Category: Wines and Preserves

Important Lessons (by )

Well I have been making preserves again 🙂

The important lessons I have learnt are - do not fill my my preserving pan up with more than 9 pints of strained juice - I put 12 in thinking it would be ok not realising exactly how much space the sugar would take up!

Lesson No. 2 - always scaled the jelly straining bag - I am actually using a wine sieving bag but hey same prinicple. I couldnt work out why the first lot I strained went through brilliently whilst the second lot is still straining! Drip, drip... and drip again it goes. This is becuase the first lot I poured boiling water through to steralise it in a fit of hygien paranoia where as the second lot ent into a cold damp bag. I have since found out about 'scalding' jelly straining bags/seives - this is where you pour boiling water onto the bag inorder to allow the fluid to drain through it rather than being absorbed by the bag which then acts as a sort of seal for the liquid left in the bag.

Lesson No. 3 - make sure that when dealing with fermentation buckets full of juice for jam making or preserving pans or anything else - do it, especially any pouring - over a plastic matt.

Lesson N0. 4 - make sure that when Al is helping you pour hot liquids that he is wearing shoes! It saves on moaning!

Lesson No. 5 - no matter how many jars you think you need - it will not be enough - so double the number!!!

Lesson No. 6 - recipy books have a strange idea of temperature convertions! 220 F apparently equals 110 C - yeah right on whos scale? Not that this actually matters but it just annoyed me - I am aweare its the same magnitute but still!

Lesson No. 7 - make sure that there are enough tea towles clean.

Today I went whoring (by )

Ok well actually I went hawing but I couldnt resist the pun!

I went for a walk this afternoon with the idea of picking elder berries but found there to be very few elders all of which where behind barbed wire even if they where heavily laden :/ There were however loads and loads of blackthorns heavey with sloes which after picking five I realised were not quiet ripe!

I then looked around and realised that the hawthorns where groaning under the weight of their little red berries - well they are one of the most prevalent hegderow plants - I started picking the little beuts! Got nearly a whole basket too 🙂

Some trees haws were not quiet ripe so there will be plenty for me to pick all the way through the autum I feel - there are so many of the berries that I didnt even have to think about how much to leave for the animals! I gave up on trees when I got bored rather than when I couldnt reach any more berries 🙂

What am I going to do with them all I hear you cry!

Well I am going to dry as many as I can for use in a berry tea - a tea that is supposed to be good for those with high blood pressure and/or heart problems - I'm going to get mum and dad to check with their drs if its ok for them and add it to the dandilion tea I force feed mum.

There has been much merryment here whilst me and Al have been 'doing' the haws i.e. pulling the storks off of them - but well this is us and our wrapped and twisted minds so innuendo here we come!!! I also said quiet innocently that I couldnt do all these haws tonight! 🙂

Al is currently hawing away!

Of course any left over haws will be frozen for incoporation into hedgerow jam and/or haw jelly. Mmmm I'm sure that you can make a coffee substituet too but now cant find the recipe :/

Dandilions (by )

Well we are pretty much burried under dandilions here the fields that surround us are just covered in the things so I thought why dont we do something useful with this little lot! So out came the herb books, the food for free books and the wine making books!

Since then (which was about a month ago) I have been drying the petals for wine, I have quiet alot now but it still wont make much wine. My plan is to steadily pick and dry them all throught the summer as I still get in so much pain when standing or picking etc... this way it doesnt matter if I cant pick enough to start the wine off strat away. Having said that I still hope to make a batch from fresh dandilion flowers so that we can compare the two wines when they are ready!

I had a few demijohns already thanks to dad! and then Babara has lent us the stuff that Ron (Al's step granddad) used to have for wine making - thisw basically includes everything we were missing including a big bucket that is graduated (has measurements on) with lid, and a corking machin!

I am very excited and cant wait to get going with this properly!

The leaves have made their way into many a salad we've been eating and now I am drying the roots to make a coffee substitute. I will also be drying the leaves as a herb in its own right and making tea from the leaves and roots - dried again. The main reason for the tea is that it is a dieretic that helps and is prescribed for people with gout and as poor mum has gout - not nice not pleasant and very painful - I thought it might help her!

So the dandilion problem is still a problem cos they are everywhere including blocking the doors to the little garage but I will be making much use of them:

Wine Herb Salard Root vegtable Tea Coffee

Pretty good for one plant that is seen as a weed!

WordPress Themes

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales