Hello & welcome to my Blog.
I came up with the idea of this blog as I had been writing a cookery book for my Children after my eldest Son Simon left home and would ring me for all his favourite recipes. I thought that this way it would be easier to update & where ever they were they could cook their favourite recipes. This blog is that index card box of scribbled recipes, torn out recipes from magazines, lost somewhere in the house, all brought neatly together in one place.
What I didn't expect was the thousands of people that have looked at it since its creation, from all over the World, I have even created a Facebook fanpage so that I can chat to fellow foodies who have enjoyed the blog!
I really hope you enjoy the recipes, please feel free to post comments or recipes and I just want you to know that all recipes have been cooked time & time again by myself and all photographs, where possible, have been taken by me of the food that I have cooked.
I apologise in advance for any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, I bake better than I write.
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Apricot and Lavender Liqueur
Summer has been a bit hit and miss this year as far as the weather is concerned but on a personal level it has been one of the best summers ever, this is partly due to our gorgeous new house and beautiful garden but also due to me having the first summer holidays off with Luca in five years and that has made this summer so precious. We have spent a summer of creating memories, many, as is the usual case with us have evolved around food, the recipe below is no exception.
I love 'Country Living' magazine and one of the first sections I always turn to when a new edition arrives is the cooking section, I love the seasonal rustic food and always the stunning photography.
August 2012 edition dropped through the letter box and I swiftly turned to the cooking pages and found this gorgeous summer menu...
Now sunshine or no sunshine, this menu would evoke a little ray of sunshine on the most darkest and wettest days.
I obviously wanted to cook it all there and then, but felt it deserved an occasion, for example a barmy summers evening, just Hubby and I, under one of the apple tree's, pretty bunting blowing lazily in an early evening breeze, table beautifully set, fairy lights festooned around.... !
Well that was the original plan, but barmy summer evenings have been few, so we brought the little garden table into the middle lounge, dressed it with candles and flowers, Hubby cooked, I made the liqueur and dessert and we had such a beautiful evening, which I would like to thank Hubby for as I know the food was not really his cup of tea, but I just LOVED it.
The layering of fragrant flavours through out this menu makes every mouthful taste different and is just so romantic. The liqueur was unlike others that I have made in the past, normally I use just vodka, but often find that this is far to over powering when working with delicate flavours, this recipe uses wine as well and the balance works so perfectly. So well in fact that I applied the recipe to other liqueurs.
This liqueur will keep for up to a year and put into pretty bottles, decorated with ribbons and a few sprigs of lavender would make a fantastic foodie gift or a personal homemade wedding favour. I think that this entire menu would be fantastic for a rustic country summer wedding.
Enjoy 3 tablespoons in a chilled bottle of fizz of your choice and you have the perfect summer kir even if we don't have the perfect summer.
(If anyone knows where I can buy a gorgeous bottle like the one in the photo please drop me a line, thank you)
250g granulated sugar
350ml dry white wine
1 sprig lavender
250g apricots, halved & stoned
150ml vodka or eau de vie
Put the sugar and wine into a saucepan and heat gently until dissolved.
Add the lavender and apricots. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently until the apricots are tender.
Remove from the heat and stir in vodka. Leave to cool.
Pour into a lidded container (I used my largest Kilner jar), cover and infuse for a week in a cool place.
Strain the liqueur through a sieve lined with a double layer of muslin (if you don't have muslin, a clean tea towel or Jeyes cloth work just as well), then decant into sterilised bottles. Seal and store in a cool dry place for a month.
Decant liqueur again, this time through coffee paper, into freshly sterilised bottles.
To make a kir, pour a measure of liqueur (about 3 tablespoons) into a champagne glass and top up with Prosecco, Cava or Champagne.
It also makes a refreshing less boozy drink mixed with soda.