Well it’s hot! 9am and 25C indoors. My Best Buy of the year has been a fan – amazing. Even if for just a few days a year, worth every penny of £46.99. With solar panels no running costs. yesterday it was on for 8 hours. I have not needed it at night yet as I opened the windows wide and only partially pulled the curtains – my plants preserve my privacy, and hopefully safety (big rose bush by bedroom window!). Looks like the same for next few days


Back in the news, especially with newspaper editors not knowing the difference between good and bad news! The Guardian/Felicity Cloake (and I absolutely love her book), printed what “Easy ways to cut down on sugar and salt”. Which is OK but a bit over the top in my opinion. There are treats like ice cream which should be encouraged “as a treat”, I love cheese, but have cut down massively on meat; ketchup can make a bean based stew delicious; smoked salmon is too expensive not to be a luxury – but is lovely; I have and will continue to see how low I can get the sugar recipe in cookies and cakes. And I love a packet of crisps once a week or so, no Felicity crackers (unless with a mature cheddar), rice- or oatcakes or unsalted nuts are just not the thing.


A grand title with ok ideas, but they are just that, ideas. up to now most initiatives have failed or been so watered down as to be useless. The food lobby is powerful and rich. But the cost to the NHS and government via other support payments, and to industry in days lost is also very high.


After a failure due to over ambition with strawberry jam making, I am now doing 1kg at a time which also gives room for experimentation! I also bought some greengages to make some green jam, and might see if there are cheap apricots of the amber. Traffic light jam might work, make the three jams a day apart to allow for cooling in the fridge? I am also on the look out for gooseberries before the blackberry and apple season. Redcurrant jelly has set nicely – and is lovely and clear due to not squeezing the jelly bag.


Drying 4 trays in the dehydrator – about 6 hours should do. Then to start on dried bespoke mints. Maybe there is a market?


In my road we all have (or had – my rewinding!) 5/6m sq front gardens which are lawns. Yet we all have a lawn mower which we use once a fortnight or longer. And then we have our power drills (used rarely) and so many other appliances like this. I would love to lend out the following pasta maker, yoghurt maker, ravioli maker, pizza stone, jam saucepan (big) and maybe even the food mixer although I do use it regularly, but many do not – and I never used to. I have offered to lend all these things, but no one takes me up? Does this make me a freak for making my own pasta and pizza and yoghurt? But we should share more!


Apricot jam made successfully, strawberry jam has not set, despite following guidelines with a thermometer for 104.5C. I will just have to use the 15 pots for cookies and cakes – cool. Recipe suggestions welcome.

Now is the time to do jam, so I might go to Lildl tomorrow and see what fruit is going cheapish. Can I get gooseberries and apricots and different coloured fruits for a rainbow. I think I might need to get more jars – but have nice labels thanks to Aaron.