Good afternoon all and many thanks to those of you who came to hear Sue Nulty on baking last month. Our next event will be the Harvest Supper Quiz evening next Thursday; we are very nearly sold out for this and tickets will not be available on the night, so if you would like to come please contact us as soon as possible (using the contact form above) – as we are serving food we do need to know in advance how many people will be attending; tickets are £5 per person.
The format of the quiz evening will be:
We are currently sitting down to plan next year’s events, so if there’s anything you’d like us to consider, or a place or an exhibition you think we should be going to, please do let me know. We plan to hold a meeting in January when the new Sutton’s Seeds catalogues will be available (bear in mind you get a 50% discount from Sutton’s as a KGG member) to talk about seed orders and perhaps arrange some sharing/swapping, but everything else is currently up for grabs.
A series of events that has been proving popular with the gardeners of the KGG is the monthly mardle, organised by Tim Reeves. Tim says: The Kitchen Garden Group Mardle is a small, informal, social meeting intended to bring KGG members together between the main meetings. Since the spring, the Mardle has been held monthly in Sandringham clubs, members' gardens, and in a semi-private garden at Sandringham. Where possible, we have sat down for a chat and a drink after a visit. Questions have been answered, plants identified and there has been swapping of seeds and young plants.
To become involved, a Kitchen Garden Group member must opt in by emailing me, then they'll receive the Mardle group email.
I will telephone members without an email account. If you'd like to share your garden, provide something more kitchen oriented, can do a short talk or have any suggestions then please contact me.
My email address is: email@example.com
We’d like to get something similar going for the bakers and flower arrangers among you, but at present can’t figure out quite how to do it – any suggestions?
We look forward to seeing you at the quiz evening or in January, and to receiving your suggestions for next year.
There will be a complimentary ticket to those entering either the Fuchsia or ‘It’s all about the Icing’ cake in the KGG competitions. Like other competitors, when you come to the committee tent for your entry number on the Tuesday evening, we will give you an entry ticket. Please note all entries MUST be in by 8.30pm Tuesday 25th.
It’s been a little while since our last meeting and the talk by Alan Mason, and we don’t plan to have another main meeting till after the Flower Show, so we thought we’d give you a quick update on a few things and a few hints and tips when it comes to entering competitions at the Show. If you haven’t got a schedule/entry form, do let me know and we’ll get you one.
There are three plant sales (combined with coffee and/or cakes!) happening locally over the next few weeks;
And now some random words of wisdom (I hope!)……………
Gooseberries – if you’re thinking about entering gooseberries (20 of one colour, basket supplied), do keep a careful eye out for pests; gooseberry sawfly can strip a bush in a day, and the only cure I know is to pick off every caterpillar by hand. In my experience, blackbirds quite like gooseberries, too, so you may need to net your bush to keep them at bay.
Potatoes – (5 white or coloured) if your tap water is hard, watering with it can encourage potato scab, so rainwater from the water butt will be a better bet.
Fuchsias – for the Kitchen Garden Group competition – if you’re pinching out the tips to encourage a bushier plant, take a careful look at where the leaves meet the stems. Usually the leaves are in pairs, but if you can find a stem with leaves in threes, that will give you a much bushier plant as it will encourage three lots of buds at a time instead of two.
Shortbread (not an Open Amateur class, so you’ll need to be an Estate tenant or employee/pensioner to enter) – is really simple to make and doesn’t depend on getting a good rise like a sponge cake, but do do some practice runs beforehand so you can test when it’s properly cooked but not overdone. It’s important not to work the dough too much – mix flour in gently and stop as soon as it’s all incorporated, then press it into shape rather than rolling it out.
Chutney (again, not an Open Amateur class) – needs at least a couple of months for the flavours to develop, so should really be made in the next few weeks. Apparently some recipes say they are for chutney but actually produce something more like a sweet pickle, which could then be disqualified. One rule of thumb is that if the cooking time is longer than 15 minutes, it’s probably a chutney, less than that it’s more likely a sweet pickle.
We hope your fuchsias are developing nicely, and your cake decoration plans are coming together – remember there’s a bottle of champagne in it for each winner!
If there’s anything you’re thinking about entering in a competition but hesitating about, do let us know; I’m sure between us all we can answer most questions. We have now set up a Facebook page for members only sharing ideas and keeping everybody informed . If you search Sandringham Kitchen Garden Group you can apply to join.
For those going to Wisley – see you June 17th at 7.30am West Newton Gates.