My dandelion wine has been sitting in the airing cupboard for a while, looking lovely, waiting to be bottled. Today was the day – and a bit of taste testing while processing has made me think it’s going to be a good year 🙂
Now I know what to do with the stringy old rhubarb that’s left over in the garden. Yes you’ve guessed it, more wine!
I’ll let you know what happens next 🙂
Well, last time I attempted this time ran away with me and my dandelions just stewed away in the bucket and I ended up throwing them away. I decided I must try harder! But when the sun shines on the dandelions and they are fully opened to the sun , I am always tempted to go and pull their heads off and do something beautiful with them! Of course there are loads still left in the garden worshiping the sun.
Just a litre of dandelion heads is all it takes.
Leave them to brew in a warm place for a couple of days with sugar orange zest and yeast
and then into a demi-jon to ferment away for about a month,
then it’s ready to rack off (put into bottles).
It might be a bit late in the season to be sharing this for those of you who grow their own cucumbers, but your own chutney and relish is always better than store bought.
The skins can be tough on home grown cucumbers but the flesh is so much more juicy than shop bought. This recipe requires them to be peeled anyway.
Cucumber, onion and celery is laid out and sprinkled with salt to draw out the excess water.
It smells great when it’s cooking.
It makes less than you think it should but I’m sure it will taste great. One of these is the next to be opened!
Here’s the recipe for you to try. perhaps look out for reduced cucumbers etc in the shops or market. 🙂
A little late but here it is!
What a great harvest of greengages this year, lots to process, but lots stored in the pantry! I must admit, sometimes I really don’t feel I have the energy (or time) to do the preserving when it has to be done. But my inner desire to do it wins over, and once I get started there’s no stopping me!
The longest part is taking the stones out.
The bet part is eating it! 🙂
Here’s the recipe below. As I’ve marked on the recipe always have a couple of extra jars prepared as our jars in the UK are not lb jars any more.
We are blessed with a greengage tree in our garden and this year for the first time since we’ve lived here (9 yrs) it had a bumper crop. So this was harvesting day.
I decided to have to baskets and sort while I picked. One for damaged fruit that needed to be processed quickly and one for undamaged fruit that would last longer and was suitable for eating. Altogether from our one tree I picked 19 lbs of fruit!
This is the other harvest on the same day.
I’ve found several different recipes for preserving, which I start today with greengage relish! Yum 🙂
I am beginning to think that I need to do something with the fruit I have in the freezer, to make room for this years potential fruit harvest. I know it seems a long way off but it’s good to be prepared.
I have quite a lot of jam recipes but I do like to have a look at the internet to see if there are any new Ideas. This is where I found gooseberry and bay leaf jam
My crop, as you may have see when I harvested them last summer are dessert gooseberries, which are purple rather than green and are a teeny bit sweeter.
In the recipe it says to top and tail them before making the jam, which I did, but I wonder if that is really neccessary.
The sugar is added with the gooseberries and bay leaves, melted and bought to the boil.
Here’s my finished jam.
It is honestly delicious, so I’ll be making more 🙂
This weekend we have been giving our attention to our wine making. The Pinot Gregio was ready to bottle so here’s the first lot. We only managed 5 1/2 bottles so we had some to taste and it’s lovely. The lady in our fab brew shop in Norwich said it would get better with age. We have now ordered a larger quantity which will make between 27 and 30 bottles of beautiful wine at the economy price of £1.60 per bottle. We may have to buy some extra bottles, but still it’s quite a saving!
We also started brewing our red wine from the kit which is a merlot. In this picture we’re adding the yeast. The wine is now left for 15 to 20 days before adding more ingredients.
The kits are quite easy, require little attention and are ideal if you want to save a bit of money or strive for some sort of self reliance.
I can’t wait to taste the red! 🙂
I had some helpers join me to finish gooseberry picking last week.
We filled another big bowl.
Total gooseberries from my four bushes was an incredible 8 3/4 lbs!
Now what wonderful things shall I make with them 🙂
I’ve been eyeing up these dandelions for a couple of days.
Then Today Keith said he was going to mow the lawn. So that he didn’t mow them, I’ve just been out to rip there heads off!(if you do this, be careful of the pollen)……..
….this was to get a litre of them to make this years Dandelion wine.
So they are now steeping in some boiling water and there they’ll stay for a couple of days.
It turns out that I was unduly worried about how this wine was going to turn out.
It has cleared nicely. A smooth, dry, slightly effervescent white wine.
Well done me 🙂