So here it is my 100th post to this blog, cue fanfare, lights and fireworks. If you’ve been her from the start, well done. If you’re new, take a look at some of the highlights of the past 15 months, there’s a lot of foodie stuff in here. And if your interested, take a look at my creative writing blog, the link is on the right, at the top. There’s not a lot there at the moment, just a couple of short stories and a short critique, but more will follow, especially if an interest is shown.
I’ve just been down to a local nature reserve, with my dogs, hunting the wild blackberry. Last year I got 3lb for jam 3lb for wine, 3lb for cordial and 4lb for the freezer, plus a load for immediate consumption. Back in January, I noticed with horror that the bushes had all been cut down. I wasn’t too worried, as I cut the brambles in my garden back each year, and still get fruit the following summer. However, although the bushes have grown back, they are only about 2 feet tall, and have NO berries on them at all. Not even any flowers. I don’t really know why they were cut down, they weren’t obstructing the paths. Nothing has been put in their place, and clearly a valuable habitat for wild animals and birds has been removed. Wouldn’t it have been a better idea to trim them up, or do half this year, and half next?
Which leaves the problem, where am I going to get my berries from this year?
I have the ones in the garden, but will not get enough there for wine and jam, clearly I need to look further afield.
We are having a better crop of roses, so it looks like I will be making a second batch of Rose Petal Wine, you only need 6 pints of flowers for a gallon and I’m half way there after dead-heading this morning. The first demi-john has almost finished fermenting, so can be racked off shortly, that will be ready to drink next summer. Now that we’ve been here two years, the wine that I made last year is all drinkable, and I’m pleased to say has come out mostly alright. The Pea Pod was a bit dry, but I added some Young’s Wine Sweetener (Cheat) to make it more drinkable.
I have just ordered a sack of Beetroot, to be pickled and stored, a lot cheaper (and nicer) than buying jars of ready made. Also I know exactly what is in the jar, (Beetroot and my own Vinegar mix, containing balsamic, wine and malt vinegars with spices.)
Tuesday will be bread baking day, a wholemeal loaf a cheese and onion focaccia and of course the pickling. I trimmed up 3lb of onions and salted them this afternoon; in the morning I will rinse and dry them before packing.
Tomorrow I will let you know how I got on.