Today I checked on my leaf gift tags. They are being nicely pressed in a book by the sadly missed garden presenter, Geoff Hamilton. The book is from his ‘Cottage Gardens’ TV series, flicking through the pages I remembered using his ideas to transform a rectangle of grass into a pretty cottage garden some years ago, fond memories of all the work and delight I found in making a garden my own.
The leaf tags are experimental versions to which I added a few words to get some idea of the finished product but I’m concerned they are looking a bit bland, maybe they would look a bit more festive sprayed in gold or silver, perhaps even gilded a bit with a gold wax crayon.
In addition to the leaf drying I’ve started drying a sliced up orange for Christmas decorations. These take a bit of time to dry out so I’ve popped the pieces onto a foil covered cake tin base which is on top of the wood-burner. I’ve done these before and they look great in a bowl with a few pine cones or on garlands with Cinnamon sticks and fir tree cuttings.
Half a kilo of either crab apples or quince fruit has come into my possession so I’m going to have a go at quince/crabapple cheese. The fruits were yellow like some crabapples and incredibly fragrant like quince but much smaller than I remember quince. Who will know? I’m pretty sure they are not poisonous though.
To make the Jelly I am using Fiona’s recipe on the Cottage Smallholder at http://www.cottagesmallholder.com/?p=102. The fruit has been gently cooking on the stove all afternoon and I’ve ladled it into the muslin cloth to strain for the night. My faithful muslin cloth has now strained many types of fruit and washes up well every time. I would not dare suggest replacing it.