners from this year or runners I potted up from last year.  The left side of the garden is what you see in the photo above.  Some of them aren't looking too healthy but they'll be ok come September.

April 2012

If you're a berry farmer and are shocked at how closely planted they are, the fact they're not in mounds in rows, or any other strawberry growing faux pas I've committed then don't bother letting me know ... this is how we roll at the Ellis Palace. ;-)

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter

This morning we held the inaugural Ellis Palace Easter Egg Hunt for Ruby and her cousin.  I made chocolate, most of it (thankfully) has been given away, my husband will eat what remains.  My favourites were the fish, the easter egg baskets, the skull and cross-bones.

It was fun to prepare.  I decorated some plastic pails to use as their baskets, and decorated some polystyrene eggs.  We used a bunny marker to give a clue as to where the eggs were hidden.

They found the final prize in the place we get our real eggs from - a box of handmade chocolates. 

I hope you are all having, or had, a safe and happy Easter. xx
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