Home & Garden

Homemade Spiced Plum Jam

Homemade Spiced Plum JamThere is often a glut of soft fruits at this time of year. Plums seem to have done remarkably well due to the long hot summer. However there are only so many plum to can or should eat. Consider the effects of prunes... If you've a tree full of plums heading towards the over ripe stage, this recipe is for you. Bring it out at Christmas to remind the family of the warm late summer days.

Ingredients

3kg very ripe plums
500g caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, to taste.

Method

(1) Wash plums, dry and remove stones. Cut into small pieces and mix with sugar. Allow plums to soak overnight.
(2)Place plums into a heavy pot and bring to the boil while stirring constantly. Reduce temperature to a gentle simmer. Simmer uncovered for 2-3 hours, stirring often. Once the plums begins to thicken, stir in cinnamon and cloves.
(3)Fill into clean screw-cap jars.

Environmentally Friendly Wood Burning Stoves

Northern Living - Environmentally Friendly Wood Burning Stoves - Housewarming SelbyThe early 21st Century has seen a time-warp of sorts, as more and more homes have gone back to burning wood – hundreds of years after it was largely abandoned, firstly in favour of coal and then subsequently, oil, gas and electricity. The lure of this natural, renewable and carbon neutral fuel is easy to understand, but like every other form of energy we harness to help us live our lives, it has an effect on the environment – though in some ways that you might not expect.

One area that has produced some concern is the particulate emissions coming from wood burning stoves. Obviously in built up areas this might conceivably become a problem, but even so, a typical wood burner emits only around 30 per cent of a conventional open fire – so they’re unlikely to cause much of a problem under normal circumstances, despite their growing popularity. Although some places have been designated “smoke control areas” by the local authority under the provisions of the Clean Air Act (1993), a number of manufacturers have designed wood burning stoves which are classified as “exempt” for use here too. Making sure that you only burn fully dried logs – or commercially available pellet or chip fuels – should help avoid creating too much in the way of smoke or particles. Even if you don’t live in a smoke control area it's not a bad idea. Efficiency has a big influence on the environmental impact of using any kind of energy – and wood is no exception. The good news here is that the latest generation of wood burning stoves offer unprecedented levels of efficiency compared with the alternatives. Today’s stoves can routinely achieve 80% or more, while conventional open fires offer 25% at best – dropping to around 5% at worst.

Habitat and Biodiversity

One very positive aspect of the upsurge in wood burning has been its effect on biodiversity and habitat. With a growing commercial value in forestry products, managing woods has itself received a welcome shot in the arm at a time when, in many parts of the country, natural woodland habitats and the species that depend on them have been suffering from years of gradual decline. Wood is, clearly, one of the most sustainable of all fuels; growing trees in Britain is scarcely hard. In choosing and using it to heat our homes we pick as near perfectly carbon neutral a source of energy as it’s possible to find, while at the same time helping to ensure the long-term future of forests and the animals and plants that thrive in them. As impacts go, that surely has to be a pretty good outcome!

Everything we do has environmental implications, and that is as true of wood burning as it is for anything else. Utilising any energy source – however essentially renewable it may be – inevitably has some kind of an impact, even if the overall environmental cost/benefit balance ultimately ends up being a positive one. All in all, given its growing popularity, although wood burning might seem a decidedly backward-step, it looks like its time has come!

Article sponsored by Housewarming Selby
56 Flaxley Road,
Selby,
North Yorkshire.
YO8 4BW

01757 212992

www.housewarmingselby.co.uk


Crystalis3d Ltd

Crystalis3d Ltd - Converting your photos into 3D and laser etching into crystal glass – ever wondered how it is done?

Crystalis3d Ltd - Converting your photos into 3D and laser etching into crystal glass – ever wondered how it is done?


3D laser etching is created by manipulating digital images with sophisticated software and a sub surface laser machine.
Crystalis3d Ltd specialises in converting normal digital photos (2D) into 3D images and laser etching them into crystal glass blocks. Once the photo has either been scanned or received digitally, editing work is then carried out to create the final 2D image before converting it into 3D. This can include repairing a damaged photo, taking out the back ground, adding two or more photos together. With the latest software, designed and created in Germany, a CAD mannequin is created to emulate the 2D image. The subject matter of the photo can be anything ie pet, sport, cars, buildings, people, logos. Once the CAD mannequin has been created the photo is then wrapped around the 3D mannequin giving the photo a curved 3D effect. The next stage is to convert the 3D photo into a ‘point cloud’ this means that the 3D image is changed into thousands of dots, the light colours in the image being the most intense. Once the ‘point cloud’ has been created another software communicates with the sub surface laser machine calculating the X Y & Z axis of each image according to the size of crystal glass block they wish to work with from a range of sizes; 30x20x15mm to 200x150x100mm.

Crystalis3d Ltd - Converting your photos into 3D and laser etching into crystal glass – ever wondered how it is done?

High grade K9 crystal glass is transparent to laser light, so laser can pass through without causing damage. With the use of digital high definition control, the intensity at a given point exceeds the threshold within the glass crystal only were this is intended and effectively you can control the etching process with incredibly high precession. As a result a microscope point is made. By making many millions of points in this fashion the complete 3 dimensional image can be formed. When you look at an engraved crystal, the marked area shows up as white and unmarked area as background transparent glass.


Once the image has been lasered wording can be added to crystal as a special message, name, date etc.
Each crystal is made to the customer’s specifications creating a unique memento that will be cherished and appreciated, whether a memento, gift or trophy, personal or for business. Crystalis3d Ltd offers this unique service.
“We have the latest software and technical expertise to convert your photos into 3D and laser them into crystal glass.”
With a Studio based in North Yorkshire, Crystalis3d also have a 3D scanner which can take perfect headshot portraits of people to be laser etched into crystal glass.


Crystalis3d - Crystal engraving, have you ever wondered how it's done? Crystalis3d Ltd
The Old Vicarage,
Roecliffe,
North Yorkshire.
YO51 9LY
07824 557253
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.crystalis3d.com

Cherry Laurel - Prunus Laurocerasus. Seasonal Dangerous Plant Warning.

Cherry Laurel - Prunus laurocerasus. Seasonal dangerous plant warning.  At this time of year and with an increased number of Polish folk living in Britain it is worth making a specific note of the Cherry Laurel and perhaps also making your children familiar with it. It is a widespread shrub used in urban spaces. In the spring it has clumps of attractive white flowers and at this time of year – August onwards these result in fruits which look like a small glossy black cherry. Throughout the year the shrub retains glassy dark green oval leaves, which can be confused with the Bay leave. Such a mistake as popping a could of leaving in your lasagna would result in the whole family spending the evening in A&E. although the greater majority of the toxic agents would have evaporated due to cooking temperatures and your mistake would be unlikely to be fatal. The seeds, twigs and wilted leaves of the plant contain the chemicals Cyanogenic Glycoside and Amygdalin which are very poisonous and can cause death if eaten. The chemicals result in the evolution of cyanide if the leaves or pits within the berries specifically, are crushed. The whole plant should be treat with a reasonable respect. Certainly using a garden chipper to dispose of the prunings in a confined space would be very unwise. Likewise transporting bundles or prunings in a car would be much safer with at least one window open. 

The increased danger of poisoning over several years has counter-intuitively arisen as a result of the greater skill of our Eastern Europeans friends when dealing with wild plants and fungi. In Poland a sweet jam is prepared in some rural locations using the fruiting bodies of the Cherry Laurel. Great care is used in removing the flesh from the berry without damaging the pit within. In doing so they harvest the only part of the whole plant which is safe to eat. Unfortunately in recent year several children have been seriously poisoned having eaten the fruits. I has been suggested that seeing Eastern European people collecting the berries has given the false impression that they are safe to eat.

Although it would be dangerous to indicate a lethal dose, both the leaves and the pit within the berry can readily kill a grown adult in surprisingly small quantities. It is best admired as a shrub and left well alone. Making, especially, teenagers aware of the dangers of this shrub could save unnecessary incidences of poisoning.

Contemporary wood burning and multi-fuel stove designs

Housewarming SelbyWe recently attended the 2014 Hearth and Home exhibition - "Widely regarded at Europe’s leading showcase for the fireplace industry, Hearth & Home encompasses every product including gas, electric and multi fuel appliances and fire surrounds together with new products, technology, materials and innovation".

In the coming months there are a wide range on new and innovative ranges becoming available from an number of our suppliers. Although the range of traditional style stoves is as popular as ever, as with any industry we need to progress with trends and fashions. New designs this year focused on stand-alone stoves with a modern design, amongst other innovations. Although these design features are generally aesthetic and have little to do with the efficiency of the stove itself, it's great to see manufacturers designing specifically for the contemporary home. Free standing cylindrical designs with log storage beneath were a very popular innovation this year, alongside similar concepts in the various multi-fuel ranges. The advantage of these designs is that you can step away entirely from the convention of having a fireplace to house your stove. The free standing design simply needs a small hearth area on which to stand and the flue is conducted to the outdoors without attempting to conceal its presence.

An example of a contemporary wood burning design is the Broseley Evolution:-

New product for 2014. The Flair 8 is a very modern and contemporary steel wood burner which features an exceptional viewing window and integral log store.


Housewarming SelbyFeatures
Steel construction with metallic black finish
Contemporary design with a large curved viewing window
Integral log store
Airwash technology to help keep the glass clean
Primary and Secondary air controls
Top flue outlet only (6" / 150mm)
Can be ordered with a log store door
Dimensions W698mm x H1158mm x D447mm
Efficiency 80%
Output 8Kw
Weight 150Kg

Housewarming Selby

56 Flaxley Road,
Selby,
North Yorkshire.
YO8 4BW

01757 212992

www.housewarmingselby.co.uk


Translate

English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish