Abundance produce for sale – Hanwell Carnival 18th June 2011

A date for your diary – 18th June 2011

After a lovely day at Hanwell Carnival last year, WEN will have an Abundance stall again this year. The Carnival takes place on Saturday 18th June, and with this year’s craft fair expanding there will be lots of lovely things to choose from.

So why not join us on the day? Enjoy the carnival and have a look at what WEN Abundance do, what we produce and talk to us about what grows near to you.

http://www.hanwellcarnival.co.uk/

 

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St James Craft Fair Saturday 27th November 10am – 4pm

Final plans are in place for this year’s craft fair. I’m sure if you haven’t thought of your Xmas shopping yet you’ll find lots of gifts here to make your life a lot easier! WEN Abundance will have our stall again and this year we have pulled out all the stops to ensure we have lots of stock to sell as well as many new delicious flavours to choose from. So if you want locally produced jam/jelly/marmalade and chutney picked from the local area then come along and visit the stall – you won’t be disappointed!

Abundance Fruit Day, Saturday October 16th 2010 11-3pm, Chiswick, at St Michael and All Angels, just by Turnham Green tube

Abundance London has been working with local schools, tree owners, community groups and volunteers to map, harvest and use hundreds of kilos of fruit that usually goes to waste. Now it’s time to celebrate. Come to our first Abundance Fruit Day and make juice, stock up on local preserves and cakes, and generally celebrate the glories of locally grown fruit.

– We have a huge 60-litre fruit press to turn our 500kilo fruit mountain into juice. Local schools have been picking for the last few weeks to ensure a good supply, but if you have fruit going to waste, bring it along. Come and stock up on organic, local, fresh fruit juice just pressed then and there… and have a go at the press yourself.

– apple games. Can we beat the record for the longest fruit peel? Come and try your chance. Let the kids do Fruit Boot Camp (apple bobbing, rhubarb baton relay, crab apple and spoon races, etc) and then console themselves with a toffee apple.

– plant swap – need to divide your herbaceous perennials, got spare strawberry runners, rooted your grape vines? Bring your plants along and swap (or buy if you haven’t anything to swap). Stall run by Chiswick House Walled Garden.

– jam-making workshop. Learn about ‘setting points’ and how easy and fun it really is from expert jam-maker Carola Schulman. Stock up on grape jelly, quince membrillo, damson and greengage jams and much more. Cooking equipment specialists Whisk will also be on hand to provide advice and equipment.

– apple expert. Check out different locally-grown varieties and find out how to look after your own trees. Stock up on local apples – loads of interesting old varieties available. Orchard expert Steve Oram from PTES will be on hand for advice.

– craft stall. Apple pressing with a difference – decorate tea towels, aprons and have fun making useful and attractive fruity gifts. And Bird, the specialists in found objects and furniture rehab will be displaying a selection of their quirky goods.

– seasonal refreshments. Sam’s Brasserie will be making pumpkin soup, Outsider Tart is bringing quince cakes, Brian is selling his local honey. And there will be loads of home made preserves, crumbles and other goodies made from the fruit harvested in Chiswick over the last weeks.

– bicycle-powered smoothie. Pedal hard to earn your reward.

Timetable:

12 noon Mary McLeod, MP, will be pressing juice

12.30 – 1.30 Fruit Camp races

2pm onwards Jam workshop

Sponsors include Eco Age, Outsider Tart, Sam’s Brasserie, London Borough of Hounslow

For further information, check out our website at

Apple & Pear Season is upon us…

Over the past few weeks we have all been working our socks off responding to requests for us to pick fruit in private gardens. Lots of pears this year falling off the trees before they are ripe for picking so we have set up a box scheme for pears as well as windfall apples for the owners to place the fruit in.

We have enlisted a member of West Ealing Neighbours to pick the fruit up on a weekly basis on his bike + trailer to drop off at a central storage point. This is yet to be tested as first pick ups start next week but we are positive this will work!

We are also getting a steady stream of volunteers happy to pick for us, which is brilliant news.

As my picking visits are limited due to a little 3 1/2 year old I am busy making jams and being the central point for picking up fruit/jars/sugar etc for our network of jam makers.

The logistics of making all this work makes my headache! Thanks so far to the invaluable help of David and Elizabeth Highton who are devoting nearly all their spare time to this project at present.

Berry Jam

1kg Gooseberries
500g White currants

Sugar (see below)

250ml Water

1. Place gooseberries and white currants in preserving pan with the water and cook on a low heat for around 30 minutes until fruit is soft.
2. Leave to cool slightly then measure cooked mixture in ml. Whatever the ml is add the equivalent g of sugar. i.e. 250ml, add 250g sugar.
3. Place the sugar in the preserving pan with the fruit and simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved.
4. Bring to boil and boil and boil vigorously, stirring to ensure it is not sticking to the base of the pan until set, which is around 10-15 minutes.
5. Remove any scum that has formed with a large spoon.
6. Pour into warm sterilized jars and place lids on immediately.

Notes:

Both gooseberries and white currants go pink when cooked.

See Jam making – tips for success, for testing for setting point.

Gooseberry and Elderflower Jam

900gms gooseberries, topped and tailed (nail scissors are useful for this)
600ml water
900gms granulated sugar
juice of 1 lemon (if the fruit is ripe and or has been frozen)

For every 450gms of under-ripened fruit use 300ml of water. Ripened or frozen fruit needs less water around 250ml per 450gm of fruit.

Place fruit and water in a heavy based pan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for around 20 minutes until the skins are soft as they will not soften after the sugar has been added.

Add sugar at the rate of 450gm of sugar for every 450ml of fruit used. Stir, without boiling, until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and continue a rapid boil till the jam sets – this should be in around 15mins. Check after 10 mins to see if nearing setting point.

When set, remove from heat and remove any scum, add the elderflower cordial at the rate of a table spoon per 450gms of fruit, and gently stir through. Test for taste, it should be subtle taste, rather than strong. Do not add too much more as it could hinder the final set.

Rest the jam for a couple of minutes before filling and sealing the jars.

Cool then label.

Note: green gooseberries often go pink when cooked so the jam will have a lovely pink colouring

Damson and plum Jam

I made some damson and plum jam today, using some of the plums from Elizabeth that had failed to set in her plum jam. I was a bit hesitant about it setting so added the juice of 2 lemons to be on the safe side. I followed the recipe for the damson jam and again used around half the water in the recipe as I boiled the damsons/plums from frozen. The biggest amount of time spent is de-stoning the fruit! It is such a pain.

I am happy to report that the jam has successfully set although on tasting the sample it seems alot sweeter then the first batch of damson jam. Maybe it is the addition of the plums, or maybe my taste buds have changed!

Anyway the most important part is it’s 9 jars towards the stock we already have for the craft fair at St James, West Ealing on the 7th November. I have 6kg more of damsons to use so I reckon at this rate I will get around 27 more jars – that’s alot of damson jam!

Blackberry Jam 

2kg of frozen blackberries [no need to defrost]
6 tablespoons of lemon juice
300ml of water [can add a little more, for example, 100ml if the mixture is looking too thick]
Could use up to 1.2 kgs sugar [depends on volume of mixture- use 250gms sugar to 250ml of mixture]

•    Put two small places or saucers in the freezer.  Put the frozen berries in a large pan with the water  and lemon juice
•    Bring to the boil and gently simmer for about 15-30 minutes or until the fruit has softened.
•    Measure the fruit mixture and add 250gms sugar for every 250ml of mixture.
•    Add the sugar and stir over a low heat for 5 minutes till all dissolved.  Return to the boil and boil vigorously, stirring to ensure it is not sticking on the base of the pan.
•    Remove any scum that has formed after the first 5 minutes with a large spoon.
•    When the jam falls from the tilted wooden/melamine spoon [metal spoons retain heat] in a sheet/ large mass, without dripping, start testing for setting point.
•    If set, turn off heat, remove any remaining scum from the surface.
•    Spoon immediately into clean warm jars and seal with lid if a pulpy jam.  Otherwise let the mixture stand for a couple of minutes to allow the fruit to settle evenly [See separate Jam notes].
•    Leave jars to stand, cool and set without moving.

Makes between 2-3 litres