Spring gin anyone?

Okay, so Mothers day was a couple o’weeks back, and my tribe bought me some rhubarb and ginger gin…  

Now, I feel I should say, upfront, that gin is my summer tipple of choice.

(Not winter, gin is far to cold and fizzy for that – winter is a time for red. A good, heavy red.)

Anyway, I got off topic; back to the gin. Now then, is it just me, or does there seem to be something of a gin-revolution sweeping the nation?

Which is fine with me, except there are so many varieties circulating that I find one, I like it, and then I can never find it again! It’s a real trial I tell you.

So I’ve developed a course of action – I’m going to make me’ own.

Yup, I tried it last year about this time, with parma violets.

Yes, you read right 😀 thank the heavens for amazon. I ordered a box of giant parma violets, pulled a large mason jar from the pantry, used regular old gin, gave it a shake every so often, and Boom! Summer deliciousness not to be forgotten.

This time, it’s rhubarb or bust. I’ll let you know how it goes.


Autumn is here…

So, it would seem the day the children went back to school was the day we kissed goodbye to any memory of summer. The evenings didn’t appear – it was just DARK. One day; sunset at 9.30 ish, next day, BAM – 7 o’clock; pitch black.

That said I would almost like to be able to stand there moaning about the onset of dark of evenings with everyone else – but I can’t. Because I love the start of Autumn and the approaching Winter. Husband thinks there’s something wrong with my love of the gloomy season. But I just love the heavy coats and scarves, gloves and open fires. And yes I know it sounds like I’ve romanticized it, Husband says often that there’s nothing good about ice on the roads and the pouring rain. But winter is a British institution, with its leaves on the track, fireworks and Halloween, throw in a healthy dose of christmas cards in the shops by early September, and it sums us up. My children keep starting sentences with “when it snows this year…”  it doesn’t seem to matter that I keep telling them that we don’t usually get snow this far south, in their little lives we’ve had snow for two years on the trot. Ergo; ALWAYS. This clearly exemplifies (to them) how foolish I am for not assuming there will be snow this year. But then when you’re a parent you’re always foolish, as you know too well by those ‘particular’ looks you get given by the 9-year-old when you say something colossally stupid, like Husband did yesterday…     “Saw in your magazine that you can get Jajabinx as a lego figure now..”  Which was met with an incredulous glare, and prompt reply of “Dad, he has been a standalone figure for nearly 3 months!”  Told husband to give up trying to be ‘hip with the kids’…..

But, back to Autumn. I’ve noticed over the last few years that ‘Make Your Own’ has been gaining increasing popularity, probably due to shows like River Cottage and CountryFile (both of which I love – I’m not ashamed.) And like everybody else, I’m keen to do my bit, and it has turned out to be one of the highlights of my year – I mean right up there with wrapping presents, flying kites and BBQ’s (don’t judge me). We’ve been picking blackberry’s, and collecting windfall apples, hazelnuts, sloe’s – you name it and somewhere I’ll have something homemade in a jar, box or bottle. I don’t remember doing it as a child – maybe it wasn’t popular? I don’t know. But I’m sad that I didn’t, yet glad that my children get to, and despite my mediocre cooking skills the troops love to eat something that they’ve been and ‘hunter gathered’. The only negative is, it glaringly highlights how wasteful we were before – it’s funny how loathe I am to throw out food that we’ve picked, I can’t bear to see it go to waste. I remember being young and my grandparents going through the fridge and the cupboards using everything, never letting anything go to waste. Maybe that attitude comes with age and experience, or maybe its a sign of the fiscal times. Who knows….

oh, and I know it’s a bit late, but I said I would warn you when a ‘parent with cute child story’ ended up on the blog so…..   WARNING!!