Wednesday, 26 October 2011
You will see from today's photograph that the jelly turned out alright. For anyone who wishes to try it (you can do it with rosehips and/or crab apples too) you need equal quantities of sloes and cooking apples - the apples chopped up, cores and all. It seemed to cook down fairly quickly. I put it through a muslin sheet, taking care not to squeeze or in any way interfere with the process (that would have caused the jelly to lose its clarity) and then boiled it up using 1 pint of liquid to 1 pound of white sugar and the juice of a lemon. I have to say that I had to boil it for a long time. Also it kept forming a kind of crust on the top which I had to skim off. Now it is all potted up in small sterilised jars, waiting for cold meat/pork pie/cheese with which to eat it.
The downside - as it always is with these things - was the amount of cleaning up and washing up the enterprise entailed. Everywhere was sticky. I put the muslin in a cold water soak immediately and I must say it has come totally clean and is now flapping on the clothes line. The Aga has been wiped thoroughly although I still keep finding sticky places and the pan has been cleaned.
What does it taste like - several people asked. Surprisingly sweet but with a kick in the tail. Once it has gone down it leaves that characteristic dry/sharpness you get with sloe gin. Whether I shall make it again I don't know - but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Today is a pleasant Autumn day - after quite a violent thunderstorm last evening. This afternoon is our Poetry afternoon - one of my favourite afternoons in the month. I am reading Yeats, Auden, Edwin Morgan and Roger McGough. Wish you could join us.