Monday, 28 January 2013

Seville season Part 1 - Late night adventures

At last Seville orange season is here and it's time to turn last year's successful experiment with making bitter orange rum into a reality. I've taken the week off work with the plan of making about 40litres of liquid drunken marmalade!

First a ride out on the N26 to New Spitalfields wholesale fruit and veg market with the shopping trolley in tow. To start with a bleak scene round the back of the now closed Olympic Park. Midnight rain at the tipping point of sleet, sodium glow and slick shining black roads. Once through the gates the buzz of the market is felt, and the light of the big warehouses pulls me in. Inside a wonderland of brilliantly coloured and high stacked vegetables and fruit, twirling balletic mini forklift trucks zipping in and out of the aisles, traders and buyers chewing the fat, and down a small side corridor boxes of wonderful  knobbly Sevilles.

We struck an excellent deal and filled the trolley to bursting with bitter and sweet oranges and hauled them off into the wet East London night.

Friday, 18 January 2013

By Ambrose Heath and published in 1939 by Faber and Faber
"This collection of divers drinks is offered for
all those occasions when drinking is desirable: on
a winter's evening by the fire, on the shady verge
of the tennis court, at a party, in a pub; with
friends, or aquaintances or those even dearer,
wherever they may happen to be together: to the
advancement of the brewer and the wine mer-
chant, and the confusion of dull dogs"
June 1939

From this wonderful book full of recipes for home made liqueurs and other alcoholic delights I bring you...

The Sloe Gin Rickey
Squeeze the juice of half a good-sized lime into a tumbler containing a lump or two of ice. Add three-quaters of a gill of Sloe Gin, and fill up with cold soda water

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Happy New Year 2013

The hard frost never came and it rained and rained. The ground was heavy and newly born streams created their own course down through the orchard. Over two days we shifted the bark mulch, bag by sodden bag from Park End Farm stockyard where Brian keeps his vintage tractors.We loaded up our elderly landrover drove the 1/4 of a mile up the hill to home, then unloaded and carried the mulch across the field to spread on the beds.

  The beds looked great when we finished and the sun came out briefly one afternoon and lit up our golden reward.

New Year came and after an lovely evening of prosecco and damson gin cocktails, and a day of loafing and chatting with friends the annual muck day was upon us. Forty bags of the very finest horse manure to feed the new rhubarb crowns and gooseberry and blackcurrant bushes. Delivered curbside by an impressively butch truck. And thank god for the pirated Wickes trolley which meant we could shift eight bags at a time. It's got my name on it.