Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Flowers and Food

The display table this week illustrates how much can still be seen in our gardens in mid-October.

Ann’s Callicarpa with its striking purple berries and Gill's jug containing pale pink fuchsia, saxifrage fortunei, eupatorium rugosum, impatiens, abelia grandiflora, solanum laxum and persicaria
 Gill’s basket with Cotoneaster, Ivy and Actea 

Splendid vine leaves, Heucheras including Spellbound and Sweet Tea and
Judith’s display with golden beacon, cherry tree and gold-sprayed poppy heads

Elizabeth’s  strange weed which we couldn't identify.   Anyone?

Brian’s chillies Basket of Fire ornamental and edible (for some!).

Members brought home-made delicacies to sample along with the recipes which will be published a few at a time.  We had a real feast tasting them!
So here to start off with is the recipe for Margaret D’s Raspberry Soufflé
Raspberry  Souffle
8oz frozen raspberries
2 tablespoonfuls of sugar
Packet of raspberry jelly
Quarter pint of water
10floz double cream
6floz full cream milk
Decorate with raspberries, cream, chocolate, vermicelli or angelica.
  1. Tie a band of foil around a 1½pt soufflé dish, standing 2” above dish
  2. Put raspberries, sugar, jelly and water into a pan and heat until jelly has dissolved.   Cool.
  3. Put cream and milk into a bowl and whip until softly stiff.
  4. Combine raspberry mixture with cream mixture and blend well.  Pour into soufflé dish and allow to set.
  5. Remove foil and decorate
Maggie’s Gooseberry and Elderflower Jam:

Equipment needed:  A large heavy-based pan, preferably a preserving pan to maintain a rolling boil, long-handled wooden spoon, slotted spoon for skimming. Pyrex jug for filling jars, jam funnel, warm sterilised jam jars with screw-top lids, wax discs and labels.
  1. Place the gooseberries in a preserving pan with 150ml (1/4 pint) water, then cook over a low heat until the gooseberries are very soft. Meanwhile, place the sugar in a large roasting tin and warm in the oven at 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4 for 10min.
  2. Add the lemon juice, elderflower cordial and warmed sugar to the gooseberries, bring to the boil and simmer gently until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bubble for 25-30min or until the jam is set (see Cook's Tips). Cool, pot, then cover and label the jars.
  3. COOK'S TIPS Setting agents Preserving sugar produces less scum, dissolves easily and produces sparkling clear jellies and jams. (Jam sugar is used for fruits with low pectin and acid level.) Pectin makes jam set when fruit is heated with sugar. However, many summer fruits are low in natural pectin, so if your jam is not setting, add extra lemon juice - a good natural source of pectin. Alternatively, use an artificial pectin.
  4. Setting point When jam reaches setting point, it's ready to pot. There are two good ways of testing this stage: 1 Spoon a little jam on to a chilled plate, then chill for 1-2min. If it crinkles when you run your finger through it, setting point has been reached. 2 Use a jam thermometer - when it reaches at least 110°C (230°F) the jam is at setting point.
Potting tips:  Before use, wash jars in hot water, drain, then leave to dry in a warm oven. Boil the lids. Alternatively, a fast wash in the dishwasher is ideal. Always pour hot jam into warm jars. Always fill to the rim to allow for shrinkage on cooling. Cover with waxed discs, waxed side down, and dampened Cellophane covers, dampened side up. For longer-term storage, cover with screw-on lids too. For best results, store jams in a cool dark place. 
Graham’s Beetroot, Ginger and Raisin Cake
4 oz butter
4 oz caster sugar
4 oz S R flour
5 oz cooked beetroot
1 tsp mixed spice
2 tsps ground ginger
2 beaten eggs
Cream butter and sugar
Mix flour, mixed spice and ginger, then add beaten egg (alternatively add egg to butter/sugar mix).
Add raisins, mix well.
Add grated beetroot, mix well.
Place in 1lb loaf tin and bake Gas 4 for 1 hour.
Bon Appetit
Next Meeting:
7th November:   We are holding a Bring and Buy sale plus we will be discussing seasonal garden jobs and problems.
If anyone still wants to order clematis from Taylor’s, please bring your form.
Friends of Paxton meet regularly on the first Monday of the month from Midday.  An hour or two or your time to help maintain the premises are always welcome.  If another date is more suitable for you, please let us know.  
Friday Forum meetings are 1.30pm on 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month at Paxton Hall, Paxton Horticultural Society, 186 Kirkstall Lane, Leeds LS5 2AB.   Meetings may be hands-on sessions, guest speakers or garden visits. Regular features are the Display Table where members can bring their plants for discussion and advice and the Sales Table where members sell their plants, cuttings and produce to help the club funds.  For further information log on to

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