Sunday, 31 July 2022

Day 37: Jam, flowers and July Spending


I made more jam this week,  strawberry and blueberry.  I found some blueberries in the freezer from last year (I really must get a better system in place!!) and the strawberries were a Lidl bargain (at least they were local Scottish ones!)  They looked fab in the pan and smelled amazing!  

I'm definitely not an expert when it comes to jam but I have made a fair few jars in my time.  And I don't always get it right!  Look at this year's efforts as an example.  The strawberry/blueberry is in the middle (too runny), the blackcurrant is on the right (too thick) and the raspberry is on the left (perfect!) 😋 They all taste amazing despite their differing consistencies.  I could re do the ones that aren't quite right but that would be too much of a faff.  The runny one I can drizzle on pancakes/waffles and the thick blackcurrant one I could just spread on hot toast or use to make a hot soothing drink.  It's all good!

We finally tracked down an Old John rose 💖 They're difficult to buy!  My Lovely Mum bought one for me, my sister and one for herself.

It's a really vivid orangey pink colour 😊  I just need to decide where to plant it now.

I've also discovered another medicinal plant growing in my garden, a gorgeous yellow self seeded goldenrod.  It's another plant I can dry and use in a tea.  Like sage, it's also good for sore throats and colds (occupational hazard!!) so I'm thrilled at the discovery!  It's a perennial and spreads easily so I'll try to keep on top of it.  I'm loving the colour contrast with the Red Hot Poker crocosmia in front!

It's also the last day of July.  Sometimes I remember that this day was the day I got married and sometimes I don't.  It was a FB memory comment that reminded me this morning.  Really doesn't make me think anything other than 'Oh yeah I remember that day' now 😊

So, on to the end of the month totals with some of my more 'unusual' buys 😆

  • I spent £25 on some kombucha equipment (large Kilner jar and water filter jug)
  • I spent £60 on 3 raised beds for the allotment
  • I spent £66.44 on fuel for the car, first time since April
  • I spent £29.55 on jam equipment (lids, labels and jars)
  • I spent just under £60 on storage boxes for my new craft room
  • I also had to pay for my annual car tax £155 but that was already budgeted for back in January

Once all my usual costs and monthly bills were paid I've saved £871.88 this month.  That brings my savings up to £7335.39 😲  I'm really pleased with that, definitely still on target!

I go back to work in 2 weeks!  As always the Summer holidays fly by but I feel I've achieved a lot already. 


  1. Your freezer system sounds like mine - there isn't one and I'm always coming across surprises- I really should have a sort out!!
    Jam making, I often have reasonable success with strawberry based jams and marmalade but I made blackcurrant 2 years ago and that was too thick, hate to say it but I prefer the Lidl version.
    I didn't know that about Goldenrod, always nice too learn something
    Alison in Wales x

    1. I write on everything AND keep a list but I still pull out stuff and say Oh I forgot about that!! In my defence(!) that tub of blueberries came from my mum's garden!! Lol!

  2. We were unable to return to the Uk for over two years, covid, we are now eating 2020 home made jam and it is good. Enjoy your jam making.

    1. It will have matured nicely as my Gran would have said!!

  3. Sorry just checked the label 2019, how time flies.

  4. What a stunning colour the rose is-it will bring so much pleasure when it flowers in all three gardens. I love all your jam and as you say, it can be used in many ways. Catriona

    1. We're always comparing the 'In loving memory' rose so we'll definitely be comparing this one too!!!

  5. Lovely rose. I've planted a couple this year, one a rambler to brighten up a flowering cherry tree and the other a thornless climber for a trellis. Both have a lovely scent.
    I'm gearing up for some jam making. Rather than buying jam sugar I've bought powdered pectin, it's not expensive, and that has helped me get more consistent results. Still not perfect though 🙄. The other advantage is reduced boiling time which saves energy 😁

    1. This rose has a lovely scent :-) It's a fine balance working out the cheapest way to make jam. I just use granulated sugar and lemon juice as pectin but yes you do have to boil for longer. The fruit is free though! :-)


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