Monday, 15 October 2007

Food and Yarn in Newburgh

Last weekend saw the monthly trip to knitting group at Twist Fibre Craft Studio in Newburgh. It proved to yield a bountiful harvest, both woolly and foody. I was rather good and only spent a couple of quid over the £10 bonus I had on my twist card – I bought some lovely springy and stretchy DB Rialto Aran in a dark burgundy colour, a nice long circular needle for an upcoming project (MUST finish SKB first!), and some lopi for Diane.

I had visions of making gloves/mittens with the rialto by modifying a pattern for fingerless gloves from knitty. The cables came out beautifully, but things started going off the rails once I’d completed the part the pattern covers and started freestyling instead. I think this yarn is just a bit too thick and chunky for doing individual fingers, and even mittens would end up more like oven gloves. I like the fingerless ones, but I don’t think I’d really wear them all that much so I pulled it all out again. Maybe a nice cabled hat instead? I’ve got my eye on this from Brooklyn Tweed (probs better in tweed tho) and this from Smariek Knits.

When w
e arrived, we found that Newburgh Orchard Group were having their last sale of the year on a little stall near where we parked. It’s really nice to see a bunch of people getting together and selling stuff that they’ve been growing, and that you just can’t get in the supermarket. I bought some Newton’s Wonder apples, some Concorde pears, and some cooking apples which I can’t remember the name of. They are a variety that goes soft and fluffy when cooked, unlike Bramleys. I also bought a jar of beetroot chutney, and some sloes.

Last night I used one of the apples together with some blackberries that I picked at the top of my road, and made a sponge pudding with the fruit at the bottom and loads of custard on top. Yum yum. I just had salad for tea so that I could have an extra large helping of dessert!
I felt a bit of a cheat buying the sloes rather than picking them, but they were complete with leaves and bits of twig, and I’m sure they came from a Newburgh hedgerow, and it’s good to support the orchard group so I think it’s ok ☺ Just about the only good use for sloes is making them into sloe gin, hurrah! My mum makes sloe gin but she’s very protective of it and won’t let me take any home with me, so I’m excited to have a go at making my own…

Sloe Gin

1L Gin
around 450-500g Sloes (best picked after first frost, or can be frozen first!)
100g sugar

Clean the sloes and remove any bad ones. Gently dry, then prick all over and put into a sterile bottle or jar with the sugar and the gin. Shake every day for a few weeks, then every week after that for another 2 or 3 months.

The bottle must be stored in the dark to encourage good colour development.

Different sources have different suggestions about when to strain the mixture and decant the liquid, but it seems like anything from 3 months to a year. I guess the trick is to keep tasting it until it seems good, and adding more sugar if necessary. Many recipes have much more sugar than this, but I want to keep it to a minimum to avoid the finished product being to sickly sweet.


sal said...

Loved your cabled hat at knitting this week - can't find the pattern, can you send me a link, everso big please - socks just aren't doing it for me!

sal said...

Apologies, too keen - just clicked on the link and there it is! Now just need to resist and finish the socks first because I have a thing for knitting hats!

Louise said...

Good luck with the hat and socks Sal - I bought some sock yarn about 9 months ago and just can't face all those tiny tiny stitches on tiny tiny needles. argh! Anyway, the hat was super quick, finished in 2 or 3 sittings, so go for it.