Monday, February 09, 2009

A Pottering Weekend

Well, a pottering weekend in more ways than one. Firstly we managed to make lots of pots of marmalade - the ones in the photo below are about two thirds of those we made.

It took all Saturday afternoon to make one batch and all Sunday morning to make the second batch. Paul volunteered to cut the peel into shreds - always the longest chore. We used a recipe in the little book pictured - one I picked up for about 50p in Woolworths quite a few years ago now and much used ever since.

On Sunday afternoon the sun came out for a short while so we went for a walk, well more of a slip, slither really down to our nearest park.

It was very cold and there weren't many people around. There was a strange, muffled silence around the park, broken only by the occasional bark of a dog in the distance or the twitter of a bird from the branches above.

We crossed the park and left by the main road entrance and walked further down into Fenton. I don't very often venture into the little town as we are closer to Longton which has far more shops but I always think Fenton has some lovely old buildings; I think I will take you for a walk around Fenton in a future post.

Here though, in the distance, are some bottle ovens, relics of the old pottery industry, at what was the original James Kent factory.

As you can see they are Grade II listed, calcining bottle ovens, named Salt, Pepper and Vinegar

Presumably this is because they look like those objects standing in the middle of a table or perhaps they reminded people of a cruet set. Apparently there were four types of bottle ovens used in pottery manufacture: updraft ovens, downdraft ovens, muffle kilns and calcining kilns. The calcining kilns weren't used for the actual firing of the pottery but for the preparation of the flint and animal bone which went into the clay. Here is a link to further explanation of the industry.

By the time we turned back towards home the sun had long disappeared and we had been out longer than we had expected to be. As we neared home there was a faint sprinkling of snow in the air. A couple of hours later as dusk fell our world was white once more.

On the white theme I've been pottering with my blog again and reverted to the white background I had when I first started because I thought it looked better with the snowdrops I've put on my header bar.


  1. Well done with the marmalade.I have to say that I am a failure as I still have not made mine ;-(

  2. Rosie, you have been a very busy bee lately ;) What with a weekend of making marmalade, a quite walk in the park and a nice view of the Salt, Pepper and Vinegar bottle ovens. Thank you for a lovly post and for visiting me. be well,be happy

  3. Well done on the marmalade! And thanks for another stroll in the homeland... always greatly enjoyed!

  4. The marmalade looks good, well done. Thanks for the interesting walk.

  5. Hi Rosie,

    I don't know about you but I am fed up of this winter, can't wait for spring. I think your kitchen must be like a scene from Little Grey rabbit, she liked to make preserves too! It has been so cold, I think the kitchen must be the best place to be.

  6. Fenton photos will be lovely. I used to work at Fenton day care when I was a teenager. I pass through Fenton daily on the way to the gym. There is some wonderful architecture. I had family from Fenton, way back, the cemetery is where a lot of them are buried.

  7. Interesting post Rosie, I really enjoy pottering days too! It will be a slithering walk for us today but wet mud not snow as it has gone very mild and wet this last couple of days.