Foraged & Grown

The first cut of walled garden flowers

Over the last 3 months I have undertook to restore a walled garden. A garden I found lost derelict and unloved, its a garden that Lewis Carol used in the Book Alice in Wonderland. The first book I read, my my mum was a brilliant chef and my dad a gardener. This was a project calling out for me, so without a second thought I took on the challenge to restore and loving bring back this beauty. So I have drafted in the help of a few lovely friends and together our project will and has already, produced some home grown produce, organically and biodynamic for naked jam preserves, local hotels, discerning chefs, and other outlets such as Love to b who use all natural products in their wonderful skin care ranges.  The garden will also become a venue in its own right. Although a while off from being perfect, we have already booked a number of events.  Alongside the edible plants, we are growing cut flowers for wedding parties and empty vases!

One of the plans for the garden is to link it with a charity project “A cook in your Kitchen” which myself and a few friends set up last year. Brief details listed below.

To help people provide healthy home cooked meals for their families

To help people reduce their weekly food shopping bills

To help households reduce their household food waste.

The project will initially be run as a pilot and fully evaluated to test the viability of setting up a self- supporting social enterprise.To train a team of home cooks to go into customers homes and help families develop their cooking, budgeting and recycling skills .To record via a questionnaire survey the customers cooking , budgeting and recycling skills prior to the visit and after the home training session.

If you would like us to grow anything for you or your like to visit our walled garden please get in touch, I love to show you around and inspire you to grow too.  Or indeed help with our charity project please get in touch. Jen X 

Stop the morning and grab the toast!

Great Taste great jam !

Blackcurrant Extra Jam a winner , so is the Strawberry. So in 2013 I entered the great taste I won 2 * for my Lemon curd, 1* for my raspberry and in 2016 I entered again with strawberry syrup and yep it is a winner with 2 * so just when I thought I missed the enter deadline. I managed to squeeze in with 2 of my best selling products strawberry Jam and of course Blackcurrant, into 2017 awards. and……..this is what the judges said….

Strawberry jam achieved a star  the judges comments on this 
 
“Wonderful fresh summer strawberries on the nose, the set is perfect. The judges really liked the whole strawberries that still had a delightful texture and a lasting, fragrant strawberry flavour. Skillfully made”
 
and my Blackcurrant extra jam achieving 3 stars. I am feeling very proud of this achievement and I would like to thank you for the support, judges comments. 

“Beautiful deep blackcurrant flavours on the nose, a thick set, giving a deep, lasting flavour, not overly sweet, allowing the true fruit flavour to shine through. The judges loved the sheer intensity of fresh blackcurrant flavours, the quality of the fruit and gentle preservation.”

So if you fancy learning my secrets of great jam making come along to my cooking lessons at :

http://www.chewtonglen.com/the-kitchen/courses-pricing/exploring/spotted-potted-pickled/

Stop the morning and grab the toast!

Great Taste great jam !

Blackcurrant Extra Jam a winner , so so is the Strawberry. So in 2013 I entered the great taste I won 2 * for my Lemon curd, 1* for my raspberry and in 2016 I entered again with strawberry syrup and yep it is a winner with 2 * so just when I thought I missed the enter deadline. I managed to squeeze in with 2 of my best selling products strawberry Jam and of course Blackcurrant, into 2017 awards. and……..this is what the judges said….

Strawberry jam achieved a star  the judges comments on this 
 
“Wonderful fresh summer strawberries on the nose, the set is perfect. The judges really liked the whole strawberries that still had a delightful texture and a lasting, fragrant strawberry flavour. Skillfully made”
 
and my Blackcurrant extra jam achieving 3 stars. I am feeling very proud of this achievement and I would like to thank you for the support, judges comments. 

“Beautiful deep blackcurrant flavours on the nose, a thick set, giving a deep, lasting flavour, not overly sweet, allowing the true fruit flavour to shine through. The judges loved the sheer intensity of fresh blackcurrant flavours, the quality of the fruit and gentle preservation.”

So if you fancy learning my secrets of great jam making come along to my cooking lessons at :

http://www.chewtonglen.com/the-kitchen/courses-pricing/exploring/spotted-potted-pickled/

5 year Jam

me and my first award

5 years ago I entered the World Marmalade Awards and won a bronze for my Seville with Cacao it was an epic day it lead me to decided that this is what really makes my world go around. So I thank Dalemain House  for giving me the confidence that started me on this epic journey, this road has consisted of late nights and even hospital visits as I have fallen out of a trees. So thank you. (I am giving the world marmalade awards a rest, no other reason than I didn’t post it on time yet again!)

So now I  make jam and the very fact you all wanted to buy eat and enjoy it well is nothing more than fabulous. Time has flown by and I moved out of my home kitchen, to one I built, started to keep bees, planted more fruit and vegetables, teamed up with the Chewton Glen to forage sustainably. So far so good. 

I’ve lived and loved every minute, every disaster, every  high,  every low, they have all  been fantastic. Although I feel that I may have lost the plot from time to time! But you, my friends, my children and my family have been there always encouraging me, every step of the way believing in me. Which means so much to me it hard to put into words.

So thank you all for supporting me in every way be it small large for helping me forage be it picking crab apples Carol,(Daisy cake company)or for growing them Darren Venables,  to believing in my wacky ideas Martyn Nail, Luke Mathews, Leckford Farm, and of course the many bar tenders who have invited me in to help develop products cocktails and use jam in ways that made toast curl !

If I was to  say I love what I do, it would underestimate the passion I have and my urgent need to cook everyday. I am always up early and chomping at the bit to get into the kitchen.  So as I stop and reflect on the past five years, I shall share with you a few moments below. 

Antonio Carluccio at Leckford Farm shop opening

 

 

chairmans award

Waitrose Charimans Award 2013

chris evans and me

BBC Children in Need Carfest

baker boys

Lunch Break with the Fabulous Baker Boys

Food & Drinks Award Hampshire

Food & Drinks Award Hampshire

delious mag

Delicious Magazine

bear

Foraging with nothing but the Bear essentials

 

 

marmaalde madness

Marmalade madness

Bespoke Jars.

Bespoke Jars.

awrds new forest

Award Night!

me cooking

Cooking at the Hotel & Catering Show

me and luke

Cooking with Luke Mathews (my hero)

Chewton_Glen_Naked_Jam_Foraging darren

Talking Foraging with Estate Manger Darren Venables

elderflower picking

In my natural habitat

A few links to  a “little” of what I’ve been up. 

hhttp://www.barbour.com/blog/barbours-local-hero-nakedjam

http://milfordonsea.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/jam-tastes-better-naked.

http://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/news/article/543/naked_jam_triumphs_at_business_awards

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03fc4dk

http://www.hampshire-life.co.uk/out-about/events/jennifer_williams_on_her_inspiration_to_set_up_her_very_own_business_1_3020527

http://www.dalemainmarmaladeawards.co.uk/cms/competitions/artisan-awards.php

http://www.dalemainmarmaladeawards.co.uk/media/2015_winners/GOLD_MARMALADE_ARTISAN_AWARDS_WINNERS_-_2015.pdf

2013 Winners

 Thank you for being part of my journey.

 

 

 

Inspired by Tweets!

Blackthorn flowers make Gin! 

The Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa ) is found in many hedgerows and across the countryside but most importantly  in the many hedgerows  on the Chewton Glen Estate and recently Estate Manger Darren Venables tweeted a wonderful picture capturing the moment of this years flowering. It was beautiful. My mind heart skipped a beat. Its such an exciting time when nature starts to let you in to her little secrets and plans. And so the Blackthorn moments of glory is upon us before even his leaves appear giving this shrub a little glamour  in the bare hedgerows. A perfectly formed elegant flower as white and as soft as a cloud on  a beautiful blue day. 

 

 

The flower is so delicate its almost a shame to pick the beauty from the bush. But crystallised they are perfect for cake decorations or simply served in a light salad. 

When the leaves arrive they too can used, to be infused for making a tea. However most people tend to pick from this wonderful gift of nature when the year is almost over and the frost have given these particular berries a little coating to ensure they are perfect for your making your gin. Yes its the sloe bush, that many people can and do use in lots of recipes.  However most people I know only ever make gin from them. (and why not).  Yet they make a wonderful inclusion to a hedgerow jelly and a fantastic addition to an ice cream especially if they have been used to make gin first!

But before all of those recipes try this one. They would  look great on a chocolate cake. Simple, perfect elegant. 

An easy Recipe for crystallising flowers:

Ingredients Edible Flowers

  • An egg white that has been stired with a folk but not beaten.
  • Caster sugar 
  • Equipment a model paint brush ( the type yo get with an air-fix model)
  • If you have picked the flowers yourself be sure to check for little flies bugs etc.
  • Dip your paint brush n the egg white and carry fully paint the petals.
  • Dust with the caster sugar and leave to dry on parchment  paper for a few hours.
  • Keeps for about a week. 

 

 

 

 

Please get in touch

We'd love to hear from you

Jen

Jennifer Williams

Chief Jam Maker

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