If you've been reading my blog over the years you'll know I love anything elderflower. This year I was invited to go foraging in the grounds at Audley Inglewood, home to restaurant The Walmesley, and to knock up a batch of homemade elderflower cordial with their head chef Gert Pienaar. It was great to go out to the fields, pick the elderflowers and have a good old chat about food at the same time. I've not made elderflower cordial before; syrup and
Cocktails are something that I like very much. I do attempt to make my own, invariably without the suave moves of a professional mixologist but with the same level of enthusiasm. One issue that I have with making my own is that it always involves planning. It's not a case of me fancying a mojito and happening to have mint, lime, ice and sugar all available at the same time. I can't simply think of pouring myself a Cosmopolitan as I know I won't even
As much as it's lovely to have plenty of ideas for food to cook with a festive feel you can't very well just make do with mulled wine for the month of December. No indeed. At some point in my life I went from having no spirits in the house to being on the verge of opening a drinks emporium. It seems to have crept up on me (I'm sure it has to everyone) and I have all sorts of odds and ends to do something with. The brandy is being used to make sloe
When it starts getting a bit colder and the evenings are getting darker earlier this seems to coincide with me increasing my calorie consumption. I like to think that I'm planning for the winter and storing some (ahem) insulation but really, I think we all know, I'm just plain greedy. To counteract this I have done a bit of exercise; I'm as shocked as you. With exercise comes the desire for cleanliness and a lack of guilt so that is what this
There is a bit of an elderflower theme going on at the moment on here but I do like to make the most of something while it's around. Having the elderflower syrup present in my kitchen means I am forever thinking up new ways of using it. I adore strawberries and mint and they are heavenly together so I felt like being brave, getting my muddler out and knocking up a summery cocktail. With all this glorious sunshine it would be rude not to.
I'm not sure if you've ever been in the designated driver situation where you end up at a soiree and the host assumes that the only guests not drinking alcohol are children? As much as I like Um Bongo it's always a little embarrassing to reach the end of the carton and make that loud, conspicuous slurping noise while in the middle of a conversation. Down with this I say and hooray for the now bursting market that is adult soft drinks and cordials. I'm not
The next beverage in my adventures with Mr Fitzpatricks cordials is Blackcurrant and Liquorice Lemonade. The smell of this cordial makes me think of old sweet shops. I love blackcurrant; it's my flavour of choice for the last sweet in the bag. Liquorice I'm pretty unfussy about as I don't mind if it's there and I don't mind if it's not. The cordial smells rich, dark and mysterious so I thought it would be an idea to mix it with something sharp and
Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while will know about my penchant for sloe gin. I'm not sure what it is about infusing your own alcohol that I like so much. Perhaps it's the romantic idea of foraging for food, connecting with the land and being able to puff out your chest in pride when you've picked a kilo of berries. It could be to do with the fact that I like gin. Either way, my second post about drinks looks at mixing up sloe gin
One of my favourite things to make is drinks. They are so simple and there is a world of flavours and so many combinations to choose from. I recently met a great company called Mr Fitzpatricks who make a range of interesting cordials. To make the most of their intriguing flavours I am doing a series of posts all about drinks.
The first of four posts is about the curiously named Blood Tonic. It's got a fantastic deep red colour and it smells of
A new house and a new kitchen, a tricky transition I find. What will the oven be like; a brute or a wimp? It turns out the oven is a pretty good one although I am yet to bake a cake and discover its true character. We have managed to save enough space to have a pantry; something I've always wanted. There are a few boxes yet to be unpacked and a few more bits of furniture to be put in place but progress has been good. So, with all the unpacking, swearing,