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'Our House' Blackberry Gin

'Our House' Blackberry Gin

Unbelievable. I have searched high and low for my recipe and can’t find it anywhere.  It’s not that I have a particularly large or disorganised kitchen but I know that it was on a sheet of paper somewhere and it appears to have disappeared. Anyway, here it is – from memory. If I have left anything out then be sure to let me know.

Blackberry gin it is.

I was originally given this recipe form a neighbour and this time I have not fiddled with it. Given the number of ingredients there is not really that much to fiddle with. We don’t actually drink it as a liqueur (we have the sloe gin for that) but instead pour it over ice cream or drizzle it over other desserts. Always goes down well when we have people over to dinner. Read the rest of this entry »


Common Blue

Common Blue

‘We got to Calais and I said, which way, left or right?’

Inspired by a friend recounting a recent trip to France in their camper van, Callum and I headed out one morning  with the dog along our usual route, with the idea that at some stage, we would take a new turn and do a spot of ‘adventuring.’  Halfway up a hill towards an a old railway line I made the suggestion that we turned right instead of our usual left and go exploring in the ‘dark woods.’  We had a while until David and Alex returned from tennis lessons and it was a lovely day.  Callum was quite sceptical at my suggestion as the dark woods (as we called them) seemed so uninviting, and as the trees were now hiding most of the old gate, it was clearly somewhere where nobody dared to venture at all.  In the hope of  awakening his sense of adventure, something that he had clearly lost following an hour in front the of the TV earlier, I quickly jumped the gate and began battling the undergrowth, following the dog down a hill towards a brook.

So, two Hobbits left the comfort of the Shire, entering the dark wood imagining strange encounters with previously unseen beasts. Read the rest of this entry »

Copper hunting horn

Copper hunting horn

This is still fox-hunting country, whether banned or not. There are several active hunts here that still survive following the Hunting Ban, namely the Quorn and the Belvoir Hunts. I have no opinion on hunting either way and although I do ride, it is not something I have the slightest interest in taking up. I don’t believe that I am cut from the same cloth as those that do.  For one, I clean up after my family and other animals and get very frustrated at those who do not – so I can’t imagine that the Master of the Hounds would be happy with me dismounting to fill up a pooh bag every ten minutes or so. More likely he would leave me behind instead.

Often in the early morning, I come across a hunt, that either stops me from taking my usually drive across the Vale, or I am caught up in one when out walking the dog across the fields. The former is simply infuriating, particularly if I am on my way to the station to catch a London train, whilst the latter can be terrifying, particularly if the sound of the horn starts getting a little too close.  But worst still is cleaning up the mess in The Village after they have all trotted through, either blissfully unaware or blatantly ignorant.  I don’t grow roses and we have other sources of manure to dig into our vegetable patches, thank you.

Ok, so perhaps I have no particular view on the sport of hunting per se but I admit having a mild irritation with those that do. That’s not to say that the sight of a hunt trotting through our Village is not spectacular. It only happens two or three times a year and it is indeed a sight to behold and always exciting to watch, particularly if the dogs are fox hounds. There is something so thrilling to see a pack of fox hounds; as most live in large packs, it is not a breed that is often seen on the end of a lead in the local park.

So, whether you agree with the sport or not is neither here nor there, but I was curious to come across this old hunting horn yesterday in one of our local charity shops. Read the rest of this entry »

Apple and blackberry crumble

Apple and blackberry crumble

I am not a great one for puddings but with three boys in the house, I am very much outnumbered.  Most of the puddings I make are simple and are made to accompany Sunday lunch.  Furthermore, most of our puddings are really straightforward and usually involve fruit that is either from our garden, a neighbour’s garden or found during a walk with the dog.   Today we had an apple and blackberry crumble.  We have a variety of preferred accompaniments, such as ice cream or double cream.  Today it was custard.  Lots of it. Read the rest of this entry »


Green Egg without the Ham

The boys went over to a friend’s today so that I may finish an article that was (and still is) way past its deadline.  No, I didn’t finish it and yes, I am writing this instead.  Writer’s block notwithstanding, I find on these occasions it is worth switching off totally from the piece in hand and write about something completely different.   Ok, most of you would have taken your children to the park, but here I am still at the PC, this time writing about an entirely different subject matter.   Given that the other article is about the importance of nutrition on the health of the eye, there is surely a tenuous link in there somewhere. Read the rest of this entry »



Disclaimer: This Rural Wife is a partly fictional tale, exaggerated nuances of hapless events that occur within the Village on a daily basis. They express the opinions and mad ramblings of the author only. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental, so please dont feel offended if you are not mentioned