Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Preserving exploits: The October edition

Today, a bright, crisp and chilly Sunday saw me thus attired - naturally for sloe picking. M and I marched off in the sunshine, to our local spot for foraging, only to find a complete absence of sloes. When we had last been there for the blackberries there were definitely some sloes there, not a great deal, but a few. Today however, none. At all. Clearly lacking in tenacity I suggested giving up, but remembered where our Brown Owl gets her damsons from and wondered if there might be sloes there. So we hopped in the car and pottered over, fortunately finding plenty of fruit to forage. 

The Blackthorn bushes had already been well stripped with many of the sloes being out of our reach, so we developed new rules - if you couldn't reach the berries with your feet flat on the floor and your arm outstretched, they belonged to the blackbirds. Seeing as the 'harvest' was fairly sparse in our area I felt that was fairer, so no walking sticks, branches or any adaptations to make our work easier were used. We're both slightly scratched, but nothing a hot bath couldn't cure, and the sloes are ready to go into the freezer overnight. 

I was absolutely stunned to discover we had picked 1.5kg of sloes, as I thought we had far less. By my reckoning, that's plenty for 3 litres of gin. If I normally get you a Christmas present and it's you don't drink - tell me now! I'll pick up sugar and gin tomorrow and will strain the last lot of blackberry vodka tonight so that I can put my large kilners back in rotation. 

I should probably update you - as this weekend has been a bit of a bottling spree as it were - all the Blackberry vodka has been bottled, the Blackberry and blackcurrant rum has been sweetened and strained, and the Blackberry gin is just waiting for the new bottles to be sterilised so that that can go in. I'm like a one woman distillery! 

So, sloes are ready to go - and this round up of my preserving exploits for the last couple of months is also my entry to A Little bit of heaven on a plate's Home Made and Well Preserved linky

Also... Rhubarb and ginger jam (which I'm saving for Christmas presents but desperately want to eat myself!)

1 comment:

Susan said...

THANK YOU for entering the challenge, the recipe looks lovely. Good luck! x


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