Monday, 20 August 2012

100 Not Out

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.