• 22Aug


    Me and my children gathered these blackberries on our way back from the library, I had meant to bring tubs but had forgotten and was sad about this as we passed a rather abundant patch of briars when my 7 yr old had an idea – we drank the water out of her water bottle and the babies beaker and then filled them with black berries. When we got back I rinsed them and froze them reasoning there wasn’t enough there to do much with.

    A quick tip is if you find they have lots of grubs or maggots in them then just give them a little soak in a weak solution of water and table salt, this extracts the bugs!

    So having assessed the local forage a bit better this year than I managed last year, I have decided that I want to attempt black berry wine for which I need a lot of black berries – looks like we are going to be out picking most days!

    Jean has requested crumbles and Mary cakes – I like to make ‘blood’ pies for halloween as well which I freeze. I think my main limit is going to be freezer space. We also spotted elderberries, rose hips, sloes, damsons, crab apples and haws so all I need for hedgerow jam is some rowan berries! People have been asking me if I am going to make it again and having already received a lovely jar of black current jam from one friend I feel I should get cracking!

    I am still sadly awaiting an allotment but some of the best forage I found last year was along the pathway next to them last year.

    I am still sorely missing the Perri Pear tree though that I used to get the pears from at the old house but I have just discovered that there are such things as community orchards so I am hoping we can get involved in same way with these things.

    My favourite book for forage is still Food For Free by Richard Mabey – I have a very old copy but there are upto date ones with photographs and stuff.

    The recipe I use for hedge row jam comes from a Womens Institute book.

  • 21Sep

    The Butchers arms

    The neighbouring village to us has a nice gastro pub called the Butcher’s Arms – the village is called Sheepscomb and is in Gloucestershire. There is a lovely pub garden with a view across the valley.

    View across the valley

    The food was nice and it was possible to have a meal and a drink for around £10 – this was my husbands goat cheese rossoto which looked yummy – he certainly devoured it!

    Rossoto with goats cheese

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  • 26Jan

    Robert Burns was a big litrature dude (he wrote Auld Lang Syne)and my husbands aunt always dissappears off for Burns night in January.

    I decided this warrented a post as this is a dinner to celebrate the poets life and works and is held around his birthday the 25th of January. This year it is the 250th anniversary and there are year long events going on. Furthure info on this can be found at Home Coming Scoutland.

    What has this got to do with food and drink I here you cry!

    Well they have the address to the Haggis. If you don’t know what a haggis is and are a bit squimish you may not want to read on!

    It is minced sheeps lungs, heart and liver (known as sheep’s pluck) mixed with onion, oatmeal, suet, salt, spices and stock – this is then all boiled up in an animals stomache.

    There are now vegitarian versions avalible and I shall be researching these as I think it would be a good event to hold with my Scouts!

    At the Burns Night the haggis is a central part and they have the address at a specific point in the poem they cut the haggis. Here is the address:

    Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race! Aboon them a’ ye tak your place, Painch, tripe, or thairm: Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace As lang’s my arm

    The groaning trencher there ye fill, Your hurdies like a distant hill, Your pin wad help to mend a mill In time o’ need, While thro’ your pores the dews distil Like amber bead.

    His knife see rustic Labour dicht, An’ cut you up wi’ ready slicht, Trenching your gushing entrails bricht, Like ony ditch; And then, O what a glorious sicht, Warm-reekin, rich!

    Then, horn for horn, they stretch an’ strive: Deil tak the hindmaist! on they drive, Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve, Are bent like drums; Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive, “Bethankit” hums.

    Is there that o’re his French ragout Or olio that wad staw a sow, Or fricassee wad mak her spew Wi’ perfect scunner, Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view On sic a dinner?

    Poor devil! see him ower his trash, As feckless as a wither’d rash, His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash, His nieve a nit; Thro’ bloody flood or field to dash, O how unfit!

    But mark the Rustic, haggis fed, The trembling earth resounds his tread. Clap in his wallie nieve a blade, He’ll mak it whistle; An’ legs an’ arms, an’ heads will sned, Like taps o’ thristle.

    Ye Pow’rs wha mak mankind your care, And dish them out their bill o’ fare, Auld Scotland wants nae skinkin ware That jaups in luggies; But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer, Gie her a haggis!

    There is then a whisky toast and it is served with mash potato and swedes (tatties and neeps).

    If anyone has traditional Scoutish recipies I could try/add here let me know.


  • 19Jan

    The old addage Breakfast is the most important meal of the day turns out to be correct from a nutritional and medical point of veiw and it turns out there is a whole week dedicated to it!

    Farmhouse Breakfast Week starts on the 25th of January this year and goes on until the 31st. There site has quiet a few recipys and nutritional information on it that I thought people might find usefull.

    They seem to have been around for an age (2003) but I found out about it from on of those super market magizines.

    Personally I had crumpets toasted with a drizzel of honey on them – bliss 😉