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Tuesday 15 June 2021

How To Make Homemade Elderflower Cordial

Summer is finally kicking in and I am seeing elder everywhere. It's only this year that I'm starting to realise how prolific it is in the wild. I see clouds of elderflowers gathering along almost every footpath and can't help but reach out and take in their sweet fragrance. This recipe for elderflower cordial is super easy and only needs a relatively small number of flower heads. But do remember, the fewer elderflowers that are left, the fewer there are to grow into elderberries. These are a really good food source for wildlife so please be mindful to only take what you need and not to leave the bushes bare.

Sunday 7 June 2020

How To Make Homemade Red Gooseberry And Mint Gin

It's not often you see recipes involving red gooseberries, but this red gooseberry and mint gin is heaven sent. Red gooseberries are ever so slightly sweeter than their green counterparts so need less sugar to reduce their tang. If you don't have red gooseberries feel free to use green, but up the sugar volume by 100g to compensate.

Some of the infusions I make tend to suit a particular season. This red gooseberry and mint gin is made for summer, just like my Sunshine Vodka. The gooseberries give it a lovely fruity flavour while the hint of mint in the background is fabulously refreshing, especially with a splash of fizzy tonic. And just look at that colour!

Tuesday 12 May 2020

Tea Infusions From Your Garden

Herbs play an important role in cooking, medicines, and even in a spiritual sense. I often infuse two or three lemon balm leaves in hot water if I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and need to re-balance my emotions. Alice Hoffman, in her novel Practical Magic writes:

There are some things, after all, that Sally Owens knows for certain: always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.

Rosemary for protection, cleansing and remembrance. Rose for attracting good luck and avoiding conflict. Lemon balm for cheering the heart, sage for healing. Whether you use herbs for these purposes or simply flavouring your food, don't overlook the delicious infusions to be made as an alternative to your usual tea or coffee.

Wednesday 24 April 2019

Mama Bamboo - Biodegradable Bamboo Nappies and Wipes - Review

As a family, we try our best to embed environmentally responsible products and practices into our day to day life, from reusing and recycling to eco bricks and zero waste shopping. That's why I am so pleased to share my experience of using Mama Bamboo biodegradable nappies and wipes, which are made from the softest, breathable bamboo fibres and chlorine free wood pulp.

Wednesday 17 April 2019

Living With A Long Distance Family Relationship

I'm in my mid-30's. I have a mortgage, a husband, a profession, children and Tupperware. Nevertheless, there are times when I still just need my mum.  Those are the times when I realise how hard long distance relationships can really be, especially when it's family you're missing.

Friday 5 April 2019

How To Make Homemade Lemon And Ginger Gin

If I'd known I would do Dry January when I considered making my Lemon and Ginger Gin, I would have delayed the infusion for a few weeks. I only had chance to have one little test sip before I had to relegate it to the booze cupboard, where it would gloat in the darkness for a month. 

This is a real all-rounder of a gin. Ever since having the boys, my taste buds have changed, and I find myself hankering for fewer sweet drinks and more for something with a bit of a kick. I think it must have been all that Schloer and orange juice. 

Usually, the infusions I make tend to suit a particular season. For example, my Sunshine Vodka is just perfect for summer, whilst my Red Berry Rum is the best thing to cosy up with at Christmas (except for maybe a Tom Hardy bedtime story). This gin infusion however, is suited equally well to being supped in front of the TV with the fire roaring, as it is topped up with tonic and slurped on the patio.

Sunday 11 November 2018

Homemade Christmas Gifts To Impress

I'm ashamed to admit it, but many of the homemade cakes, bakes and boozes I make don't make it out of the house. Especially the food. I swear, from the moment it goes in the tin, it dwindles by the minute.

So, Christmas really is my opportunity to share some of the products of my labour. Recipes for jams and chutneys in particular result in such a large number that there's plenty to go around and you can't beat the feeling of pride you get, handing over something you labelled yourself.

Here are a few ideas for edible homemade gifts you can make for your friends and family this Christmas.

1. Spiced Cranberry and Fig Chutney

Sunday 23 September 2018

8 Ways To Engage Your Children With The Natural World

Engaging children with the natural world can mean so much more than just a trip to the park or an episode of Mr Bloom. But it doesn't have to cost you a week at Center Parcs either. Here are 8 low/no cost ways to encourage your children to engage with the natural world.

Saturday 8 September 2018

How To Make Homemade Sunshine Vodka

That's it, ladies and gents: summer is over, the kids are back to school and the shops are already filled with pumpkins. Autumn is here. But it's not too late to fake it. Bring back that summer feeling with this delicious Sunshine Vodka liqueur. This is an easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy recipe that you can even tailor to your own choice of tropical summer fruit.

Sunshine Vodka with a splash of lemonade

Sunday 2 September 2018

How Parenting Is Teaching Me To Learn Again

With Little O starting school this week, I've been thinking a lot recently about my own learning journey. He is just starting out on his, whilst mine feels a bit like the limited service the local bus provides our village. What's more, Little O has started asking the most interesting questions. Especially about how things are made.

"Mummy, how is bread made?" "Mummy, how do you make a car?" "Mummy, how do you make ice?"

Some of the answers I know. But some, I don't. It's easy to make something up for pacification's sake, but shouldn't we instead feel inspired to find out the real answer?