Tunnels & Haws

It is just as well blogging is a written medium. Discussing haws orally leads to all sorts of embarrassing misunderstandings. Especially mentioning them in the same breath as tunnels, towpaths and canals it seems.

Today we will be travelling through the canal network’s longest tunnel. I am writing, of course, about the Standedge Tunnel. The Captain has barely slept for the excitement. Strangely, I am less moved by the prospect. His recitation of the facts is hardly helping. Apparently it is 3 1/4 miles long, 196m above sea level and 194m below the moors. It is therefore the longest, deepest, highest tunnel in England. It opened in 1811, took 17 years and 50 lives to build. So it is also old and possibly haunted. To go through today one needs a BW escort, a life jacket and a hard hat. So, all things considered, does my lack of excitement surprise you?

I shall console myself with thoughts of my most surprising jam yet: Haw, Apple and Elderberry Jelly. I was very dubious as I mashed the haws with the other fruit. They did not give off the best aroma. But the end result is magnificent. Try it, I dare you!

Haw, Apple & Elderberry Jelly

450g haws

450g apples, cut into chunks

450g elderberries

Water

Sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

Knob of butter

Combine all fruits in preserving pan and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer until soft, crushing with potato masher to extract juices. Pour mix into a scalded muslin bag and strain overnight. Measure juice. Allow 450g of sugar to every 600ml of juice. Return juice to pan with sugar and lemon juice. Heat gently, stirring until sugar dissolved. Add knob of butter and boil rapidly until setting point reached. Pour into sterilised jars and seal.

Tunnels & Haws

It is just as well blogging is a written medium. Discussing haws orally leads to all sorts of embarrassing misunderstandings. Especially mentioning them in the same breath as tunnels, towpaths and canals it seems.

Today we will be travelling through the canal network’s longest tunnel. I am writing, of course, about the Standedge Tunnel. The Captain has barely slept for the excitement. Strangely, I am less moved by the prospect. His recitation of the facts is hardly helping. Apparently it is 3 1/4 miles long, 196m above sea level and 194m below the moors. It is therefore the longest, deepest, highest tunnel in England. It opened in 1811, took 17 years and 50 lives to build. So it is also old and possibly haunted. To go through today one needs a BW escort, a life jacket and a hard hat. So, all things considered, does my lack of excitement surprise you?

I shall console myself with thoughts of my most surprising jam yet: Haw, Apple and Elderberry Jelly. I was very dubious as I mashed the haws with the other fruit. They did not give off the best aroma. But the end result is magnificent. Try it, I dare you!

Haw, Apple & Elderberry Jelly

450g haws

450g apples, cut into chunks

450g elderberries

Water

Sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

Knob of butter

Combine all fruits in preserving pan and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer until soft, crushing with potato masher to extract juices. Pour mix into a scalded muslin bag and strain overnight. Measure juice. Allow 450g of sugar to every 600ml of juice. Return juice to pan with sugar and lemon juice. Heat gently, stirring until sugar dissolved. Add knob of butter and boil rapidly until setting point reached. Pour into sterilised jars and seal.