What’s in season in June?

Seasonal Guide bannerWhat’s in season in June?

Some fruit and veg remain plentiful for up to six months of the year, while others need to be appreciated during a short but glorious season. June fruit and veg options are sweet and crunchy, juicy and delicious.

Peas and broad beans in season June

Peas are naturally sweet and are so attractive with their zesty colourway like tiny green marbles. You may be surprised to discover that a cup of peas also boasts a higher protein content than a whole egg! You can cook them or you can eat them raw; for example, mash them up with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and serve on bruschetta garnished with torn mozzarella pieces and fresh mint leaves. Alternatively, make a pasta salad with some cooked penne, lightly-cooked or raw peas, fresh mint leaves, feta cheese, a bag of rocket and a dressing of lemon juice and olive oil.

As with peas, it is tempting to pop broad beans straight into your mouth to enjoy their tasty crunchiness. Traditionally you eat these boiled and buttered, but there is a lot more you can do with broad beans. Serve raw as tapas with small chunks of pecorino cheese, or cook lightly and serve in salads. Try mixing lightly-cooked broad beans with leafy herbs such as mint, parsley, tarragon and chervil and serve with an olive oil and white wine vinegar dressing. This is so simple but tastes wonderfully sophisticated!

Strawberries in season June

There are other lovely June fruit and veg but it is hard to see past strawberries. In Britain we love our strawberries – they are the taste of summer and a symbol of one of our greatest sporting events. They are at their freshest and tastiest in June, ideal for picnics or with vanilla ice cream. There is not really any need to do anything with strawberries except eat them; however, you can serve yours with a simple, sophisticated twist.

How about marinating your strawberries in a mixture of lemon and orange zest and juice with a little caster sugar? Or you can serve them well chilled and topped with whipped cream, meringue and some chopped mint for a fabulous mix of colours.

It is hard to imagine such a thing as left-over strawberries; however, if you do have some, try making your own jam – it is easy and delicious!

Also keep an eye out this month for asparagus, chicory, crab, gooseberries, lamb, French beans, hare, mackerel, mangetout, raspberries, tomatoes, new potatoes, radishes, rocket, spring onions, watercress and sardines.

Get your Free Seasonal Growing Guide here

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The best cream enamelware

cream-enamel-cookware-bannerThe best cream enamelware

Wares of Knutsford is full of gorgeous items to help you achieve that oh-so-fashionable vintage look in your kitchen. One of the key components of our vintage kitchenwares department is our range of enamelware, which is as good looking as it is practical.

The range includes serveware and cookware in the traditional white and blue enamel colourway and also in some modern-looking colours, such as black, red and blue, and an extensive range of cream enamel cookware. These are made by Falcon from high-quality steel with a double enamel coating and feature a smart grey rim. Enamelware is popular in cooking for its even heat distribution and durability – these items will last a lifetime, and probably longer!

The cream enamelware range at Wares of Knutsford

Our cream enamel cookware range includes baking pans in 29cm and 34cm sizes. These come with useful deep sides to keep the contents of the pan safe and curved corners for easy cleaning. There are also a 22cm pie dish for traditional cooking and a 26cm mini roasting pan. You can also buy oval-shaped covered roasters in 22.5cm and 30cm sizes, which help to ensure roasted meat remains moist and tender by self-basting. A handle on each side makes them easy to use even when hot.

A four loaf cream enamel breadbin looks great on a kitchen worktop and is large enough to hold four full-sized loaves or a number of cakes and rolls. The cream enamel teapot looks stylish on a kitchen range and is the perfect choice for camping, picnics and days out.

If you want to really go retro, we also stock a cast iron cream enamel fondue set by Master Class, which is ideal for meat, cheese or even chocolate fondues. It comes gift boxed and includes six colour-coded forks.

There are also a couple of cream enamel whistling kettles, suitable for all kinds of hobs including induction.

Why buy cream enamelware?

Apart from the obvious cosmetic appeal of classic, smooth cream enamel and the nostalgic pull of using the kind of kitchenware you watched your grandmother use when you were a child, enamel is also an extremely practical material. Enamelware is made on a base of durable steel with a tough porcelain coating. It is resistant to chemicals and burns and while it may chip, it won’t break if you drop it on a hard surface. It offers an even conduction of heat during cooking, it is easy to clean and is oven safe up to temperatures of 270°C. It is also dishwasher safe and suitable for use on electric and gas hobs.

Our Range of Cream Enamelware

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Buy jars in bulk and save money

bargainBuy jars in bulk and save money

Some of our most popular products at Wares of Knutsford are our bulk buy jars and bottles. We pride ourselves on our customer-friendly pricing at all times; however, our bargain packs are particularly great value and convenient for those who need to buy jars in larger volumes.

Buy jars in bulk to save money

When you bulk buy jars, bottles and other products, economies of scale enable us to pass on significant cost savings to our customers. Our bulk buy deal includes 192 jars or bottles plus lids, where appropriate, and is available on all our most popular jars. As usual our £6.95 flat postage rate applies, even on large orders, which means you really are getting good value for money.

Bulk buy or wholesale?

We offer wholesale terms and conditions for customers buying products with a minimum order value of £450 and in pallet-sized quantities; however, if you do not need this kind of volume, our bulk buy deals are the best way to buy a large number of jars for small businesses, for those serious about their preserving, or even for groups of friends who want to buy together to save money.

Buy jars in bulk in a variety of sizes and styles

The bargain packs department includes our standard and deluxe jam jars with a choice of lid colours and some more unusual or decorative styles, such as square, globe and hexagonal-shaped jars. Honey jars, Bonta jars, chutney jars, Bonne Maman-style jars and smart verrine jars for pâtés and pastes are also available as bargain packs in various sizes.

Bulk buy jam jar sizes start with the 41ml miniatures and go up to the 500ml deluxe jars, with a choice of lid colours. Clip top jars, spice jars, cosmetics jars and miniature whisky bottles can also be bought in bargain packs, which are great for small businesses, wedding favours and homemade gifts.

Custom mixed packs

If you have a large number of jars to buy but can’t find exactly what you want among our bargain packs, please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss a custom mixed pack. We have often created these for businesses and weddings and will make up a pack to suit your exact requirements, priced individually. This allows you to mix and match and to specify some more unusual items while still making savings.

Buy jars in bulk and save money

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Baking Accessories Website

the-kitchenBaking accessories website

At Wares of Knutsford the mainstay of our business is preserving equipment, bottles and jars; however, in recent years we have expanded our product range to include some wonderful kitchenwares and other cooking accessories. The success of TV shows such as The Great British Bake Off has seen a new interest in home baking and we would like to introduce you to our accessories for baking department.

Cake baking accessories

Whether your speciality is a classic Victoria sponge, a hearty apple pie or delicate macaroons, we have the accessories for baking needed by both amateur and professional bakers. The range starts with scales, weights and measuring tools in metric and imperial denominations; in addition, we have sieves, sifters and a great selection of flour dredgers.

The next accessories are a delicious collection of Mason Cash mixing bowls, the sturdy, traditional design of which has been a familiar feature of British kitchens for more than 200 years. You can then choose from a comprehensive selection of baking tins and sheets in non-stick and silicone finishes, including mini tart tins, quiche tins, loose based tins, sandwich pans, spring form tins, fluted tins, loaf tins, and specially-shaped heart, savarin and jumbo cupcake tins.

Pudding basins come in enamel, earthenware and plastic in a huge variety of sizes and styles from well-respected manufacturers such as Mason Cash and Falcon.

If pies are more your thing, there are plenty of pastry tools including shaped and lattice pastry cutters, pie funnels, pastry blenders and tampers, and a useful non-stick pastry mat. Pie dishes are available in a variety of sizes in round, oval and square shapes and in earthenware and enamel.

A cake tester will help you to cook perfectly, while a proper cooling rack helps to prevent soggy bottoms!

Baking accessories for decorating

Once you have baked your cake, we can help you to decorate and present it beautifully with professional-quality icing, piping and fondant tools, ranging from basic palette knives, piping bags, fondant smoothers and simple shape cutters to embossing tools and a set of icing modelling tools to complete more detailed work. Cake lifters, plungers and cutting wires will help to keep the cake neat and tidy during the decorative process and you can present the finished item on one of our deluxe cake boards. You can choose from round and square boards, each in two sizes.

Our Fantastic Baking Range

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Are you ready for the 2016 fruit season?

Seasonal Guide SnippetAre you ready for the 2016 fruit season?

It is June, which means that fruit season 2016 is upon us. Whether you grow your own fruit or buy it, you can look forward to a juicy, colourful summer.

Knowing what is ready in the 2016 fruit season

Summer is when most fruits are ready to harvest in the UK and the best way to test for ripeness is to squeeze the fruit gently while it is still on the tree. Most fruits should be left to ripen naturally but others, such as pears, need to be picked before they can ripen on the tree to avoid developing a gritty texture. Gooseberries should also be picked under-ripe if you want to use them in cooking; otherwise, leave them until they are soft.

It is usually obvious when fruits are ripe; for example, green strawberries should be left on the plant. Berries will be soft and richly coloured when ready. If a fruit seems reluctant to be picked, it may need to be left a little longer – ripe fruits usually detach easily.

Nature will usually tell you when bush and cane fruits are ready to pick, as you will notice the birds hanging around your crop. Birds are voracious; therefore, you will need to protect your fruit and pick it quickly if you don’t want to lose the lot!

2016 fruit season schedule

Your fruit will generally ripen at about the same time each year, with a little variation provided by different weather conditions during the growing and harvesting period. The first fruits that will need your attention are gooseberries, redcurrants, rhubarb and strawberries, which should be ready to pick this month. Fruit season 2016 will really take off in July, with white, red and blackcurrants, cherries, gooseberries, loganberries, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries and tayberries all reaching peak ripeness.

By August you could find some early apples, while blackcurrants, cherries, raspberries, strawberries and tayberries soldier on. You should also be able to enjoy blackberries and plums in August. September is when things start to slow down but you will still find blackberries, plums, raspberries and strawberries at their best, with mid-season apples and elderberries coming into their own.

As the evenings draw in and the temperatures drop, you may find some late raspberries and strawberries plus elderberries, pears, plums and apples. When November comes, all that is really left to pick is late apples.

Bear in mind that warmer weather can promote early ripening; therefore, you may find blackberries ready in July, about a month ahead of schedule.

Your Free Guide to Fresh Produce

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How to eat fresh British produce on a budget

recipebannerHow to eat fresh British produce on a budget

At Wares of Knutsford we believe in promoting British produce and British food. Fresh, local, seasonal food is the cheapest and healthiest way to eat.

Seasonal eating on a budget

Strawberries, bananas, asparagus and any fruits and vegetables bought out of season will come from abroad and cost more. When British produce is in season, it costs less and is easy to find locally. Seasonal items are plentiful and are often subject to special offers. You don’t have to stick to small, local shops to make sure you are buying locally, as supermarkets tend to stock a wide variety of British products. Just make sure you check the labels to see where it comes from and, where possible, buy British. Local street markets are also a great way to buy local produce and an entertaining place to do your shopping.

Buying British benefits both the local and national economies and can ease your environmental conscience, as local food does not come with the carbon footprint or ‘food miles’ of imported produce.

Eating on a budget by avoiding waste

Buying loose fruit and vegetables is usually cheaper than buying a pre-filled pack – if you are not sure, check the per kilo price. Buying loose also allows you to buy exactly the amount you need and reduce waste; for example, there is no point spending 90p on a packet of carrots if the small number you need cost 35p loose!

Don’t allow any unused fruit or vegetables to rot. You can always freeze fruit and veg, although sometime you may need to cook it first. If you find yourself throwing away a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, buy frozen or tinned varieties. You can keep these for longer and use them as you need them. Get creative with leftovers by using stale bread in bread and butter pudding or leftover roast potatoes to create homemade gnocchi.

Take a similarly careful approach to meat. Chicken breast fillets are expensive; instead, you could buy a whole chicken and boil up the remains to make stock. Cook the whole bird and use cold meat leftovers to make stews, curries and sandwiches.

Meal planning can not only save you time but also help you to shop more economically – you are less likely to make impulse purchases when you have worked out how you will use what you buy in advance and nothing will be wasted. By cooking in bulk and then freezing meals, you will always have something handy if you are running late or are short of inspiration.

Recipes for British produce on a budget

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Preserving equipment for 2016

preservingPreserving equipment for 2016

If you regularly visit the Wares of Knutsford website, you will probably have noticed that we have been adding lots of new products to our line-up this year. Preserving season will begin shortly and we want to make sure you know what is available so that you can go into your preserving endeavours fully prepared!

Preserving equipment – pans and buckets

A preserving pan is usually known as a maslin pan. You can use any heavy-based saucepan for making jams and chutneys, but maslin pans are specially designed for preserving. Maslin pans tend to have high sides and a wide neck to help contain spatters, which also makes them easy to fill and empty; in addition, the sloped sides are ideal to rest a thermometer on. They often come with markings on the side to help you work out quantities and have a handle for easy lifting and pouring. At Wares of Knutsford we have maslin pans in 4.5-litre, eight-litre and nine-litre capacities and finished in stainless steel, red or black.

For the home brewing crowd, there are plastic food buckets in one-litre, 2.75-litre and five-litre sizes and plastic jerry cans in one-litre, 2.5-litre and five-litre sizes.

Preserving equipment – thermometers and funnels

You can get away with making preserves without thermometers and funnels, but they do make the process easier and cleaner. We have a wide selection of preserving accessories, including funnels in plastic and stainless steel and a variety of sizes. You can choose from three different thermometers, which go up to 200°C. The Kilner thermometer comes with a lid-lifting tool or you can buy a separate set of jar-lifting tongs. On the same page you will also find a clever silicone thermo spoon with an integrated thermometer probe that allows you to monitor the temperature of the contents of your pan while you are stirring. You can also buy a twin pack of marmalade scissors and a fruit press by Kilner.

Preserving accessories – strainers, labels and jar covers

Straining cloths are available in butter muslin, cheesecloth, cotton and nylon. You can buy the bags separately or in a kit including a stand for hands-free straining.

Having filled your jars, make sure you label the contents clearly. Most of our labels are by Words of Art, a mother and daughter artist team producing beautiful watercolour labels in a huge range of designs. If you are giving away preserves as gifts, you may also want to consider adding a pretty jar cover and ribbon to complete the decorative effect.

Preserving equipment for 2016

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Guide to growing herbs

Herb BlogGuide to growing herbs

The easiest way to add a special touch to your food and make it look and taste amazing is to add fresh herbs. If you grow herbs at home, whether in your garden or simply in small pots on a windowsill, you will always have them fresh to hand to impart extra vibrancy and flavour to your meals.

The basic of growing herbs

Even if your gardening skills are minimal, you should be able to grow herbs without any trouble. Herbs can be planted inside or out, in pots, raised beds, flower borders, vegetable plots or in dedicated herb gardens. Like other plants, herbs come as annuals, which means they die off after blooming once; as biennials, which have a two-year life cycle; and as perennials, which will flower repeatedly and keep growing.

Start with your basic culinary herbs – basil, chives, coriander, dill, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon and thyme. Most of these prefer a light, sunny spot with moist but well-drained soil, so don’t let the soil get too soggy or dry out. Herbs like to be fed, so mulch generously with organic matter. Short-lived herbs such as dill and coriander should be sown every couple of weeks through spring and summer to avoid a glut. Bring your herbs inside for the winter – most herbs don’t like the cold but will be happy on a sunny, south-facing windowsill. Mint and sage can both grow quite large and mint can become quite aggressive – it will take over the garden if you let it, so it is best to keep it planted in a container.

How to start growing herbs

The cheapest way to grow herbs is from seed. Sew in pots and keep inside or in a conservatory or greenhouse until the danger of frost has passed. Dill and coriander are relatively hardy and can go straight into the ground from March. You can also try taking cuttings of herbs such as rosemary, mint, sage, tarragon and thyme at the end of summer. Strong-growing, hardy herbs such as mint, thyme and oregano can be divided in late summer after flowering.

Harden off young plants once the weather improves, keeping the soil moist. Plant in loose soil, making sure the root ball is completely underground. Firm in and water well. You will find that some herbs, such as rocket, cress and coriander, grow quickly and will be ready for cutting within a few weeks. Cutting herbs to use in the kitchen and pinching them out will encourage bushy growth and stop them running to seed too quickly.

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Cherries blossom as apples crumble

cherryblossomsCherries blossom as apples crumble

It is going to be an interesting summer for British puddings, according to the Daily Mail, as we are facing a shortage of dessert favourite Bramley apples. On the other hand, we are due a bumper crop of cherries this year!

Apples 2016 loser

Apparently the UK’s Bramley apples 2016 harvest is expected to fall about 12 per cent short, as the farmers do not believe they are making enough money from the fruit. A number of farmers have abandoned growing Bramleys and have removed their trees to make way for cherries on the basis that they are a higher-profit crop. Wholesale Bramley apple prices dropped 20p per kilo last year to 61p.

Cherries 2016 winner

The silver lining to this Bramley cloud is the higher availability of British cherries. While cherries used to be imported from abroad, British farmers are now growing record amounts of the fruit – up from 400 tonnes in 2000 to 4,500 tonnes last year. Cherries are a great alternative to apples for many reasons – not only are they among the freshest fruit you can buy, thanks to a quick turnaround time from picking to point of sale, but also they boast a number of interesting health benefits thanks to their high nutrient content.

Summer cherries 2016 recipes

Cherries are almost as versatile as apples. They are also deeply beautiful, glowing jewels of fruit and symbolise fertility and abundance. Cherry season in the UK is the summer, with July seeing UK cherries at their peak.

Frangipane cherry tart

Pre-made shortcrust pastry
140g golden caster sugar
140g ground almonds
140g melted butter
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
2 tbsp kirsch or other cherry liqueur
500g cherries, pitted
2 tbsp cherry jam, heated and mixed with 1 tbsp water

Use a shop-bought pastry case or a prepared sheet of shortcrust pastry to save time. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C and blind bake your pastry case if necessary.

To make the filling, put the caster sugar, almonds, butter and eggs into a bowl and mix well to achieve a smooth, creamy texture. Stir in the cherry liqueur and put the mixture in the refrigerator to chill for 20-30 minutes.

Spread the filling onto the pastry case and bake until crisp or golden, which will take about 25 minutes. Spread the cherries evenly on top of the almond mixture, brush with the cherry jam paste and allow to cool.

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Preserving labels for jars

labelsPreserving labels for jars

Labels for jars are not exactly a glamorous subject but they are important – there is little worse than taking a big bite of a delicious homemade scone with strawberry jam and clotted cream only to find that you have spread it with chutney by mistake!

Preserving labels at Wares of Knutsford

We are proud of the quality and variety of our range of preserving labels. The bulk of the department is from the Words of Art range by mother and daughter artist team Rosemary and Caroline Wagstaff, featuring their delightful watercolour designs. There are labels decorated with fruit and vegetable designs that you could match beautifully to your products, with examples including citrus fruits, onions, plums, strawberries and raspberries. There is also a useful range of graphic designs that can be used not only as labels for jars of food but also for cosmetic or aromatherapy products. This range includes gingham, polka dot, line and graduated borders in olive green, ocean blue, sunshine yellow, rose red, cornflower blue, periwinkle blue and coral.

There are also some modern and funky multiuse labels featuring the royal crown, a beehive and a vintage-style Union Jack border. You can also choose from some lovely rustic designs featuring a garden gate, wellies or a glittery tiara.

In addition to Words of Art, we stock labels by Kitchen Craft in a variety of designs and others by Kilner in a chalkboard finish.

All of our labels are self-adhesive and feature a plain white centre panel on which to write.

Why you need preserving labels

Apart from the obvious – to identify the contents – jar labels often contain other pieces of useful information, particularly if you are giving your produce away as a gift or selling it. Consider adding a use-by date, storage instructions and an ingredients list to your labels. If you are giving jars as a gift, you could also add a tag on a string or ribbon around the neck of the jar with a personal message for the recipient to avoid crowding your label.

If you are selling your produce, there are some fairly strict legal requirements regarding what information you should include on the label. Contact your local trading standards office for up-to-date information, but usually a use-by date and ingredients list are among the requirements. You will also generally find that you need to name your product according to some fairly strict criteria.

Click here for Preserving Labels

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All you need to make your own wedding favours

All you need to make your own wedding favours

Wedding season is in full swing and whether you areFavour 3 planning a low key, private affair or have turned into a frightening bridezilla, your head is doubtless full of plans for your special day. There is so much to think to about and while Wares of Knutsford can’t really help you with your dress, venue or honeymoon, we are absolutely full of great wedding favour ideas.

How Wares of Knutsford can help you make wedding favours

We started off recommending our bottles and jars for people to use to give homemade produce as wedding favours – jams, chutneys, liqueurs, sweets, aromatherapy and cosmetics, for example. Over time, however, we noticed that our customers were becoming interested in wedding favour ideas and looking for packaging for their favours.

We responded to this demand by creating a new wedding favours department on our website, where we have put together everything we think buyers looking for wedding favours will find useful. The trend at the moment is definitely to create your own favours rather than buy favours designed by someone else. Doing it yourself allows you to make your favours really personal and save money at a time when expenses may be mounting at a frightening rate.

Make wedding favours to match your theme

Whether you are working to a strict colour scheme or simply want to keep to a theme – rustic, hippy or even Star Wars! – you can create your own wedding favours to fit in and give your guests a great memento of the event. The key is to keep it personal. If you have a skill with which you can make your ow favours, do it. This could be jam making or other cooking of some kind, brewing your own wine or liqueurs, making lip balm, or making your own jewellery, pottery or miniature wood carvings. Keen gardeners could give home-grown plants, flowers or vegetables as wedding favours.

Whatever skills you have, consider whether youFavour 1 can use them to create unique and interesting wedding favours. Our wedding favours department contains a great selection of jars and bottles, presentation boxes, bags, gift tags and labels for you to use to present your wedding favours.

Most weddings follow a colour scheme of sorts, so try to decorate your wedding favours accordingly. If all else fails, people are always happy with sweets! Just pop them in a pretty box with some ribbon and they will look great.

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Sow and grow in May


Sow and grow in May

May is the month of fecundity; therefore, it is time to find your trowel and fork and get busy in the garden. Here is a guide to what to grow in May.

What to sow in May: flowers

It is definitely getting warmer out there but it is safer to start off your seedlings indoors until any risk of frost has passed. May is the time for planting a number of flowers, including larkspur – an annual that is an easy alternative to delphiniums if you have struggled with these. Start your salvia off indoors for colourful summer bedding later on and start your biennials in seed trays now for later transplanting. Wallflowers, sweet williams and foxgloves sown now will flower next year.

Plant some perennials in seed trays now to flower next year and they will keep coming back for years to come – think primulas, aquilegias, lupins and delphiniums.

There are some hardier flowers that can be sown directly outdoors in May – sunflowers, nasturtiums, scabious, cornflowers and poppies can all go straight in the ground. Go for some clarkias, linarias and candytuft for some easy summer colour, while limnanthes in your veggie plot will help to bring in beneficial insects.

What to sow in May: fruit and vegetables

Like flowers, some fruit and veg are best started indoors. Sweetcorn should be on your list of what to grow in May. Start off with at least 12 seeds in modules indoors, then plant out in grid formation to aid pollination after the danger of frost has passed.

Basil likes warmth and should be sown in pots indoors. Perennial herbs such as lemon balm, thyme, sage and rosemary should go in under cover now.

Pumpkins, squash, marrows and courgettes should be started off under cover; however, don’t overdo it or you could find yourself eating them with every meal for weeks this summer! Sow French and runner beans and cucumber and gherkin seeds individually in modules for planting out later.

You can start off cauliflower seeds under a cloche or cold frame, ensuring that the soil is kept moist.

You can also sow some fruit and vegetables directly into the ground this month. Beetroot seeds like space, so sow them thinly into the ground. The same applies to cabbages, but get them netted early or cabbage white butterflies will lay eggs on the leaves. Carrots can be planted in rows and protected from carrot fly with a layer of fleece or Enviromesh.

Kohlrabi is a more unusual choice and will be ready in just eight weeks if you sow it outside now.

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Kilner drinks dispensers

Kilner drinks dispensersStandard Jar

A drinks dispenser is one of those things you never realised you needed; however, once you have one, you will wonder how you ever lived without it! We stock a variety of drinks dispensers by Kilner, all of which are perfect for your summer events. Used outdoors they keep flies out of drinks and keep the contents fresh and clean, with easy, one-handed access courtesy of a tap at the bottom of the jar.

The standard dispensers are designed in the same style as the traditional Kilner preserving jar in high-quality clear glass in a round shape with a heavy duty clip fastening and an orange rubber seal. The wide neck makes it easy to add fruit, ice or herbs and to refill. The jars are embossed with the familiar Kilner logo and are available in five- and eight-litre sizes, which are sold singly. This means they hold plenty of drinks for garden parties, weddings, children’s birthday parties, fetes and galas, indoor or out. They can be used for soft drinks or cocktails, milkshakes and smoothies, or even just water, but are not suitable for very hot drinks. The dispensers should only be used for liquids with a maximum temperature of 80°C.

In addition to the round dispensers, we stock a square version in the same style with an eight-litre capacity.

Kilner vintage style drinks dispensersVintage Jar

Also available in five- and eight-litre sizes is a vintage style dispenser, similar to the basic model but with a decorative ribbed jar. It works in the same way but would fit in really well in a more rustic or retro setting. A Kilner vintage style drinks dispenser is a great way to keep guests served at a laidback summer wedding; even better, set up a row of them with labels stating the contents. Traditional drinks such as cloudy lemonade, fruit punch and elderflower cordial look pretty and taste delicious. You could also set up a dispenser of freshly-
squeezed orange juice with a few bottles of champagne for some Buck’s Fizz.Square Jar

Add a few Kilner handled drinking jars for a really cute, coordinated effect and make sure there are plenty of straws available.

Remember that a flat delivery charge applies when ordering from Wares of Knutsford, no matter how much you order, so feel free to fill up your basket without worrying about mounting postage costs.

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Packaging For Preserves

Packaging for preserves

At Wares of Knutsford we make an effort to listen to what our customers want, and by popular demand we investigated the idea of preserve packaging. Jars and bottles are notoriously difficult to wrap in the traditional style and our customers were looking for a better way in which to present preserves.

Since we introduced the range, it has been hugely popular and we have even added a number of other packaging items to the department. If you are planning to give homemade preserves as gifts or to sell your own produce, the right packaging can help your jars to look smart and professional.

Boxed preserve packagingBox

Our specially designed boxes make it incredibly simple to package jars and bottles, either to give as gifts or to sell as a set. Choose from natural brown card or green. The boxes come flat packed for easy delivery and are easy to assemble at home. You can choose two- or three-jar models in small and medium sizes for standard jars, and there are also two- and three-jar versions for tall, slim jars.

Bag packaging for preservesBag

Our packaging department also contains some pretty bags specially designed to hold jars. Again, you can choose from models that hold two or three jars in extra small, small, medium and tall sizes. The bags come in a natural jute colour and are made of hessian, which is biodegradable and environmentally friendly. They feature clear display windows to show off the products inside and are an easy way to turn simple jars into pretty gifts.

Tray packaging for preservesTray

If you are looking to create a bolder effect, you can use one of our card trays to create a kind of preserve hamper. The trays are available in square and rectangular shapes and in three colours – natural brown, burgundy red and olive green – with tall or shallow sides and in small, medium and large sizes.

We also supply fine cut shredded paper in brown, cream and red to help you pack out the trays to present the preserves attractively, plus brown hessian string and jute ribbon in natural and green to decorate the package. The trays can be used for all sorts of gifts in addition to jars of preserves, including all sorts of other food items, soaps or cosmetics; for example, you could give a couple of homemade chutneys with some savoury biscuits and cheese for a lovely personal gift.

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Rustic Wedding Favour Boxes

Rustic wedding favour boxesRustic Box

We have had a lot of interest lately in our packaging and wedding favour departments, both of which were set up to answer customer demand. Making your own wedding favours is increasingly popular as a way to both personalise and save costs at your wedding. At Wares of Knutsford we have a great supply of packaging to help you make rustic wedding favours, modern wedding favours or any other kind of wedding favours – and plenty of ideas to help you fill them!

New rustic wedding favour boxes at Wares of Knutsford

One of our new products this season is a rustic-style box ideal for small wedding favours. It is made of sturdy corrugated cardboard in a natural brown colour and sold in packs of ten. The box measures 5cm by 5cm by 5cm, which makes it the perfect size for both 30ml and 40ml mini jam jars. We also find a number of artisan producers and crafters use these boxes, as they are perfect to present smaller items such as jewellery, homemade lip balms or sweets and chocolates.

Take a look at our packaging department for decorative materials, as simple accessories such as a piece of hessian string tied in a bow around the boxes really add to the theme of rustic wedding favours. You will also find a selection of ribbons, labels and gift tags that you can attach with a personal message for your guests. Remember that you can also use these items to maintain a coherent theme at your venue; for example, you can use jute ribbon or hessian string to tie up bouquets of wild flowers for table centrepieces.

Our favourite fillings for the new rustic wedding favour boxes

It is really nice to able to make your wedding favour fit the theme and style of your wedding. One lovely idea we heard about was a pretty and laid-back wedding theme, which was a little bit hippy, where the guests were given pieces of rose quartz crystals in small boxes. The couple enjoyed New Age culture and the wedding very much followed a pink colour scheme, so this was a really fitting favour.

We also love the idea of giving homemade sweets and chocolates as wedding favours. You can go all out with a rustic scheme by making individual lavender chocolates and using lavender to decorate the venue and in the bride’s bouquet. This idea is simple but beautiful and not only will your wedding look gorgeous but also it will smell wonderful!

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Kilner jars

Kilner jars

At Wares of Knutsford we have dedicated a whole department to the Kilner jar. This classic piece of preserving equipment is still available in its original form and also in a number of modern variations on the theme.

The history of Kilner jars

The traditional Kilner jar was invented towards the end of the 19th century; however, John Kilner started producing glass jars and bottles in Thornhill Lees in Dewsbury in the 1840s. Upon his death in 1857, the business passed to his sons and continued to go from strength to strength, including winning industry awards. In the 1860s a second Kilner factory was opened in Conisborough, Don Valley and became a huge local employer. The awards kept coming; however, the pressure of increased competition hit the firm hard in the early 1920s.

In 1937 the Kilner family was forced to close the business, having sold the trademark and patent for its original Kilner glass jar design to the United Glass Bottle Company. In 2000 the Rayware Group bought the rights to the patent and trademark for the original Kilner jar and continues to manufacture under the Kilner brand name. A number of modern products have been introduced, still inspired by the original product, and these have helped to expand the Kilner brand.

Kilner jars at Wares of Knutsford

The Kilner clip top clear glass preserving jar is available at Wares of Knutsford in a number of sizes: 70ml, 125ml, 350ml, 500ml, 1 litre, 1.5 litres, 2 litres and 3 litres. Square and faceted versions of the same style are also available in various sizes, sold singly or in great value packs.

Screw top Kilner jars for preserving, which use the metal sealing disc and screw band method, are also available in 250ml, 500ml and 1-litre sizes, along with spare metal discs and screw bands.

A number of speciality products have been introduced in the Kilner style and have been proving very popular, such as clip top jars in coloured glass. These are available in blue, green and pink and in 500ml and 1-litre sizes. You can also buy handled drinking jars in clear or coloured glass.

Kilner swing top bottles can be bought in a variety of designs in clear and coloured glass in 250ml and 1 litre sizes; for sloe gin with a 275ml capacity; in a square shape; and in an 850ml ribbed design. You can also buy a 70ml miniature clip top bottle and a 200ml handled version.

Finally, a new product we love this season is the Kilner milk bottle, which comes in 189ml and 568ml sizes.

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Gardening tips for May

may gardening

May gardening is a joyous experience, as everything is surging with life and signs of summer abound. You can now do some sowing and planting out, depending upon the weather conditions, and you can complete some propagation in the form of softwood cuttings. The lawn will also require some attention as you start a regime to get it back into shape for summer.

May gardening jobs

You should already have most of your potatoes in the ground and it is now time for a bit of earthing up. If you have any left unplanted, it is time to get them in the ground. Weeds will need to be hoed out regularly if you want to prevent them taking hold.

Open the vents and doors of your greenhouse to allow the air to circulate and start hardening off your seedlings ready to plant out once the weather allows. Dahlias and canna lilies can go in the ground once any risk of frost has passed and you can sow winter bedding ready for a colourful display later in the year. Climbing plants will need regular training and tying in.

Give the lawn a first mow and treat it to some fertiliser, reseeding bare patches if necessary. You can now begin a fortnightly or weekly mowing schedule to keep your grass in good shape over the summer. The hedges could probably do with clipping, but look out for nesting birds first and try to avoid disturbing them.

Tender shrubs can be pruned after the danger of frost has passed and spring flowering shrubs should be pruned after flowering. You can still get away with pruning evergreens in May and should cut out any frost-damaged areas. Spring flowering bulbs will be fading by now and it is time to lift and divide clumps to avoid overcrowding. Hostas can be divided as they grow.

While you are going about your tasks, keep an eye out for lily beetle grubs and viburnum beetle and treat any accordingly.

May gardening and the weather

The sun may be out but there is still a danger of frost – and there was even snow at the end of April! This means tender plants will still need some protection. Summer bedding plants can go out in May but it is usually wise to wait until the end of the month, particularly if you live in a colder area.

Take some time while gardening in May to consider how you can collect rainwater and look at ways in which you can recycle any other water to use for irrigation.

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The best enamelwares to buy

best enamelware

Wares of Knutsford started life as a specialist in jars, bottles and preserving equipment; however, we have expanded our range enormously since then, mostly in response to customer demand. We keep a close eye on what our customers want and one thing we have noticed is that you are buying enamelwares.

The best enamelware is great for so many uses. Its lightweight construction and robust and durable nature has made it popular with campers, fishermen and other outdoors types who want to be able to cook a decent meal while out and about without worrying about breakages but don’t want to eat off plastic. It is also ideal for children to use, as it is able to withstand all sorts of abuse! Enamelware also looks great and can add a wonderful vintage or rustic feel to a traditionally-styled kitchen.

The best enamelware in blue and white

Most people buying enamelwares automatically think of the classic blue and white style. This is the traditional image of enamelware – a white base colour with a dark blue trim. At Wares of Knutsford we stock a wide range of white and blue enamelware for serveware, storage and cookware, including plates, bowls, mugs, pie dishes, roasters, a teapot, pudding basins, bread bins and a cute billycan.

The best enamelware in other colours

If blue and white doesn’t work for you but you still want to access the practical properties of enamelware, we offer alternative colours. Take a look at the particularly elegant cream enamelware trimmed in grey, which is available in a variety of bakeware products and a bread bin.

There is also bakeware in black and tea and coffee pots in bright blue, red, black or white, with matching mugs in bright blue, red or white. Flat plates are available in a set of four in white with a red rim.

Preserving fans will be delighted by the super-stylish red enamel jam pan by Kilner, which has an eight-litre capacity, an easy carry handle and an integral measuring gauge in both pints and litres.

Remember that Wares of Knutsford charges a flat delivery charge, which means you can order large quantities and even heavy or bulky items without worrying about mounting postage costs! Wholesale prices are available to small businesses or those ordering in pallet-sized quantities – please contact our helpful and friendly staff for more details.

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Rustic tea light holder

rustic tea light holder

At Wares of Knutsford we continue to introduce new products and one of our favourite recent additions to our online shop is this pretty glass tea light holder.

Vintage style rustic tea light holder

The vintage trend shows no sign of abating and this candle holder is a really easy way to achieve the look. The holder is made of high-quality clear glass in a ribbed effect with a hessian string to hang it from and a decorative gold-coloured metal leaf. The glass candle holder is 75mm wide by 90mm tall and is sold singly.

These candle holders work well individually or in groups; however, we think they create the most impact when used in a line. With Wares of Knutsford’s flat delivery charge, you can put as many as you like into your basket without worrying about being hit by a huge postage cost when you reach the checkout.

Using the rustic tea light holder for weddings

At Wares of Knutsford we can think of lots of ways in which we want to use this rustic tea light holder; for example, with summer coming, we can imagine clusters of twinkling tea lights creating romantic corners in the garden. If you use citronella candles, you should escape the attention of bugs and mosquitos. You can sit the glass on a flat surface or use the string to hang it from hooks, tree branches and fences.

We are also excited by the idea of using this vintage style candle holder at weddings. This is a great way to get that rustic, laid-back style that is currently so popular for weddings. You can use the candle holders for simple table centrepieces or to create gentle mood lighting around the venue. Line them up to light a pathway, or give them away as wedding favours. The clear glass, brown hessian and gold coloured leaf blend with any colour scheme, while the simple style will work with vintage, rustic or hippie-style weddings.

Candle light is so much softer and more flattering than harsh bulbs and your guests are sure to appreciate the gentle glow that tea lights emit. You can also add an extra dimension to your wedding theme by using scented and coloured tea lights in the holders, such as rose-scented candles for a rustic wedding. If you are planning a winter wedding, keep these in mind to use with warm, seasonal scented candles – a spicy cinnamon and clove scent evokes a really cosy feel.

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Tea light holders for weddings

wedding tea light holder

There are some standard features when planning a wedding celebration that most brides agree add the right amount of romance and style to the occasion. Flowers are a given, chair sashes are also popular, photo booths and sweet stands are current favourites, and candles can make even the most prosaic town hall look like a romantic venue. At Wares of Knutsford we have a great selection of tea light holders for weddings.

Vintage style wedding tea light holder

New to our wedding department this season is this pretty range of wedding tea light holder. Made of clear glass with an octagonal base and an embossed vintage-style floral garland pattern around the rim, the candle holder is sold singly and is just the right size for a standard tea light.

The simple but effective design makes this candle holder suitable for use in a number of ways; for example, it is smart enough to use in table settings, to be given as a wedding favour gift or to be placed around the celebration venue. The clear glass allows the gentle, flickering light of a candle to glimmer romantically in the background, while the open top means scented tea lights can help the venue to both smell and look beautiful.

The dimensions of the candle holder are 85mm tall, 50mm across the base and 80mm across the top.

Using a wedding tea light holder around the venue

Tea light holders can be used to create visual impact either singly or in groups; however, we think they look most charming when lined up in a row, perhaps down the length of long tables or along a path or a wall to lead the way as daylight fades.

While we think these are perfect tea light holders for weddings, they can just as easily be used to create atmosphere at any party or event or even around the house. Candlelight gives off the most flattering glow and scented tea lights can be used to make your home smell delicious or to keep insects away when used outside. They can be a really useful home accessory.

As always when using candles, remember to be safe. Use tea light holders in a clear area where they will not be overhung by flammable material, keep naked flames out of reach of children, and make sure all candles are extinguished before leaving the venue.

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