Sep 30 2005

Filling the Larder Sept 2005

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As we reach the Equinox once more the autumn sun drops from our heavens into the southern hemisphere. It joins us later and later each day creeping up over the hill and, leaving earlier and earlier, soon slides away again like a huge red barley sugar. The golden autumn light seems to wraps itself around the whole valley easing us towards winter. As the days get shorter the light becomes hard and sharp. Mimicking shadows, long, crisp, exaggerating, fall across the grass. The days are still warm but there is a chill in the misty morning air as we set off for the yard before breakfast.

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Sep 24 2005

Salting Meat

The meat and fish are preserved in a dry cure of flavoured salt and saltpetre. Saltpetre is sodium nitrite and in these health conscious days regarded as unsuitable for human consumption. Its dubious origins and old stories of its early collection certainly make one wonder! However it is a good preservative and turns the meat pink. If you are not using it refrigerate the meat during curing. Sea salt is considered the best for curing and preserving but rock salt is quite acceptable. Modern fine table salt contains chemicals to stop lumps forming so is therefore not suitable for curing.
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Sep 08 2005

Elderflower Cordial

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This year the lemony scent of elderflowers filled the farmyard as never before. Even after I had harvested so many flower heads the bushes looked untouched. I was given this traditional old recipe by a friend who was given it, in turn, by her grandmother years and years ago. My kitchen was filled with bowls covered with clothes for days and days and already I wish I had made more.

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