Sep 252011
 
Rules are for the obedience of fools & the guidance of wise men*
Bee and blackberry need us to have foraging guidelines

I like to think that my readers are wise people, so I thought I’d write some ‘Guidance’ on foraging sustainably instead of making ‘Rules’. I’m not a rules sort of person. I’ve also phrased them positively as Dos rather than as Don’ts because I am that sort of person.

I welcome my readers’ comments or views on these guidelines. I’m happy to improve them if we can, as long they stay as positively phrased guidelines. Continue reading »

Sep 222011
 

This is the second part of the Sloe Trilogy where you use the same batch of sloes to make wine, vodka and fridge jam. In the first part I showed you how to make the wine, here are the instructions for the vodka.
Sloes in a glass
When you have strained the sloes off the wine ‘must‘ you can use them to flavour vodka. I suggest vodka for this because, unlike with gin, you don’t get that big juniper hit which may not be so nice in your breakfast jam.

If you’re coming into this without having made the wine, just use freshly picked sloes. You’ll need to squish them and this is easier to do if you freeze and thaw them first.

You’ll need a large container to make this in that you can sterilise and seal. A demijohn is great for it or a big kilner jar or similar. Pretty bottles that you can seal are a great way of presenting your finished vodka and make great presents. Continue reading »

Sep 202011
 

I like making the most of a harvest. Especially when the harvest is as hard won as picking sloes. So I wanted to work out a way of getting multiple products from the same batch of produce. I don’t mean dividing the produce and making three different things, I mean using the product sequentially for different products. I was astonished at how well it worked.

Sloes in a glass

First I used the sloes to make wine. Then I used them to flavour vodka. Finally I made a fridge jam. So I had 6 bottles of wine, 1 litre of vodka and half a dozen jars of jam from 1.5kg of sloes.

 

The process is really very simple with some modest bits and bobs you should have around the kitchen.

 

So in this first post, I’ll tell you how to make the wine. In a second post in a few days I’ll show you how to make the vodka and then the jam.

 

Fancy a go? Read on to find out more… Continue reading »

Sep 142011
 

Fermented kimchi in jar

Kimchi Recipe

Kimchi is a traditional Korean spicy vegetable pickle. The veg starts off being brined and then it’s rinsed and allowed to ferment in a paste of onion, garlic, ginger and chillies.

It’s normally made with shredded chinese style cabbage as the base with other vegetables included. Basically, you can make it with anything, even fruit. Interestingly, the cabbages and the chillies were not indigenous to Korea and are relatively modern imports in the history of kimchi making.

The kimchi can be widely used in soups, stews, dumplings and even grilled cheese sandwiches and mashed potato.

I made enough for a 1 litre kilner jar as I was experimenting. The beauty of this method and recipe is that you can make as little or as much as you like. So it’s a great way of using up excess vegetables that you can’t use immediately they are harvested.

Interested to have a go and taste this fragrant food? Read on… Continue reading »

Sep 112011
 

Orange and cinnamon brioche

The smell of this bread when making, baking and eating is heady. It’s redolent of warm summer evenings in Morocco with spicy orange & sweet cinnamon. You’ll be hard pushed to leave it once it’s out of the oven for the crumb to mature. I think it must be mildly addictive.

I came by the recipe by a lucky accident. I ‘met’ Carla Tomasi on twitter and we started talking food & bread. Lucky for me because Carla is a former chef, restauranter and all round generous good egg. Even luckier for me because Carla is based over 2000km from me in Rome and we would never have had the chance to swap recipes if not for Twitter.

Carla’s brioche recipe is legendary amongst her friends and rightly so. She tells me that it originally came to her from a Swede living in Spain. So it’s truly an international recipe and Carla is keen for it to be more widely baked. So she kindly agreed to me posting it here.

The bread is lovely just sliced and by itself, butter is an additional bonus and it’s wonderful lightly toasted. Most brioche doughs have huge amounts of butter in them, this recipe has only a small amount for less fat worries.

Would you like to smell and taste this beautiful brioche? Read on…

Continue reading »

Sep 042011
 

It’s apple harvesting time. You may be wondering what else you can do with nature’s bounty after the pies, chutneys, jellies and the like. While going through Sandor Katz’s book I mentioned in Fermenting Revolution 1 I saw home made vinegars.

Bottled apple cider vinegar

And I’ve found that making vinegar really is very simple and the result is truly delicious.

What you do is to allow the chopped fruit to steep and then ferment in some sugar solution. With apples this makes cider. Then, with only a little luck, airborne acetobacter (bacteria that makes vinegar) will populate the cider and convert the alcohol into acetic acid. That’s it.

Want to know more? Then read on… Continue reading »

%d bloggers like this: