Saturday, 31 March 2012

Scum on Toast

I make jam.
Did I mention that? I do it a lot, and often sell to friends, family, and at local fetes and fayres. This week I made a batch of strawberry in preparation for a relaunch of Southsea Greenhouse on Easter Monday, and as I was skimming the scum I got to thinking.
I dislike the term 'scum'. For those of you who don't make jam, scum is a kind of frothy foam that forms when jam is boiled. You can disperse a lot of it by adding a knob of butter to the jam after boiling and stirring thoroughly, but you'll often still end up with some around the edges. There's nothing disgusting about scum at all, it's just lots of tiny air bubbles that have formed and got trapped by the setting qualities of the jam, but for that reason, and aesthetics, you don't want it in your jars. I used to skim mine off and throw it away but a few batches ago I made a plum jam that was so foamy I filled an entire jar with the scum alone. I wouldn't sell it (of course!) but there's nowt wrong with eating it yourself! That night we had warm plum scum on vanilla ice-cream, and it was delicious! We've now polished off the whole jar ~ on toast, in porridge, on scones. You get a less intense hit of flavour due to the fact that it's so foamy, but Waste Not Want Not as they used to say in the War!
So the next time you make jam, consider making use of your scum, or if you prefer a more palatable term ~ the foam. Save it on a saucer or pot in the fridge, and dollop it liberally throughout your day. This morning I had scum on toast for breakfast. Yum Yum Yum ♥

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Cheery Chicken and the Budgies of Doom!

Hello, and Welcome to my Blog!
I set this up ages ago, then forgot I had it. Now I'm at the point where I want to share some of the stuff I make, do, and find. I will be mainly blogging about craft, because I love to make things, and also about treasures I find 'thrifting'.

Hmmm, thrifting. This is really an American word, but I will use it here as it best covers a wide range of ways to get hold of second-hand goods. In England we use carboot sales, charity shops, junk shops, jumble sales, and rifling through skips in the dead of night er, you know, just finding stuff.
I ♥ thrifting. It appeals to my inner skinflint, eco-warrior, and lover of vintage and shabby chic, though I don't only thrift for old items ~ any tat will do! For example:

How kitsch-tastic are these guys?! I call them my Budgies of Doom, because they have such a sinister stare. (I know they don't look sinister here, but that's because they pulled a silly face when I took the photo). I found this fabulous thermometer in a local charity shop for £1.99 and it's pretty accurate too! We've had unseasonably warm weather here lately and it was almost 20C at about 4pm the day I took this shot.

This may be a craft blog, but it won't all be about my latest stock and there will be no photos of my feet (what's that all about anyway?!) Though I will unashamedly break that rule if I acquire any really splendid shoes ;) I will share with you what I'm making for the shop (I'd be crazy not to), but I also intend to share tutorials on some of the things I do, and links to some other people who do the same, as I know that people who read craft blogs often want to make what they read about! I would ask you to respect my products though, everything I make is to my own designs. If I do share something I've made from another tutorial I will share that information with you.

So these are the main things I shall blog about, though I'm sure other stuff will creep in here and there! I hope to be able to pretty up the blog as I figure out how to do it, and include proper links to other blogs and places of interest. For now, here are some links to 'me' stuff:

My Facebook page:

My Etsy shop:

and you can follow me on Twitter:

I look forward to seeing you around!