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Making Blackberry Gin

Having a bumper crop of blackberries this year, and having already made jam and stewed up lots for crumbles and pies in the Winter, I was thinking what else could I do with them?  Then I thought what about Blackberry Gin?  I researched on line for a recipe but there were lots of contradicting quantities so in the end I sort of made up my own from a combination of a couple of different recipes.

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First you need to wash the blackberries well, as flies are definitely attracted to them. Place the washed blackberries into a demi john. I had lots so I used 1 kilo of fruit.

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Next add the sugar, just ordinary granulated or caster will do.  I used 300g.

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Add the gin, I used 2 x 70cl bottles (the cheap stuff from Lidl).

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Add 3 dessert spoons of lemon juice.

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Then give is all a good shake.

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The gin immediately took on the colour of the blackberries, so after the 3 months infusing it, it will be dark and glorious.  Just ready in time for Christmas!! The French call it Crème de Mure.

Want to try some?  Come and visit or stay with us at Lodge House B&B. http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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Spring chicken thank you

Our guests who have been staying with us for 5 nights commented on how we had a chicken theme going with the crockery, the table mats, the pictures on the wall and some chicken ornaments.  We said “naturally” as we have 24 hens and one cockerel, we liked to keep to a theme.

Our guests really enjoyed their stay and on the last morning presented us with another chicken ornament which they said they just had to buy us when they saw it.  Hence “Spring chicken” has joined the flock. It’s a bit like a Wallace and Gromit figure. What a lovely thank you present!!

If you want to see our chicken collection or even our live chickens then stay with us at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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Perry’s Cider Mill

Today Neil and I took his sister Carole for lunch at Perry’s Cider Mill in Dowlish Wake, close to Ilminster. We drove along pretty and narrow country lanes into the village, past the Dower House and turned into Perry’s Cider Mill, where we had a most convivial meal with good service and excellent food.

DSC01557We wandered around the shop, sampling different ciders and admiring all the delicious looking groceries before making our way to the museum to see how apples were pressed in days gone by.

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There was an old plough and many pictures of farm labourers from the past.

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An old apple cruncher reminded us of more modern ones we use in our apple pressing.

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I loved the old carts

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and the old bellows

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And then alongside, a piece of modern machinery.  They still do apple pressing and cider making and bottling here.

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If you want to visit Perry’s cider mill, and stay with our B&B then visit us at

http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

 

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4 new hens

Having had a couple of recent fatalities in the hen run (due to natural causes I hasten to add, no fox treats here), we decided to add to our brood and yesterday purchased 4 new hens from Darren at Manor Fram in Ilminster.

All 4 hens are point-of-lay so not chicks, and we were able to put them in with the flock straight away.

Two hens are known as “Silver Rocks”.  They are mostly black with silver streaks.  Here is Neil holding one.

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Our other two hens are a “Sussex Rocket” which is white with little black and a “Rhode Rock” which is black with a golden bib.  I’m afraid I don’t have pictures of those two as my camera ran out of puff and today whilst it is charged up, it is raining so not a day for pictures.  I’m wondering how our new girls are liking the rain, having been kept in a barn up until now and not having encountered the rain.  We shall have to see how they get on and when they start laying.

Want to see our birds, then come and stay at our B&B.

http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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Collecting the Honey

It was the right time to year for Neil to collect the honey from his strongest hive.  He had put 3 supers on to give them plenty of room to store the honey.  But when he looked they had only filled the frames in 2 supers.  He donned his new all-in-one suit to collect the frames.

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(That’s shadow on his face, he has not grown a moustache!!)

Yesterday we set to spinning the frames.  First he uncapped them one by one.

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Then two at a time he put them in the spinner. Centrifugal force pushes the honey out and it is collected in large jar below, first going through a sieve to collect any wax.

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It’s wonderful to see the golden liquid collecting in the jar.

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Then it has to be poured into jars and weighed to get exactly one pound in weight that is 454g.  That was my job.

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We got quite a haul.  The jars are just waiting for their labels to be printed and then we will be ready to sell some.  It will be £6.00 a jar.  Don’t forget this is an expensive premium product, not mass produced, hence the cost. All proceeds go back into care of the bees.

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visit us at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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Summer flowers

I made all my hanging baskets up myself this year and I am very proud of them.  They are full of colour and just lovely at the moment.

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I particularly like the half moon baskets with their pink trailing geraniums and colourful lobelia.

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The hanging basket near our Lodge House sign is one of my favourites.

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I have several pots of plants around the front patio and many of them are full of colour too.

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I wish the vegetable garden was as well ordered, unfortunately the weeds are winning there at the moment so more work needed!!

visit us at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Sunny spring walk at Otterhead Lakes

Today was a glorious Spring day with blue skies and brilliant sunshine.  We decided a walk at Otterhead Lakes was in order. The scenery is always beautiful. We walked down to the first lake and a pair of swans were gracefully gliding over the water.

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There was plenty of water rippling down the steps creating a waterfall.

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We carried on following the water’s path to the little bridge where we posed.

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And then further along the path to the second lake.

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On our return the swans had come up closer.

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Neil’s sister Carole was with us.

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After our most enjoyable walk we made our way to the Candlelight pub for a quick pre lunchtime drink.  The pub was busy with lunchtime diners and there was a great atmosphere.

If you want to come and see the local delights near Lodge House B&B, look us up at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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