Sunday, 31 August 2008

Catch up in the kitchen

Here are my two Car Boot Sale bargains from yesterday, both £1 each. The 3rd and final Two Fat Ladies book - LOVED them for their character and non-PC ways!

If you don't have this book and see it in a Charity Shop or at a Car Boot Sale, treat yourself, as not only is it beautifully written, I want to cook just about every recipe in it!

I decided that as it doesn't look like there will be many Sloes for the picking in our neck of the woods, I would defrost a bag of last year's from the freezer and make my Sloe Gin a month early. So that is now all sorted and in a jug, which I have put next to the kettle, to remind me to shake it every time I make a cup of tea!

I use Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's (River Cottage) recipe, as it isn't thick and cloyingly-sweet like cough medicine. I use a bottle of gin (supermarket cheapy is fine), 2 oz/2 tablespoons sugar, and about 1lb 2oz fruit (perhaps a little over this time). Having put a Runrig CD on in the background, I then sat down with my darning needle and poked it into every Sloe (right through so two holes for the juice to ooze from).

That done, I added the sugar, and finally the gin. I use a lidded jug so I can give it a shake without fear of it leaking. I will shake it several times daily until the sugar has completely dissolved and as much juice has left the Sloes as will do - 3 - 4 weeks is fine. It will "just" be ready to drink around Christmas, but left another year (or more) it will be superb!

I had intended to make Cherry Brandy again this year, but having got to the checkout with the brandy, realized I'd forgotten the Cherries. Rather than run across the store for fresh fruit, I grabbed some summer fruit pudding mixture from the freezer, and we will be having a bottle of summer fruit brandy instead now. I still may get some cherries though . . .

I used the same recipe - just over a pound/500 grm fruit, 2 oz sugar and the brandy. It will be stronger tasting than the Sloe Gin, but I may add more brandy if it's a bit overwhelming.

Just in case you are idly wondering how my new crochet blanket is coming on (now I can actually understand a written pattern!), y'er 'tis . . . About 35 rows now. It will keep me busy for a while yet.

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