Kilner Allotment

Come and take a seat in our beautiful, fruitful Kilner allotment.

We have been hard at work, planting, watering and maintaining our fruit and vegetables over the past couple of months and now we are seeing our hard work pay off.

The thought of biting into food that you have taken the time and effort to grow yourself, is amazing.

Check out the size of this squash!

Growing food isn’t always easy. We have been challenged with gale force winds and torrential downpours, which can ruin the best farmer’s crops! If you want to protect your hardwork, harvest as much crop as you can and support shoots with posts and garden twine, wrapped around in a figure of 8. A little bit of luck will go a long way too!

Courgettes are now ready to pick, so we have preserved some in olive oil, to enjoy at a later date.

Recipe:

What you need:

8-10 courgettes (assorted size, small to medium)

6 garlic cloves

6 juniper berries

1 teaspoon peppercorns

750ml supermarket brand extra virgin olive oil

Makes 2 x 0.35 litre round clip-top Kilner Jars

Method

  1. Slice the courgettes lengthways so that each slice is about 6mm thick.
  2. Layer slices in a colander and sprinkle with salt to draw out excess moisture, leave aside for about an hour.
  3. Sterilise the Kilner Jars (water bath method).
  4. Using paper towels, pat dry each slice.
  5. Put a cast iron char griller on a low heat and place a single layer of courgette slices on the ridged cooking surface. Cook slowly, turning once. The aim is to dry out the slices as much as possible, not really to ‘cook’ them. The slices should have only faint ridge marks and the surface should look pale, dry and a little like      suede. The slices should also have reduced in thickness. You will have to cook the courgettes in batches unless you have multiple char grillers on the go.
  6. Using tongs, pack the cooked courgette slices in the jars, as the slices are now quite soft they flop in nicely and can be wound around the inside of the jars.
  7. Divide the garlic cloves, juniper berries and peppercorns between the 2 Kilner Jars, tucking them in-between the courgette slices gently.
  8. Top up each jar with the olive oil, making sure all the contents are completely covered with oil.
  9. Seal jars and place in a cool dark place.

The Courgettes will be ready in a week to 2 weeks. Use within a month or so as they will go a little soggy if left too long!

We are planning to eat them as Antipasti with parma ham and rocket, or with goats cheese on a warm ciabatta…

You can also use the infused olive oil for drizzling salads, pasta etc.

If you are attempting to grow your own veggies at home or in an allotment, here are our favourite top tips:

Growing tips and tricks

1) Pick, pick and keep picking! Beans, courgettes and peas all produce more and more quickly if you pick regularly.

2) Squash (Kabocha, Butternut, Marina De Chioggia etc.) as the fruits develop, place a brick under them to raise them off the soil so that as they grow larger they do not get a ‘soggy bottom’ and the slugs are less likely to attack.

3) Snip off any leaves that are shading fruit.

4) Water really well, even if it has rained. Most plants need the equivalent of an inch of rainfall per week to thrive.

11th August 2014

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Bastille Day Blackberry Jam

Enjoy a French breakfast with a warm croissant, a pot of blackberry jam and a hot cup of coffee.

Happy Bastille Day!

Bastille Day blackberry jam.

You will need:

  • 1.8kg of blackberries
  • 50ml of lemon juice
  • 1.8kg of jam sugar
  • 1tsp butter
  • Kilner Jam Pan
  • Kilner preserving jars
  • Slotted spoon

Method:

  • Wash your freshly picked blackberries in cold water and drain.
  • Take your Kilner jam pan and place blackberries inside.
  • Simmer on a low heat for about 15 minutes until the berries have become soft.
  • Add the sugar and gently heat, stirring as you go.
  • Once the sugar has completely dissolved, add the butter and bring to the boil.
  • Boil your jam for 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Allow your jam to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Skim the surface of the jam with a slotted spoon.
  • Take your sterilised Kilner preserve jars and fill with your delicious jam.
  • Seal the jam for later or enjoy straight onto your croissant.

Kilner 

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14th July 2014

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Infuse with Elderflower

There are many different flowers, herbs and spices you can use to infuse alcohol or soft drinks, but elderflower has to be our favourite.

Elderflower cordial is made from the elderberry plant, mixed with sugar and water. Elderflower dates back to the Roman times when they acquired a taste for the sweet and delicate drink.

Elderflowers are coming back into season and grow in most of Europe and Africa. The cream flowers smell like honey and are crisp and juicy, highlighting the aromatic scent and flavour of the plant.

To make a cordial, the elderflower heads are steeped in a concentrated sugar solution and then removed and replaced with  lemon juice to help preserve the cordial. The mixture is then covered and left to infuse.

You can buy the cordial from most supermarkets and you can simply add it to fizzy water or mix a little in a glass of champagne, wine or beer. The taste is sweet and delicate and adds something special to your beverage.

You can make your own wine, cider or beer at home with Kilner’s 4-week wine making kits, or bitter, beer and cider brewing kits, which will allow you to add the elderflower easily and let it infuse during the process.

29th April 2014

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