I rather like tea. There are times where no matter how terrible the situation a cup of tea can remedy it in an instant. If the first cup doesn’t work then you move onto a mug. If the mug is failing to turn that frown around then you move onto a larger receptacle. And so on and so forth until the only solution is to fill a bath tub with warm tea and have a little soak. That way you’ve got the best of both worlds.
No matter what the tea there
Who doesn't love a picnic? The optimum picnic is of course one where the sun is shining, the birds are singing and everyone has some food that they enjoy. This perfection can normally successfully be achieved in summer where there are lower risks of rain, wind and cold. However, that's not to say you can't have a picnic in the autumn; as long as you're a bit clever with what you make.
The idea of this autumn picnic is to encourage you to embrace
September is the time of year to get out and investigate the hedgerows. There are all sorts of fruits and berries waiting to be picked by eager hands: sloes, rosehips, blackberries, damsons and apples can all be found with a little searching and bravery. I say bravery because foraging is always fraught with a small amount of danger, for instance, a wasp can easily be inhaled if you become distracted by a particularly juicy apple.
Luscious sloe gin will inevitably result in spare berries when sloes and gin are separated. There is only so much sloe chocolate you can eat and extra sloe gin you can make before boredom sets in. I was informed by a kind friend that sloe port was worth a try but receptacles were thin on the ground. Fortunately my Granny had given me a Rumtopf a while back which was perfect for transforming my gin soaked berries into deep red port.
Some of you may know that I made my own sloe gin this year. It all started on a warm September afternoon with a kilo of sloes, a sprinkling of sugar and a litre of fine gin. It's something I've never even attempted before but I thought how hard can it be?
Turns out it's extremely simple. Put it all together and leave the flavours and juices to mingle and infuse for as long as you can wait.
The wait is definitely worth it. This sloe gin is only
Autumn arrived and brought with it a questionable frost. Was it a real one or were we all just a little bit surprised by the sudden drop in temperature? Apart from being the time for pumpkin soup, squash in all its forms and stews galore it is also the time for making sloe and hedgerow gin. There are some sloe purists who will not touch this lovely berry until a frost has been; there are those like me who pick them nice and early and speed nature