I live in a village and on first appearances it has all the qualities of somewhere straight out of Call The Midwife. Actually living there is quite different; people don't know each others names, good luck trying to get them to take your bins in for you and there's so much material competition it's like a car forecourt out there. Of course there are exceptions; one of which is the white house on the corner. They have a Bramley apple tree and although
I thought I knew my local area pretty well, thought I’d trodden all its paths and roads and could take you to all the best places. Turns out I was wrong as a spontaneous left turn took me to all sorts of corners of Hampshire that I didn’t even know were there. We were planning on doing a bit of local exploring but hadn’t set our expectations too high as we were so convinced we'd already seen it all; we were amazed at all the new places we
I have been so busy this year that I have run out of time to make my own sloe gin. It’s not the end of the world though as I have some of last year’s stash left and once that’s gone there are some delicious ready steeped and drained sloe gins around. As much as I enjoy a classic sloe gin and tonic there’s much enjoyment to be had mixing up something different.
One place you can find some inspiration for new drinks to try is thebar. I found
I have just come back from a week in Wales. We went to a place where there is no phone signal and not even a hope of connecting to the internet so you have no choice but to properly relax and get away. Holidaying with the family is always good fun; lots of meals in, walks and catching up on silly things. This is what I got up to over the week and, if you’re heading off to mighty Wales, I hope it gives you some ideas for what to do.
When I heard about Brew It Yourself I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy. I have made a few infusions in my time, almost always involving gin, so I was looking forward to seeing what Richard Hood and Nick Moyle (aka Two Thirsty Gardeners) had put in their book. It's been a while since I've opened a book up and not known which bit to look at or which recipe to try first but everything in Brew It Yourself sounds so tempting and completely achievable.
I love this time of year in Britain; when the weather is getting warmer and warmer but it hasn’t quite got to the muggy stage and it’s still nice and cool at night. There are flowers in the hedges and the fruit has started growing on the trees; most of my time is spent outside and as far as I’m concerned, shoes are optional. I have done plenty of cooking with elderflower in the past and it seemed an ideal time to try out something slightly different
If you fancy going out and trying your hand at foraging there isn’t much of a better time to start than now. Wild garlic is one of the best things to look for as it’s so distinctive; you smell it before you see it, the leaf is fairly specific and if you’re still not sure you can tear the leaves and do an additional sniff test before you start taking it home. I fancied my hand at baking some Wild Garlic Bread, sort of tear and share style, so
I have been camping a few times with my family, with school and even once in my own back garden. For some reason unbeknown to me I had the grand idea to pack up a load of camping stuff and go hiking through wild Wales. I have never hiked anywhere before unless you count carrying the washing basket upstairs. If you're considering hiking and camping then this is a tale for you.
I consider my other half and myself to be somewhat sensible people with
My idea of a perfect evening when it's raining is to eat something filling then settle down to watch a film (preferably a funny one). On a sunny evening however I always try to be outside; we've been spoilt for sunny evenings recently. Sitting in the garden watching the world go by and the sun go down is improved if you accompany it with a refreshing home made drink. My home made elderflower cordial has made plenty of appearances this year and this
I do like a jelly; easy to make, it doesn't need many ingredients, it looks lovely and it makes for great entertainment when trying to serve it into smaller bowls. You might have seen I made some elderflower cordial recently and other than trying it with sparkling water in the evenings this elderflower and blueberry jelly was what I rustled up to take to a Sunday evening BBQ with my parents. A fantastic dessert to make in advance and forget about