You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘forgotten skills of cooking’ tag.

Last weekend we had some beautiful bright, crisp weather – blue skies, sunshine and lovely autumn colours.  Mr Rigg, Buddy and I walked to our local woodland in search of sloes to make sloe gin.

Armed with baskets we headed to the first spot I knew of – however, someone else had thought it was a good day for picking sloes so we carried on to the second patch I knew of and thankfully we found quite a number of them.

Picking sloes is a long slow process.  They are small and dotted along branches that are armed with long thorns to prick your fingers.  With the weather so lovely we were in no hurry, so pushed our way into the bushes picking off the fruits.

When we had picked what we could we headed into the woods in search of more bushes.  We had almost given up when we came across three good bushes where we picked the remainder of our haul.

At home we discovered we had picked 1.6kg of sloes!  We had only wanted about 400g…oops!  With a couple of bottles of gin and granulated sugar we started to make our sloe gin.  Sat in front of the Grand Prix we pricked every sloe multiple times with a pin, then we measured them into bottles and topped up with the sugar and gin. 

We followed Darina Allen’s recipe for Sloe Gin from her Forgotten Skills of Cooking – to 700g of sloes use 350g granulated sugar and 1.2 litres of gin.  Once bottled, seal tightly and store in a dark place, turning every couple of days to start with, then every couple of months.

We have been making refreshing summery drinks to keep us cool in the hot weather we’ve been having.  This recipe is from one of my favourite recipe books, one that I imagine I will still be opening in twenty years from now – Darina Allen’s Forgotten Skills of Cooking.

The most complicated part of this recipe is making the sugar syrup – which involves boiling water and sugar together.  Yes, that’s it. 

Then all you do is mix water, lemon juice and sugar syrup to taste.  The remainder of my sugar syrup is bottled up in the fridge – ready whenever we want to make more.

Sugar syrup

Makes 825ml (20 fl oz)

450g (1lb) caster sugar
600ml (1 pint) water

In a saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the water and bring to the boil.  Boil for 2 minutes then turn off and leave to cool.  Store in the fridge until needed.  In a fridge it will keep for months.

Note: this makes quite a lot of sugar syrup, so we made half this amount – I still have leftovers in the fridge.

Homemade cloudy lemonade

Serves 6

Juice of 3 lemons (I use the best I can find – big fat ones from Italy are my choice, available at Unicorn)
225ml sugar syrup
700ml water (sparkling or still)
Ice cubes

Mix all the ingredients in a large jug and add the ice cubes when you are ready to serve.

Bookmark and Share

Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

My Pictures

All pictures are my own unless stated. I would kindly ask that you don't use them elsewhere unless you ask permission first. Many thanks x

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Recent recipes

Food memories: Greece

Food Memories: Dordogne

Food Memories: Amalfi Coast

Food Memories: Naples

Food Memories: Loire Valley

Food Memories: Sweden

Food Memories: Barcelona