Monday, 27 October 2008

Spanish Umbrollies.

Okay, so I actually got back over a week ago from Majorca but my computer decided to give me The Blue Screen Of Death as a welcome home present so I've had no computer AT ALL for the past few days. That in itself is a very very painful experience for a person of my generation, trust me. Very very bad. :P

On the plus side though Majorca was lovely, but check out the photo above to see what kind of weather we had. Like home away from home really...

56 days to my birthday; 59 days to Christmas!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Happy October Hols!

I'll be back next Friday.
(Armed with stories and photos I hope)

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Today was a Sloe day.

Something we do in the Dornan household is... actually I'm not sure what the right word for it is but I'm going to say forage; we use what grows around us locally in the hedgerows and woodland for preserves and such like things. Does that make sense?

We live in quite a rich area for the likes of blackberries, rosehips, sloes, crab apples and hazelnuts so we've always gone out picking them before turning them into jams, its like a family tradition. From our youngest years Glen and I can remember doing the same thing; a day would start out to be warm and dry so we'd all decide to don our oldest clothes, grab our tubs that had been used when our mum and dad were little, and head out to a quiet place somewhere to pick whatever particular fruit the season offered.

And no matter what fruit it was they were always on the highest, most inaccessible trees and bushes around, who's branches and leaves scratched any visible flesh they could reach.

On blackberry picking days we'd come home with our arms scratched and stung by brambles and giant nettles, our fingertips would be stained blue with the juice from the ripe berries, as were our mouths as we would eat more than we picked along the way - but we didn't notice. Oh no, we were far to excited to see how much we had picked and watch as the fruit bubbled and sloshed in our Granny's giant jam-making pan.

It was all great fun and the same fun we had as kids we still have now. Recently, we'd been trying to source Sloes as they're in season but many of the usual hedgerows had been cut back so there were none around. But thanks to a family friend we managed to find some on the hills over looking Stranraer before Cairn Ryan today.

One rock pile, one high broken fence, one drystone stone dyke and some sheep coupled with the fact that sloe bushes are the jaggiest bushes ever, meant they were pretty hard to get to but we eventually did and we collected 7 and a half pounds of them. Despite that my arms now look like they've been in a fight with a particularly angry cat, it was great. All that's left to do is to prick them all and follow my Gran's recipe to get the Sloe Gin we make every year. Even though I don't drink, its rather good stuff...

For more photos like the one on this post from today, go to the top album on my sidebar. :)