Saturday 18 August 2018

August Days

Once again August is upon us in the blink of an eye. Around here some subtle hints of autumn are beginning to creep in, along with some blustery winds and wetter weather. The garden is looking a bit worse for wear and the grass which has barely needed cutting over the last few months has suddenly shot up. This week our days at the beach have been exchanged for walks through the fields and the woods, and instead of summer footwear we find ourselves in need of our boots.

I've recently had a little look back through some earlier blog posts and have noticed a gentle repetitiveness to our lives. The rhythm of the seasons, days out, general day to day happenings. In ever changing times I find this pattern very grounding and reassuring.
The hours of daylight are getting shorter and I find I'm closing the blinds earlier each evening. There is no escaping the fact that the year is marching on and the colder days will soon be upon us. We are already looking ahead to the start of the new school year, with the purchase of new uniform and during the next two weeks there will be appointments for a hair cut and shoe fitting.

For us, the middle of August is usually when the blackberries begin to ripen in the hedgerows. I can't decide if there are more than usual this year, or if it's just because I know exactly where to look for the best ones. Last Thursday morning I went out with the intention of collecting just enough to make some blackberry vodka, but as there was such an abundance within easy reach, I gathered a few more and made some extra pots of jam using the same recipe as for my raspberry jam.
In the last few years the flavoured vodka has become a firm favourite and is so easy to make.

For the Blackberry vodka you will need...

A 70cl bottle of vodka
Approx 300g of blackberries
3 rounded tablespoons of sugar
10 cloves
1 cinnamon stick broken in half

Rinse the blackberries and put in a large air tight glass jar with the sugar, cloves and cinnamon stick.
Pour over the vodka, close the lid and shake gently until the sugar is dissolved.
Keep the jar stored in a cool dark place and give it a gentle shake every few days.
After around twelve weeks strain through a muslin, bottle and enjoy.

It's delicious served up after cold winter walks when cosying up and warming your toes in front of the fire.
J. X