Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Pickled Walnuts(again) Watercress and Bait Hives


Hello fellow bloggers, funny weather we are having, lots of energy in it with wind and sun and hail and thunder.
With reference to the Pickled walnuts we discussed in my previous posts....
We sat around the table with a bowl of the little darlings in front of us and only three of us actually managed  to put a tiny sliver of one in our mouths ! ED said that they looked like a combination of an olive and a cooked mushroom -both of which she dislikes intensely (as do I) But we gamely tried a bit. Cro is right in saying that they were very vinegary, which sugar would counteract. It was the feel of it that we disliked, sort of slimy. Perhaps when Phyllis gets to us with her recipe using them it might be good. That said, there were only seven large walnuts in the jar for £2.50 which was pretty expensive for an accompaniment. I would need to love them to pay that again. All that being said I am glad I tried them as I've reached this tender age without one passing my lips.

The watercress in our pond, which is fed from rain water from several roofs here, is doing extremely well this year. As you can imagine we have had many egg and watercress sandwiches, but I quite fancy using it for something different. Has anyone any recipes for watercress they would like to share?

 Leigh from 5 aces and a Dream commented on bait hives after my last post. Coincidentally and quite by accident we made one last week!. After the first swarm of the season I assembled another hive ready to house the next swarm, should we get one, as being ready is essential to ensure collection. I  said to David that we could  put it in the front garden as a bait hive, but we didn't and left it outside the garage ready for swarm collecting. A few hours later I walked past the hive through a goodly number of bees and saw that the front of the hive was covered in bees. Yup a swarm had found the hive and put themselves in! Swarm number two all settled in their own way and time. Now to get another box ready in case we need to collect another swarm!

 As the days get busier in the garden and with the animals growing apace my house gets more and more untidy. I'm not particularly proud of this but there are only so many hours in the day and something has to give. Then Frugal Queen does a post on being tidy and organised and I wonder why I can't be that organised. It is so bad here at the mo that if someone I didn't know well knocked at my door I would have to hide behind the sofa and pretend to be out!
Back soon
Gillx




17 comments:

  1. I use the 25 minute rule.
    Put the timer on and in 25 minute I do one thing ONLY.
    Straighten up one room, clean the kitchen, pick and put away... whatever and don't get side tracked.
    It helps me in the house, because I always get sidetracked. You can't believe how much you can get done in 25 minutes.

    cheers, parsnip
    My carrots are starting to grow !

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    1. You know, I might just find that manageable
      I have only just got the beds ready for my ccarrots, they will be in this weekend.
      Gill

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  2. Just popping up to Derbyshire to visit.......................tomorrow!!

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  3. Where are you visiting? Will you be close to me? If you need a cuppa or a loo break you will be very welcome
    Gill

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  4. My house is the same. It's like someone put a grenade in the toy box and pulled the pin. I did tidy up today only for the girls to put every shoe they could find in a pram, walk them round the house two times then drop them everywhere. I give up! Garden is coming on good though!

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  5. My carpenter had 2 swarms in his garden this week, and couldn't find anyone to take them. Disease is rampant, and many are giving up keeping them. Sad.

    I make one large jar of Pickled Walnuts each year (about 1 kg), and that's enough even for someone who loves them. An acquired taste indeed!

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  6. My favourite thing to make with watercress is Potato and Watercress soup. Delicious and comforting with hunks of homemade bread :-)

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  8. Sorry for the above. Had trouble publishing,so experimented.
    My father was a "pickle man " and we had all types in the house,many of them made by my mother and me: onions,beetroot,red cabbage,piccallili, chutneys,sauces and mustards of every kind. The pickled walnuts were bought. I haven't had any for a long time but used to get them as a treat at Xmas.I think the favourite brand was Epicure,who also did lovely baby gherkins and "silverskin" onions. The pickled walnuts were never slimy but they did soften with age,so were probably best eaten close to their Best Buy date. My father otherwise was a rather plain eater so these were generally eaten with mature Cheddar or cooked meats of all kind,including tongue.In my experimental 20s (in the 1960s) I tried some Elizabethan recipes : spiced beef,which included some pickled walnuts, eaten sliced cold with a "salmagundi" of vegetables. I don't remember how authentic this was but it makes sense as our ancestors had to use every possible method of food preservation: conserving and pickling,drying and smoking and other more unusual ones eg coating egg shells with isinglass (I'm not sure if I've got that right!) or preserving vegetables in salt. As a young housewife,I was interested in the latter especially but frightened to do it in case the vegetables rotted or were unsafe to eat. I also did not want to risk losing them because I could ill afford the waste.I now grow gluts of beans on my allotment so could afford to risk an experiment. Has anyone successfully used the salt preservation method?

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  9. Don't think I would enjoy pickled walnuts!
    I've eaten smoked salmon and watercress sandwiches in the past and really enjoyed the slightly oily salmon taste with the peppery-nes of the watercress. I used to buy the salmon trimmings packs for this and quiches etc.
    I'd love to buy some of your honey when next you have a glut and I'm in Derbyshire!

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    1. I've always got honey for sale. Any time you are passing Sandie. x

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  10. Just a message for Lola Davis, hope you don't mind Gillian? (couldn't manage to connect to her directly).
    Lola, my Mum used to salt beans in the old glass sweet jars. She used to get the salt in blocks (can't remember where from), the beans were picked over, any floppy ones,damaged ones were used in the next meal after trimming. Salt was put in the base of the jar, then layered alternately beans/salt. She would tip them out of the jar when needed, rinse with water, then leave soaking in water until just before they were cooked. I don't remember them being too salty but, the fresh taste was there, unlike frozen ones. Not sure how long they were left in the jar before using.

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    1. No of course I don't mind.
      I tried salted beans a couple of years ago. The problem was getting rid of the salty taste. Soaking seemed the answer.

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    2. Thanks for the comments about the salt - method of preserving runner beans. Sound as if it would be worth trying so will investigate further.

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  11. I love walnuts but I've never tried them pickled. I've grown watercress in a container before and I'm going to sow some seeds again this weekend. Some people seem to think that it has to be grown in running water but it doesn't, it did really well grown in a pot.

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  12. Th running water bit is preferable, but constant changing is usually sufficient. I understand that there is an issue with certain snail related illness (can't remember what at present) with growing watercress, that are might be more likely if the water isn't running.

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  13. Hope you like the recipe, Most folk seem to when I make it,

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