Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

International Kidney

Note to self.... must grow International Kidney new potatoes next year! I have not tried this variety before, they are a second early potato which came out of the ground today, a wonderful milky white colour. If I lived on the island of Jersey and grew this potato I would be able to call it Jersey Royal.. because that's what it is. But I don't.. so I can't. You don't need to put butter on this hot new potato, it is just the most wonderful, wonderful ,waxy, delicious potato hot or cold.
Had some time on my hands this last couple of days and made strawberry jam. This might be one of the most popular flavours but it is not straightforward to make as strawberries have a low pectin content and a low acid content.. both of which are required to set a jam. You must use added pectin one way or another. Either by using jam sugar which already has pectin added, or by using a liquid or packet of pectin, or by using a pectin-rich fruit such as apples or plums with it. I have never found a recipe which accurately tells you how long you should boil jam for. I use the 'saucer in the freezer' method to tell when my jam is set. Never fails.
Visited the RHS Garden at Wisley, Surrey on Friday with my blog-mentor Stan. Captions please!


At 9:48 PM, Anonymous Liz said...

Your potatoes look great. I had to cut mine back because they got blight (again...!) I think I'm going to give them a miss next year.

At 11:00 PM, Anonymous said...

Fan one goes here and fan two goes there!

At 12:15 AM, Blogger primrozie said...

Those potatoes look delicious Matron and what a cute picture of Stan!

At 9:04 AM, Blogger Magic Cochin said...

International Kidney is one of our favourites too - I was amazed that in a hot dry summer (not this year or last!!!!) the leaves stay healthy and green with no need to water. As you've discovered - the freshly dug potatoes have a wonderful flavour and texture - gourmet spuds!

Is that a flower fairy or strange fruit on the gunnera?


At 10:23 AM, Blogger Little Veg Patch said...

Mmmm im adding those potatoes to my list for next year! Thanks for the tip for my tomatoes.

At 6:46 PM, Blogger welsh girls allotment said...

I have the same issue with my strawberry jam when I made it last weekend, a few handfuls of blackcurrant and a generous squish of lemon juice and it set like a dream !

I think will get those potatoes next year they look lovely !!

At 5:16 PM, Blogger Yolanda Elizabet said...

Like your spelling of stawberry jam. ;-) I always use an apple to get it to set.

The pic of your blog-mentor left me speechless. :-D

At 12:17 PM, Blogger Nome said...

Hi Matron,

I've been away from my blog for a while and am now VERY JEALOUS that I missed out on the TRUGBLOG! Next time I will pay more attention!

And I've finally got round to adding you to my blogroll :)

At 10:00 PM, Blogger Rob said...

Never had success with International kidney. Bland, watery. Would never use again!
I think that spuds really react differently to different soils. International Kidney never works for us on our soil - but Kestrel - there's a proper second early!!!!!

At 10:39 PM, Blogger Wild Mood Swings said...

Cheers Yolanda.

At 10:06 PM, Blogger this is my patch said...

Your London royals would be my favourite, I love Jersey ones. I only really like strawberry jam in a sponge cake, I remember my mum used to always add extra pectin when making it, and using the testing on a cold saucer method. 'Is that a bug I can see on that Gunnera, or just Stan!'


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