I was offered a dram of blackberry brandy yesterday while collecting fruit from near Barnstaple. It was fabulous mellow, slightly sweet with a rich under current of spirit. It was so good I have diverted brambles already picked from jelly to alcohol. This recipe is quick and ready to drink almost immediately (good after 5mins)… Continue reading Quick Blackberry Brandy
5 hornet queens have woken up and been liberated from the house in the last 2 weeks and still the bats aren’t back. Last year the first queen heralded the bats by a few days, we need them. Normally midges are awful by now but because it has been relatively dry and cold we can… Continue reading Disrupted nature
I have just had a very interesting telephone call from Raise the Roof Productions who are making a brand new Kirstie Allsopp series for Channel Four this May/June in Devon. They are looking for enthusiastic amateur jam makers in the North Devon area who would like to grow their preserving knowledge and maybe grow a… Continue reading Kirstie Allsopp Calling Devon Jam Makers
After the long cold shiver of winter the warmth has brought the world to life. The morello cherry tree budded in time for a drastic hair cut, sacrificing this years fruit but I couldn’t reach last years so it will be worth it. The frogs and toads have of course been active, the annual toad… Continue reading Spring at last
As I write the snow lies thick outside the kitchen so beautiful and yet treacherous. The small birds cluster around the feeders topped with sunflower seeds whilst the blackbirds filter the last of the apple shreds in the orchard. It is so cold, or at least has been, with minus 16 on the solar panel… Continue reading Happy Christmas!
Another very cold night but beautiful day, ah well, I will have to replant the runner beans which have for the second time succumbed to frost. For someone who espouses giving time for things to work, I can be pretty impatient! Before all the spring flowers disappear please try to crystallise some. I meant to… Continue reading Crystallised Spring Flowers
Last year I was approached independently by 3 brides wanting wedding favours for their guests. We managed to produce colour co-ordinated jars which complemented both evening and breakfast feasts. It lead me to consider offering this as a service which I am due to launch at the Exeter Festival of Food and Drink. I can… Continue reading WEDDING FAVOURS