Friday, 30 September 2011

Hedgerow rum

This is a new one for me, loosely based on a recipe in a book; the whole point of these sorts of seasonal drinks is to use what you can forage at the time. In this one, I have the very last of the elderberries, plus rosehips, brambles and rowans. Remember *always* to leave some for wildlife to help them through the autumn and winter.
Collect your fruit in the middle of the day when it's good and dry, only use sound fruit.  Pick over it all, removing leaves, twigs, rotten bits, stems and beasties. Try and get an even balance fo fruits, but again, go with what you've got. Layer the fruit in a wide neck jar with sugar - I used vanilla sugar for an extra taste kick, but plain granulated would do, or maybe a soft brown sugar for this one.  Pour over dark rum, seal and shake. Leave in a cool dark place shaking occasionally; ready by Yule. Looking forward to this one! Will report back.

Quince brandy

Part of this year's crop was earmarked for this delicious and warming winter drink - well worth a try if you can get hold of quinces - you  only need a couple.
1/2 bottle brandy - any kind
1 1/2 - 2 quinces
spices - for this one I used star anise, vanilla  pod and cinnamon sticks

Wipe the quinces and cut them into quarters, or big chunks; place in a wide necked jar - Kilner or similar. Pour over brandy, add a little sugar ( I used 1 dessertspoonful, but add to taste), pop in the spices, seal the jar and shake. Leave in a cool dark place for a couple of months, shaking occasionally. Will be ready for Yule.


Tuesday, 27 September 2011


Got the first of the hops picked this morning; some browning a bit, but still perfectly fine for drying and sorting with a view to future pints - for ME. I now tend to pull the bines, rather than the individual hop flowers; bines are very, very scratchy, and can shred your lowers arms if you're not careful. I'm sure there must be some sort of weaving thing you could do with the bines, either fresh or dried, they're so strong, but flexible. Off for a Google. Kitchen smells like a brewery (again)

Lots of interesting stuff there, will have a go at cordage too I think. Quick shuftie around the net reveals that hop bines can indeed be used for basketry, probably in a mixed hedgerow basket; off to unearth my basketmaking books, something I've been  wanting to get back to for a while now

Monday, 26 September 2011

To make you smile

Fruitful post

Yes, another one! lol

Winter Queening apple at the front; the three smaller ones are from an odd seedling that appeared  and I just left, although it's not in an ideal place really; glad I did, though, it's very like a Golden Delicioous, lovely wee sweet apples.

These were the quinces now stewing away for jelly

Quinces wrapped for a few weeks' storage

The last of the Bardseys, now ripened fully and the most glorious colours; I've wrapped these to store fora while to see how they last.

Another fruitful endeavour has abeen a foray into the world of fruit  leathers for the first time. Teh puree is made and ready for the next stage,  so will post when it's done. Interesting and enjoyable to do, I love trying new things for the first time. Smells good too! lol

Wartime crisps

Saw this on another blog yesterday and decided to give it a go - good way of using every bit of the potato! I always remembered in Home Economic classes we were told that all the good things in a vegetable were right under the skin, so this is another way of making sure we get all those too.
Tried them today, and the results were excellent, bug thumbs up from EJ too - who is very discerning in the crisp department, I can tell you lol

Peel the potatoes thinly ( as you always should anyway I suppose); tiny bit of oil on a baking tray, dry off the skins if  they need it, on to the tin and into a very hot oven until crisp and brown ; sprinkle with salt immediately they come out of the oven.
Give it a go!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Little film for a wet Sunday

Bit of nostalgia for a time I never had, I  suppose, but a wonderful piece of footage. Share and enjoy it :)