110 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.
117 days ago
Will this be enough to tempt daughter Olaf to visit her old father this Christmas. Home produced apple vodka is mixed with home grown plums and sugar. Actually one smaller jar contains blackberries picked yesterday by Joshua and me. By bonfire night what was clear liquid will be dark purple and slightly syrupy. The jars are turned now and again to ensure all the sugar – the white stuff at the bottom – is dissolved. So this should be around seven litres of fruit vodka, enough for at least a few breakfasts for Olaf.
132 days ago
This year the raw vodka, made with apples, is home made not bought cheaply from Lidl. It was not meant to be vodka but that is another story. But it tastes like vodka not apples so has been put in jars with sugar and plums picked from the old tree behind where the snake barn used to be. It had a terrible 2022 but this year is dripping with plums which I have handed to my in-laws and neighbours but we are still drowning in them.
397 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.
476 days ago
My friend N has lent me her apple picker, a tall pole with a basket at the top. With an apple scratter now bought I will do a small test harvest of apples from the old orchard by the river tomorrow, with a view to pressing some juice. Those apples are starting to drop so some are clearly ripe. Meanwhile I have made a a little something for the Mrs…
678 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.
749 days ago
In the run up to my next Greek trip, once every few days, I am now decanting various of the fruit gins and vodkas made in late summer. The Mrs and i are still working our way through the plum vodka. Yesterday I decanted the rhubarb and ginger gin.
758 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..
760 days ago
After the bonfire party here on Friday some of the grown ups tried a shot of my home made Chillie vodka. The father of Joshua’s pal R managed two but he is Polish so it is in his DNA. The rest of us managed only one glass and, boy, did it need tonic as my home grown chillies are uber powerful. I have now started pacakaging up two shot bottles as Christmas presents for my siblings and, ever thirsty, daughter Olaf in remembrance of my father who appreciated a modest drink or two and loved devilishly hot food. Fear not, better presents will also be given but this is for dad.
782 days ago
The chilli bushes are still spitting off firey red chillies and so, as you can see below, I am still threading chain after chain to hang up in the kitchen, close to the aga, to dry. And after just over two weeks, the first chilis have dried. I bit one to taste and, gosh, one tiny nibble and my mouth was on fire. Those dried chillies have now been put in an airtight jar where they will last a year.
797 days ago
After last night’s triumph with the apple juice from the River orchard, today I picked the rest of the edible apples from the new top orchard. This is only the second year for the trees and they all yielded well and I am sure will do better still next year. However, I reckon that I have room for at least four more trees in the upper orchard and so am minded to buy another three apple trees and one more crabapple tree to assist with polination and to increase the amount of crabapple jelly I produce.
799 days ago
I have since added a couple more red hot chillis to these jars of vodka which I have prepared ahead of a promised Christmas visit from thirsty daughter Olaf. The Mrs and I tasted a drop yesterday and they already have an almighty kick. “Good for clearing your sinuses” remarked the Mrs, before adding “Presumably you do add tonic?” I think we will be doing so. as for Olaf, I assume she will be drinking it neat.
800 days ago
I bought myself two early Christmas presents, the first of which is the apple rack below which is now in use, albeit only temporarily.
815 days ago
Joshua turns five tomorrow – exactly 100 days before Christmas day. On Saturday I have some of my family over to remember almost a year since my father died. On Sunday I shall be catering for the Pest’s little chums and their mums.
822 days ago
It is hoped that daughter Olaf, currently spending a term at the Sorbonne in Paris, will honour us with a visit at Christmas and, as you might have gathered, she is a thirsty young lady. As such, I have today been adding to the plum and damson vodka, gently becoming even more fruit flavoured on the larder shelf.
837 days ago
There are two damson trees available to us here. There were three but one at the top end of the vegetable patch just died and it is being chipped to make chippings to go around the fruit bushes with what is left over going onto a Guy Fawkes night bonfire we are starting to build. There is another in the vegetable patch where Joshua and I went collecting yesterday. A third is in our neighbour’s garden but hangs over the fence to our formal lawn so we are – with our neighbour’s agreement – abler to harvest half of it as well.
843 days ago
Daughter Olaf arrives this afternoon but will be gutted to hear that what sits below will not be ready for two months.
844 days ago
If we had arrived back a week earlier the harvest would have been far larger. The old plum tree at the bottom of the vegetable patch was dripping with plums last year but, this year, most of them have already dripped all the way to the floor and have rotten. But I salvaged a few from there and then had a pleasant surprise.
1228 days ago
I wonder how Nigel Somerville is celebrating. I wonder how long the gold rally will continue and discuss why Red Rock Resources (RRR) could utterly roof it if it can IPO its Oz gold arm in time. I just need another 25% and I am back at break-even. On an Andrew Bell stock, how many folks can say that? Only kidding Andrew – maybe we are in the right place at the right time? In the podcast, I also look at EasyJet (EZJ), Intercontinental Airlines (IAG) and how the woes of vodka fiend Olaf may be a sign of worse to come for all. I cover Supply@ME Capital (SYME) and look at results and the rum ‘n’ coke valuation of Dev Clever (DEV).
1276 days ago
And there you were thinking that I exposed Frontera Resources (FRR) as a fraud becuase it was er… a fraud. Au contraire, this was indeed a Great British Company brought down as part of a global conspiracy and I wrote what I wrote only because i was in the pay of the Russians. Comrades, I guess its vodka o’clock, as i tuck into a lunch of caviar supplied by my friends at the KGB….the things you learn on the LSE Bulletin Board.
1280 days ago
Firstly the links. For reasons discussed, if you are not registered with Primary Bid register for free now HERE. Secondly we are at 33% help us to save Woodlarks donate HERE. Heck even daughter Olaf has dipped into her vodka funds to donate. In the podcast I look at IWG (IWG), Pathfinder Minerals (PFP), Cineworld (CINE), Bidstack (BIDS), Fox Marble (FOX) and, sorry Jim, Condor Gold (CNR). I also look at the “wisdom” of appointing a Chief Diversity Officer.
2520 days ago
Oft accused by folks who do not like what I write of being an alcoholic, the sad truth is that these days my poison of choice is ginger beer and I drink almost nothing. When in Greece I might have an ouzo at the end of a hard day, here in the UK I drink almost nothing.
2669 days ago
The launch of the Government's obesity strategy today sees all concerned spouting self righteous and sanctimonious waffle. What you stick into your body whether it be Krispy Kreme Donuts, cigarette smoke, vodka or the todger of a bloke you have just met in a lavatory on Clapham Common is your own business. It has nothing to do with the state.
Those on the left such as Jamie Oliver and that walking advert for healthy living that is Diane Abbott are today
2732 days ago
Distil (DIS), the owner of premium drinks brands including Blackwoods Gin and Vodka, RedLeg Spiced Rum, Blavod Black Vodka, Diva Vodka and Jago's Vanilla Cream Liqueur, has announced results for its year ended 31stMarch 2016 and that “we look forward to further growing revenues and expanding the reach of our brands over the coming year”.
3058 days ago
Saturday nights in Free Speech & Liberty Pizza are fairly quiet – it is that sort of neighbourhood. And so if I am there, as I was yesterday, you can often find yourself having a long chat with your customers. And so yesterday these two “mature” women wandered in. Eight vodkas and two Irish coffees each later they left. It turned out they were sisters, one 93 and the other a bit younger.
They were sharp as nails and certainly not showing their age. The 93 year old put that down to a lot of drink. They were born in the social housing behind the restaurant and one still lives there. The 93 year old is out in God’s chosen county of Essex but had come in to see her last surviving sister, ten other siblings are now in a better place.
Born in 1922 the elder sister served in the WRAF during the war