Thursday, 10 October 2013

Harvest Home!


This time of year we are usually very busy making the most of the produce
that the garden and countryside has to offer - and this year is certainly no exception.
Karen kicked off by making this amazing Spiced Blackberry and Brandy Liqueur.
The finished bottles of delicious liqueur.

I pinched the left-over pulp from Karen's liqueur and added it to my Blackberry and Elderberry wine.
It filled two demijohns (9 litres or 16 pints).

This is also the time of year when Karen passes the bowl of Christmas Pudding mix around
for everyone to give a stir. As you can see, Anna enjoyed it and I loved being a good stirrer too!
The aromatic smell from the bowl was fantastic!!
Finishing touches...
One Christmas Pudding for this year and one for next year.
Not wishing to be outdone by Karen I set too with this Sloe Gin. The recipe is simple:
1kg Sloes - or in this case I used the very similar Bullaces picked from 'our' loke in Norfolk.

200kg sugar (it may need a little more at a later date but I don't want to add too much). 

Then I filled this 3 litre Kilner jar with 2 litres Gin - you can see it instantly
starting to take on some of the wonderful colour of the Bullaces. This is now
shaken once a day for two weeks then once a week for a couple of months.
Later I may add some almond essence, a stick of cinnamon and one tsp. cloves.

We then turned our attention to making Cider -
first we cleaned and sterilised all the equipment...

then cleaned and chopped up the apples ...

crushed them to a pulp...

and pressed out the juice. With the addition of cider yeast, we now have
four gallons (18 litres or 32 pints) of Cider bubbling away in the fermenting bin.
It should just about be ready for Christmas.

Karen finished off by making some bottles of chilli oil and tarragon oil.
Here is a hint to our next project, plus of course the Pickled Onions, Christmas Cake etc...!!


  1. So   full of action, your harvest time ... See how productive you are in the family, when you do not build harps, it is impressive to me. I see great gifts, for many future days ,prepared in this harvest- time,dear Jerry, working in lovely family team!

    1. We did it in evenings and weekends so yes plenty of harp making, school work etc. has happened too. We are definitely a bit tired though Rita but it shows what can be achieved when we share the tasks and it is something you enjoy doing. It will be nice to sit back in a few months time and enjoy the results!!

  2. Interesantísimo reportaje el que nos presentas, Jerry. Todos los trabajos del otoño en una casa cerca de la naturaleza en estas fotos que están a medio camino entre Jamie Oliver y Virgilio. Me encanta esa foto de las manzanas y las botellitas de aceite con chile y estragón. La verdad es que faltan dos meses para Navidad y hay que prepararse, ¿no? Abrazos para toda la familia.

    1. Francesc I'm extremely flattered by your analogy - perhaps it's more Jamie Oliver (or Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall) than Virgil although the oils and grapes look decidedly Latin. Of course it could all taste dreadful come Christmas!!! Actually quite lot of it will not be ready for this Christmas the Gin will be better after another year or two and I still have a bottle saved from 2011 for his year (it has taken a lot of self-control to leave it). Unlike you, Karen doesn't let me get any nearer to the kitchen than this and it is probably just as well. ¿Do you and Sonia make similar things?

  3. Great post Jerry and fascinating to see all the drinks you have made - looks like you had an awful lot of apples to chop up!! Great to see the Christmas Puddings in the making too - you've reminded me its nearly time to make mine!

  4. I'm on my way round for a sampling session - I might need a taxi home though... hic!

    1. Yes Steve there does seem to be a bit of a theme developing here!!

  5. What time did you say you wanted me over?? A very interesting process, Jerry!! and a wonderful time together ..

  6. Oh I wish I could taste those wonderful products! Mmmmmmmmm!

  7. What a great team effort, and so rewarding! I have just made marmelada, made with quince fruit and 12 jars of, blackberry jam, and filled the freezer with apple and blackberry pies, and a few bottles of sweet wine ( which is the stage before it starts fermenting.) It's a deliceous alternative to an alcoolic drink, but you probably already know this! I guess your next post will be wine making! See you then!:)

    1. Sonjia your jam, marmalade, pies and sweet wine all sound lovely. Yes my next post could well be about winemaking!

  8. Oh my Jerry. You are a busy lot. I think your Christmas is going to be very bountiful with all that harvest. Thanks for sharing your photos.

  9. Hola Jerry. Hace unas semanas que he visto esta entrada y me ha gustado mucho. Ya sabes que soy una fiel seguidora de tus elaboraciones caseras, todas ellas son apetitosas. Siguiendo tu sugerencia Francesc y yo hemos comentado que por Navidad elaboraremos "turrón casero Mallorquín" y algún otro postre típico español. Francesc cooperará conmigo y así terminaré más pronto mis trabajos caseros :)
    Un abrazo, Sonia.

  10. Hola Sonia. I'm so pleased that it's inspired you to do some things yourself - and get Francesc into the kitchen! I would soooooo love to try your "turrón casero Mallorquín"!