Price Points: Strawberry pots

Strawberry pots | H is for Home

Our summer fruit harvest has been pretty good this year. We have a few strawberry plants that have produced lots of fruit – and now, dozens of runners between them. We don’t want to just cut them back and waste them. Also, you shouldn’t just keep the same strawberry plants, growing on the same plot (or in the same soil) year after year, as they accumulate viruses – and crops diminish.

About three years is the optimum life for a strawberry plant apparently, so we’re going to propagate a few over the coming weeks. We had a look at what the venerable Monty Don had to say on how to go about it – and it’s incredibly easy. You can never have too many strawberry plants because you can never have too many strawberries!

Here’s a trio of different strawberry pots – from less than a tenner to over £50 – which we’ve found that would be perfect for our allotment and garden…

  1. Large 45-litre plastic herb / strawberry planter / grow bag: £7.95, Amazon
  2. Terracotta strawberry pots: £35.00, Etsy
  3. Terracotta strawberry planter: £64.99, Crocus

Vanilla cream with red berries

Home-made vanilla cream with red berries | H is for Home

Have you been watching Wimbledon? Haven’t the Brits been doing well this year? Scrap that – I’ve just watched Murray get knocked out!

Making vanilla cream | H is for Home

Nothing says Wimbledon fortnight more than strawberries & cream. I’ve adapted a Nigel Slater recipe to create a little twist on the classic – vanilla cream with red berries.

Strawberries and grenadine | H is for Home

I planned on using our home and allotment-grown strawberries, raspberries and redcurrants but we didn’t have a large enough quantity that was ripe all at the same time. I made a quick trip to the supermarket for a punnet of strawberries to bulk up our rations.

Home-made vanilla cream with red berries | H is for Home

Slater used orange juice and passion fruits in the original recipe. However, I used a few glugs from a bottle of grenadine syrup I’ve had in the store cupboard for ages. What a fantastic, last-minute idea – it worked brilliantly, with the strawberries especially. From this day forward, I’ll always team my fresh strawberries with it!

Save this recipe on Pinterest for later…

Vanilla cream with red berries
Ingredients
  1. 250g/9oz crème fraîche
  2. 250g/9oz mascarpone
  3. 1 vanilla pod
  4. 800g/28oz mixture of red berries (I used strawberries, raspberries and redcurrants)
  5. 50ml/1 ¾ fl oz grenadine syrup
  6. sprig of mint to garnishHome-made vanilla cream with red berries ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Place a sieve or small colander over a mixing bowl and line it with a piece of muslin (I used a jelly bag)
  2. Spoon the crème fraîche and fromage frais into a mixing bowl
  3. Split the vanilla pod in half lengthways with a sharp knife, open it flat and scrape out the dark, sticky seeds. Fold the seeds through the crème fraîche/fromage frais mixture and spoon it into the muslin-lined sieve
  4. Cover the sieve/colander and its under-bowl with cling film (Saran wrap) and leave in the fridge overnight, during which time the vanilla cream will thicken to cheesecake-like texture
  5. Hull & slice the berries (not redcurrants if using), put them into a mixing bowl, pour over the grenadine syrup. Mix gently to cover all the fruit with the liquid, cover with cling film and refrigerate for about an hour
  6. Upturn the sieve/colander on to a plate and allow the muslin and cream to slide out
  7. Carefully peel away the muslin
  8. Spoon the marinated red berries and liquid around the vanilla cream
  9. Drizzle an extra capful or two of grenadine syrup over the top of the vanilla cream
  10. Serve!
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H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Strawberry ice cream

Home-made no churn strawberry ice cream in a glass coupe | H is for Home

I was planning to bake a loaf for this week’s Cakes & Bakes post but it’s been sooooooo hot that I couldn’t bear the thought of having a hot oven on for hours! I’ve returned to one of my hot summer favourites – no churn ice cream – this time one I’ve not made before, strawberry ice cream.

Puréed tinned strawberries | H is for Home

It may be mid-June and a fortnight before Wimbledon begins, but none of the strawberries in our garden have even begun to ripen yet. That meant that I had to use shop bought ones… but I may make another batch when ours are ready!

Whipped home-made, no churn strawberry ice cream | H is for Home

I’ve used both fresh and tinned strawberries in my recipe – and the result knocks spots off many shop bought brands. I think the secret is in reducing by half the liquid the tinned strawberries are in and adding it to the mix. It really intensifies the strawberry flavour and the sweetness.

Two 1-litre tubs of home-made, no churn strawberry ice cream | H is for Home

Click here to pin my recipe for later!

Strawberry ice cream
Yields 2
Ingredients
  1. 1 tin strawberries in syrup
  2. 600ml/21fl oz double cream
  3. 1 (397g/14oz) tin condensed milk
  4. 300g/10½oz fresh strawberries, finely choppedStrawberry ice cream ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Strain the tinned strawberries putting the liquid into a small saucepan
  2. Simmer the syrup until it's reduced by half. Set aside and allow to cool
  3. Purée the tinned strawberries
  4. In an electric mixer using the whisk attachment whip the double cream, condensed milk and strawberry purée on high for 5-7 minutes until the mixture thickens
  5. Gently fold in all but a couple of tablespoons of the chopped strawberries until evenly mixed through
  6. Decant into a 2-litre lidded container (or two 1-litre containers) and sprinkle the reserved, chopped strawberries evenly over the top
  7. Freeze for at least 4 hours - better still, overnight
Notes
  1. Once fully frozen, remove from the freezer 20 minutes before scooping & serving
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H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Afternoon Scones

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Home-made scones, home-made strawberry jam and clotted cream | H is for Home

I’ve been meaning to make some scones for a while – in fact ever since coming back from our holiday in Wells-Next-the-Sea. While we were there, I spent a sunny afternoon at Wiveton Hall Fruit Farm picking strawberries. I filled this massive punnet with sweet, fat, fragrant strawberries – specimens such as I’d never tasted before!

home-made jam made with strawberries we picked at Wiverton Farm on the North Norfolk coast

Those that didn’t get eaten there & then returned home with us and made into a massive pan of strawberry conserve. We gave lots away to friends & family and kept a couple of jars for ourselves. We’ve had it on toast & croissants, some was used as sponge cake filling, but you can’t beat it on warm, freshly baked scones!

baking ingredients to make home-made scones

To make the scones, I once again used a recipe from The Great Big Cookie Book by Hilaire Walden. Here it is:

Afternoon scones

Afternoon scones

Ingredients

  • 225g/8oz/2 cups plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2.5ml/½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 5ml/1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 25g/1oz/2 tbs butter
  • 150ml/¼ pint/? cup milk or buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas mark 7. Flour a baking sheet. Sift the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Gradually stir in just enough milk to make a light, spongy dough.
  2. Turn the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Roll to 2½cm/1in thick. Cut into rounds with a floured 5cm/2in cutter.
  3. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with milk.
  4. Bake for 7-10 minutes until the scones are well risen and golden brown.

Notes

Serve with jam and a big dollop of clotted cream!

http://hisforhomeblog.com/cookery/afternoon-scones/
Rodda's clotted cream container & packaging

PS – We usually buy Rodda’s clotted cream which is delicious – but don’t you just love the packaging too?!

Growing our own

"Growing our own" blog post banner

flat leaf parsley and coriander growing on a windowsill

This year we decided to grow more of our own – and we’ve got no excuse, as Todmorden‘s the home of Incredible Edible.

strawberries growing in a vintage terracotta strawberry pot

We have a variety of crops to look forward to in the coming weeks.

homegrown beetroot in vintage enamel breadbinhomegrown peashoots grown in vintage metal bucket

Most of them are growing in containers as much of our garden is paved with stone cobbles. It also makes protecting them from the ubiquitous slugs & snails much easier.

tomato plants growing in a vintage mini greenhouse

We use lots of the old galvanised metal ‘dolly tubs’, buckets and bins.

courgette flowers in a vintage metal dolly tub

The plants seem to like it!

potato plants overflowing from a vintage metal dolly tub just outside the kitchen doorpink stems of rhubarb growing out of a vintage metal dolly tub

Potatoes, beetroot, carrots, tomatoes, rhubarb, strawberries, broccoli, courgettes, squash, peashoots, salad leaves, a variety of herbs – and yes, those are figs.

tiny fruits growing on a fig tree

There’s still a little room for some flowers.

lilac coloured osteospermum growing in a vintage metal bucket

pink lupins growing in a vintage dolly tubpink lupins growing in a vintage dolly tub

Perennials like the hostas, astilbes and lupins return each year like old friends. Although this year’s harsh winter saw a few losses.

purple lobelia growing in a vintage metal bucket

red geraniums just about ready to flower

To these we add a few annuals – osteospermums,  lobelia and the like.

hosta leaves

pink fox glove about to flower growing next to a giant ribbed terracotta urnyoung purple shoots of astilbe plants

We’ve enjoyed working in the garden this year. We don’t think self-sufficiency is here just yet – but hopefully we’ll reap some rewards!

An apple a day

Vintage teatowel detail showing fruit & vegetable illustration

Where were we with our nature-influenced design blogs? We’ve been slightly sidetracked with the opening of our new shop.

tea towel detail showing fruit and vegetables tea towel detail showing fruit and vegetables
Details of a vintage 1960s/70s calorific value tea towel

We’ve previously looked at fish, birds, flowers and leaves – today it’s the turn of fruit & vegetables.

tea cup and saucer butter dish
‘Eden’ design by Meakin & Figgjo Flint butter dish

Vintage footed strawberry plate
1950s strawberry bowl

They’ve been used as inspiration in artwork, illustration, decorative objects and unsurprisingly kitchen and dining wares.

pottery spice post with apple decoration pottery milk jug
Hornsea Pottery &  Goebel Pottery

Arabia orange marmalade pot Vintage Arabia preserve pot
Pair of Arabia preserve pots

Apples have always proved a very popular decorative subject, particularly strong during the 1960s & 70s it seems.

Wooden apple Glass apple

We love this glass apple designed by Ingeborg Lundin for Orrefors in 1955

Glass apple designed by Ingeborg Lundin for Orrefors

Comfort me with apples pottery charger

Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love – Song of Solomon, 2:5, King James bible.

Bill Charmatz vintage illustration of bowl of fruit Bill Charmatz vintage illustration of a stock pot

Cookbook illustrations from the 1950s are a firm favourite of ours.

And obviously you’ll need something to put all this fruit & veg in!!

Vintage cane fruit bowl Vintage Rye Pottery fruit bowl

These are two nice recent finds – a 1960s globe cane fruit basket and a 1950s Rye Pottery fruit dish.