Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Weather 2012

Statistical data cumulative for 2012
To view click here

April and May were wet and since then it has been very dry and hot. In July and August the average maximum temperatures approached thirty degrees Celsius.
The drought naturally has led to a failure of many crops only kept going with some irrigation from rain water stored in our cistern from the earlier part of the year.
The walnut crop this year will be poor but oddly there is a large crop of figs.
We make fig jam each year which serves as a substitute for Marmalade.  This year I have made 25 pots which should last till the next fig season.
The problem with fig jam is that it does not set without encouragement.  The fault lies with the acidity of the fruit.
This recipe solves the problem
To make 6/7 jars of Fig Marmalade
1.6 kg of ripe figs, cut into small chunks
One Lemon - use the zest and juice and as much pulp as possible.
Three large slices of crystallised ginger cut finely.
One rounded teaspoon of cinnamon powder.
1.6 kg of sugar (with pectin added if possible)
FOUR tablespoons of red wine vinegar.
Bring the figs, lemon, ginger and cinnamon mixture to the boil.  Macerate with a hand-held blender.
Add the sugar and boil quickly for about 6 minutes.  Test for setting.