Friday, 21 September 2018


I didn't get many quinces this year, but that was a vast improvement on last year.  Our tree is trained around an arch which it is not particularly happy about. That is where it has to be so it can sulk or fruit!
They would normally be larger than this and slightly more golden. I think the size is to do with the 50 hot days without rain in the summer. The colour probably suggests they are slightly unripe but all the fuzz had come off them. That usually indicates they are ready to pick if not to eat.

As is their nature, they are as hard as rocks. They will sit on the Welsh dresser until more yellow and they develop their distinctive aroma. I shall find something nice to do with them.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Life and limb....

DB has been on the conservatory roof, doing repairs to tiles:
and cleaning it. Herewith a before and after of the gutters and weather boarding:
This part of the roof has been cleaned, the brown stains don't come off. It is also so windy more moss is falling as he cleans:
Still to do:
Like all of us of a certain age, the thought of getting up and stepping on, is the worse part of the job.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

The kitchen smells heavenly...

First of all, welcome to Jeny Jesus Diaz Castillo via Bloglovin.

I am making Elderberry Syrup for Winter. The scent of cloves, cinnamon and ginger are permeating the whole house - wonderful!

I was given this recipe so don't know who to attribute it to.

Fork elderberries from stalks, then hand pick off any remaining tiny stalks, none should remain. Pick out any green berries then place berries in a pan. Cover to 1cm above the berries, bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes:

Strain through a sieve lined with muslin or hang from a net and strain into another pan or large measuring jug:
Squeeze to get as much juice as possible:
This will stain your hands so wear plastic gloves or give a couple of good washes afterwards!

For each 1 pint of juice add 1/2 lb sugar, 12 cloves, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or half a stick) and 1 teaspoon ground ginger:
Bring to the boil and gently boil for 30 - 45 minutes until you see a change from water to syrup. Don't overboil otherwise you'll end up with a jelly consistency which you don't want nor will you be able to do the final sieving! Keep dipping a spoon in and when it just about coats the spoon it is ready.

Sieve into a muslin lined jug to remove any whole spices. Add 1 tablespoon of Brandy per 1/2 pint of syrup. This is my own addition as I find it not only adds to the taste but helps it store longer:
We like to drink this after a cold walk, 1 tablespoon in a cup of boiling water. It also goes great on top of yoghurt, porridge (turns it purple) in a smoothie or you can eat it by the spoonful.