Enjoying the Days of Late Summer

Enjoying the Days of Late Summer

It’s late summer and every day is a little shorter than the previous one; a change that was almost imperceptible a month ago, is now noticeable. There seems a need to enjoy these summer days before they slip away. To notice the colours and the smells. To gather up all the fruit to preserve in sugar or vinegar. This is what late summer looks like at Slamseys this week. Continue reading “Enjoying the Days of Late Summer”

Learn How to Make Monoprints with Jelly Printing

Learn How to Make Monoprints with Jelly Printing

Jelly printing is tremendous fun but it sounds a little frivolous, which is maybe why it’s often described as Printing without a Press or Monoprinting with a gelatine plate. It’s a bit random as there’s no guarantee that when you peel back the paper you’ll get exactly the print you were expecting and over time, the jelly plate changes too as it develops tiny holes or dries out slightly, which means that you’re unlikely to get identical prints. Continue reading “Learn How to Make Monoprints with Jelly Printing”

Essex Huffers for Food on the Move

wheat stubble

Harvest started last week. Then it rained and harvest stopped. As usual, it looks as though it will be a stop start affair.

During harvest, food is eaten on the move; throughout the day and into the night, empty cold boxes are dumped on the shelf in the grain store and fresh ones grabbed (though sometimes quite often I get a phone call because the shelf is bare).

Each year I try to find something new to fill the harvest cold boxes and search magazines and the internet for picnic food ideas. Alas, the beautiful looking feather-light sponge cakes and jelly filled glasses set out on checked tablecloths wouldn’t last two minutes being jolted down the fields in a tractor cab.

Food on the move, whether for harvest workers or a day’s walking needs to be robust and filling. Continue reading “Essex Huffers for Food on the Move”

A Holiday at Home

A Holiday at Home

 

We’ve been playing the waiting game at Slamseys. Waiting for the wheat to fully ripen. Waiting for the rain to stop. Then waiting for the sun to shine. Waiting for the wheat to dry. Waiting for harvest to start. But this afternoon, the wheat had been declared fit to combine and soon the yard will be busy with tractors and trailers as Harvest 2017 gets underway. Continue reading “A Holiday at Home”

Home Made Tonic Water

Home Made Tonic Water

Gin is the drink of the moment with new distilleries popping up across the country and it was inevitable that a plethora of premium tonic waters would follow. Saccharine laden tonic water, served warm and slightly flat is so last century.

Given the appearance of these new tonic waters, it might therefore seem odd to make your own tonic water. But, like everything you make yourself, you’re in control and you choose what to put in and what to leave out. If commercial tonic water is too sweet for you, then reduce the sweetness; add flavour with spices like cardamom or coriander or use herbs such as rosemary and thyme; if you fancy something citrussy then add plenty of lemon, orange or grapefruit peel. You could mix the spices and flavourings to complement your gin or leave them out altogether to make a plain tonic water that lets the flavour of your gin shine through. Continue reading “Home Made Tonic Water”

Summer Fruit Loaf Cake

Summer Fruit Loaf Cake

Summer has well and truly arrived and it’s good to be out in the sunshine picking fruit in the fruit field at Slamseys. It’s very meditative working your way along a row of raspberries on a sunny day; there may be a little searching under leaves and the odd wasp to avoid but there’s no bending over or Keep on reading