Today has been so sunny and warm and I get the feeling it’s the last burst of summer before it all goes cold, damp, frosty and wet. We’ve made the most of it and gone blackberry picking.
We have a few farms nearby and along the hedgerows grow wild blackberries. We did well this time and managed to find a mighty haul. Not weighed it yet but I’ll guestimate a good 5lbs of them.
Aha! I hear you say. But what are you going to do with them? Well, that was predecided before we left. This year I’m making as many presents for Christmas as I can manage. With this in mind I’ll be making some rather splended blackberry vodka (or gin for those that partake) It’s very simple to make at home. I use the method that’s a firm favourite with my fellow Mumsnetters. Here it is if you’re not familiar:
1 litre of vodka, 600g blackberries and 300g sugar.
Put in a large jar and shake well. Shake every day for a month and then once a month for next two months.
Strain and bottle.
Eat the boozy blackberries with ice cream.
So, if you’d like to offer someone a lovely boozy present this year then you still have time to get going and have it ready for the big day.
With the surplus blackberries I’ll be making a clafoutis. If you’re asking yourself what on earth it is wellllll, it’s kind of a tart cum souffle cum custard. I think in it’s pure form it’s made with cherries but no one likes cherries in the house (apart from me). Anyway, I can tell you it’s delicious and freezable so you can cook in advance. Here is the recipe I got from Pinterest that works well for me.
And lastly, I’ve got another order of really, REALLY, funky fabric on it’s way from Finland. Disappointment is not an option.
Or to our Scandinavian counterparts Alla Hjärtans Dag! Valentinsdagen! Ystävänpäivä! For those in Denmark it seems you don’t have a Danish word for it (as it’s a relatively new phenomenon in Denmark) but I love this little passage I read online that describes what the Danes do on 14th February:
“In Denmark, people swap poems and candy snowdrops. As well as some people send love notes not serious love notes but, laughable notes which are called gaekkebrev which are also referred to as joking letters. On the gaekkebrev, the sender signs his or her name in dots.
If the receiver guesses the correct name then the sender will get a candy egg at Easter time.”
Tying in Valentine’s Day with Easter and involving chocolate is an ingenious idea. Anything involving chocolate is ingenious in my mind.
If you didn’t get a Valentine’s Day card or red roses today then you’re not on your own; neither did I. But on a positive note, it’ll all be reduced tomorrow so you can go out and treat yourself without feeling too guilty. Marvellous.