We’ve had great news this afternoon: finally, after many months of wrangling with the planning process, we’ve been given permission to proceed!
We now need to establish whether we’re able to be included in the current funding cycle or whether we’ve missed it due to the delay. We know we were okay if our permission had been given at the previous Planning Committee meeting, on the 25th of September, but the application deadline was the 5th of October (our application was in months before that because it’s been in from before the summer deadline, just waiting for planning permission!) and we haven’t been able to establish whether we needed our permission by that date in order to be allowed to proceed. Fingers crossed we can go through on this cycle, in which case we should be able to start building in January. Otherwise we’ll have to wait until the March cycle; with seven months of build time, that means we’ll miss the whole of next summer and be into the autumn before we can take bookings.
Still, this weekend will definitely be a time of celebration in our house!
We’ve got a bumper crop of blackberries in the garden this year, so we made a batch of jam today. It’s a very simple recipe:
Equal weights of blackberries (washed) and granulating sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice for each 0.5kg of blackberries
50ml of water for each 0.5kg of blackberries
- Place the blackberries, lemon juice and water in a large pan and gently heat until the fruit collapses (usually 2-3 hours).
- When the fruit mixture is pretty smooth, place your empty jars in a cold oven and turn on to 100°C.
- Gradually add the sugar into the fruit mixture and stir in.
- Bring the pan to a gentle boil, stirring almost continuously. Keep stirring until a drip will cling to the spoon: to check, lift the spoon out of the pan, turn it a couple of times and hold still. Some of the jam will run back into the pan but when it is ready, the last drip should remain hanging beneath the spoon. This usually takes 10-20 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the oven and stand on a heat-proof surface.
- Take the pan off the heat and use a heat-safe jug to scoop jam from the pan and pour into the jars, taking care not to touch the pan or splash the jam onto your hands.
- After filling all the jars, use a cloth to hold the hot jars while attaching the lids. This should be done while the jam is still hot.
- Leave the jars to stand for 12 hours and print some pretty labels for the sides!
We love this on wholemeal bread for breakfast, or on Scottish pancakes with a cup of tea.