41 days ago
Normally Joshua and I pick blackberries for ice cream, flavoured vodka and crumbles (with homegrown apples) after we get back from Greece. But this year they started early. One of our favourite haunts is the village churchyard where there is an enormous bush in the middle and a few smaller ones either side of the fence between the graves and our upper field.
328 days ago
If I am a bit slow this morning it is because friends C & D led me astray last night after our bonfire party with the home made plum and damson vodka. The whole event went down well with much praise for my portuguese stew, damson and plum vodka crumble and ice cream for the kids and mulled wine and vodkas for ther grown ups. But as but as Joshua and I built the fire with a stack of old 1970s doors that were left lying in a barn, it just tipped it down with rain. He hid in the shed, I laboured on. I rather worried that it would not light.
395 days ago
I am working like a demon picking blackberries with Joshua in order to produce as much blackberry cordial as possible. On Saturday we spent an hour picking at our two favourite sites and the amount we produced generated 600 ml of cordial which is enough to make three litres of ice cream. But with both Sharestock and Joshua’s birthday party looming I need about 6 litres, plus some for normal family use. And fear not there will be other ice creams at both events (lavender and rhubarb & ginger). So it is all hands to the coalface.
609 days ago
As I am on the Lucian Miers diet I cannot drink anything from the two bottles of damson vodka I decanted the other day. But I had a brief break in the diet, as I plan to step up the excercise part of it next week, as you can see below.
689 days ago
At last the minute the Mrs had been waiting for. Two kilner jars of plums drowning in vodka were emptied. The vodka was poured into bottles and the Mrs and I each had a glass, with tonic, last night and the taste was superb. Meanwhile I de-pitted the plums and prepared a crumble which was amazing. You could taste the vodka in the plums and I am now using the recipe the Mrs suggests for a crumble, that is to say including some oats. Seriously…I should turn pro… Next week it will be the turn of the rhubarb and ginger vodka to be decanted and for the fruit to be crumbled..
718 days ago
Having spotted some blackberries in the churchyard yesterday morning, when the Mrs arrived home to take charge of Jayarani, I headed back through the drizzle with young Joshua to harvest. We discussed the weather in Welsh as walked up the hill. We both know all the key phrases and also “it is sunny” not that we get to use that very often.
966 days ago
This patch is the far end of the area formerly known as the jungle. Behind the wall is the lane down to the hovel and on the opposite side of it is the only other chap in the village who is cursing the defeat of Ireland by Wales today. Eight rhubarb plants went in last year and eight have emerged this year. They are now all covered with pots which, I am told, gets them shooting ahead faster. Round the edge are the surplus lavender plants from the lavender hedge we are creating, and in the middle one of the cherry trees planted 14 months ago along the edge of the garden and which is coming along very well indeed. So I hope for another bumper rhubarb harvest to make rhubarb gin for the Mrs, rhubarb crumble for Joshua and er…what else do you make with rhubarb?
2636 days ago
Having recently noted the failure of my step brother T and the Mrs, collectively the younger generation, to know what a potato plant looks like, I suggest to my father that I might include broad beans in his supper tonight. "All gone" he says. "Really?" I responded "who said so?" er...it was your step brother T.
2639 days ago
As I mentioned at some stage last week my step mother is keen that fruit from the garden in Shipston does not go to waste. And so I returned home for an all too brief weekend in Bristol with a punnet of gooseberries that I had picked. Oakley's friend Tara was buried beneath the rhubarb earlier this year and, I apologise if you regard this as tasteless but it had come up amazingly.