Sunday, 1 August 2010

Enjoying a sloe gin

As I write this post, I am sipping a lovely sloe gin. It was bottled about a month ago, have been set away in a kilner jar last autumn. I've had a look at the sloes growing near our house and they are coming on well. You can use them for more than just gin. There are jams and jellies to make this autumn as well.

One wild crop that has been very successful this year is cherries. Councils love to plant cherry trees because they look pretty in the spring when covered by blossom. My interest is the fruit that starts to ripen in June. Last year, the crop was largely gone by the start of July. I had been in Iceland in the last week of June 2009 filming geysers and waterfalls. My plan had been to pick cherries on my return. And on my return, I found all the cherries had gone. This year they just keep on coming. Bucket loads of them. I was out again this afternoon picking cherries. I have already made cherry jam. More jam will be made tomorrow and I'm planning some cherry fruit leathers. Watch this space (the cherry jam video will be filmed tomorrow).

Today I also picked a bucketful of gooseberries. Our neighbour Vic told us there were too many for his own use so invited us to pick the fruit in his back garden. One of the jams I will make is strawberry and gooseberry. The advantage with this mix is that gooseberries have pectin, strawberries don't. The combination will set. And we have plenty of strawberries on the allotment. Watch out as well for some of the gooseberry pies we will be making soon.

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