Sewchet

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A “Fruitful” Walk and How To Make Sloe Gin

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It was such a perfect Autumn morning that I decided to take the dogs on The Road Walk instead of The Field Walk, with the added benefit that the road acts as a nail file thereby negating the need to get the dreaded nail clippers out (for the dogs, not me).

I use the word ‘road’ very loosely because, although they have been acquainted with tarmac at some point, the lanes between my village and the neighbouring ones rarely see a car. The total combined population of all three villages adds up to less than 400! In fact this morning we met neither vehicle nor human on a two and a half hour walk. Just the way I like it:)

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I took a few snaps on my iPhone just to give you an idea.

After about a mile we took a footpath to Blackford (population 70). Look at that blue sky!

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Back onto the lane and a pretty little corner in Maperton (population 100) caught my eye. I usually walk straight past but I thought I’d photograph it today to show you; the shady end of the cottage has been planted with vibrant orange flowers which smell heavenly as you drift by.

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View from the top of the lane;

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Back into my village, North Cheriton (population 208) and the way back takes us through a wooded lane….

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…and past Wisteria cottage…..

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…to a Blackthorn Tree! Look at those lovely sloes;

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Folklore tells us not to pick the sloes until after the first frost and, as we had the first frost at the weekend, those spare dog poo bags that I always carry came in handy:)

This is my recipe for sloe gin;

Put 1lb sloes, pricked several times with a pin, into a clean jar.

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Add 4oz sugar and a bottle of gin;

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Shake well and put in a cool, dark place for at least two months. We store ours in the understairs cupboard.

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It’s that simple.

Important things to note are: –

1. You need to shake the mixture every morning for about a week until the sugar has dissolved

2. To keep the colour a deep, dark maroon, cover with a tea-towel to stop any light getting in, otherwise it will fade to an insipid pink

My daughter gave me this lovely book of Cath Kidston stickers for Christmas one year so I used some to label the jars with a date.

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Our first fire of the season was lit much to the dogs’ delight;

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I pulled up an armchair and they curled up on the floor beside me whilst I did a spot of crocheting;

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This one is for me….a chunky poncho in ‘berry red’;

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I plan on putting a row of blue near the bottom for a bit of interest and I’m writing it up as I go so the poncho pattern will be on the blog when I’ve finished:)

Author: sewchet

Sewing, Crochet and other loveliness!

14 thoughts on “A “Fruitful” Walk and How To Make Sloe Gin

  1. I’m so jealous of not only that you still have brilliant blue skies, but of the amazing scenic walk, thank you for sharing the lovely photos. There’s one thing when it does turn a bit greyer down your neck of the woods, you’ll be able to brighten everyone’s day in your new poncho 🙂

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  2. As soon as I saw you write Blackford, I was pretty sure you’d say Maperton or one of the Cheritons next. I know them well 🙂

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    • Oh wow – small world! I’m afraid I don’t know your corner of Somerset very well at all although I’ve been promising myself a trip to Catherine Hill for a while now…..

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  3. What a lovely walk! And now I know what a sloe looks like. I’ve heard of sloe gin and knew it was a fruit; we just don’t have them around here. They actually look like overly large serviceberries.

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    • I’ve never heard of serviceberries so I looked them up – native to North America apparently and not common in Europe. Sloes are also found in Eastern North America, so if that’s where you are you’ve got to try making some sloe gin!

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      • Nope. I’m from the Appalachian area, and have never seen blackthorn trees or found sloes at a farmer’s market. Serviceberries grow well in Appalachia and surrounding areas, and I have one in my yard. Unfortunately, I don’t get enough to make jelly or anything with them, because the birds strip the tree before the berries are fully ripe. They are yummy. (Tip: If you are ever in Appalachia, the correct pronunciation is “sarvus berry.” 😀 )

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  4. oooh i want to make a poncho (though i might tone it down a little bit!!!) – can i swap you some blackberry vodka for a snifter of sloe gin?

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  5. Lovely, lovely photos. Isn’t that just what having dogs are for?

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  6. Beautiful, all of it. Interesting to read about keeping sloe gin out of the light – maybe that’s why mine sometimes used to turn a paler and unappealing brownish colour. And are those some rather lovely home-knitted socks I can see in the crocheting shot?

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    • Keeping it in the dark is crucial to keep that gorgeous, rich colour and it looks so much more appealing as well. I have to admit to buying the socks which I happen to love, although I have just started making my first pair:)

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