Sunday, 30 June 2013

Strawberries a Sure Sign its summer

Its been hot hot hot here in Peterborough a lovely summery day and there is a lovely summery strawberry smell emanating from my kitchen which is slowly scenting the whole house.  Jam you ask, but  surprisingly no - not on this occasion although it is on the list.  Last week I bought some strawberries to make some jam they have been on offer at the Cooperative two boxes for £2 so I bought some to turn into  jam and unfortunately it did not get made.  My mum has been in hospital with suspected blood clots on her lung and I have been up to the hospital most nights to sit with her.  But she is now home and it is not what the Doctors thought and she is on the mend.

Arrgh all those strawberries gone to waste.  Not so it is a happy mistake as I have decided to make a couple of gallons of strawberry wine (Hopefully I should get about 8 bottles 4 per gallon or thereabouts).  I am from a family who has made wine for as long back as I can remember; mostly country wines made with the excess from the smallholding my grandparents had or whether my mum got a bargain locally or whether the natural larder provided i.e. nettles, wild plums, wild cherries etc.

My grandmother was a prolific and extremely talented wine maker; as was my mother, but when mum was diagnosed with liver disease she stopped making it and stopped drinking it too (although the disease she has is cirrhosis of the liver it is not caused by drinking alcohol but by fibres growing in her bile ducts and strangling the liver (Primary Biliary Cirrhosis) - an auto immune disease response).  One Transplant later - 24 years on and mum is still chugging along thank goodness.

 And me -  I just play at it from time to time.  I have never got rid of the equipment and it i kept to bring out into service whenever the fancy arrives. I notice that Lakeland are now selling wine making and beer making equipment; however most of my essentials are sourced from Wilkinsons although there are plenty of Internet companies out there also.

We did grow up having either Nan's or Mum's home made wine with Sunday dinner.  From about the age of 10 we were allowed a glass - only with our dinner and under strict supervision; like French children are allowed to.

Anyway I digress.  I have made Strawberry wine before and it is very sweet but very flavourful. The Strawberries are all crushed up and soaking in a sterilised bucket in the bathroom.  I have 2 gallons of wine on the go and I have to tend to it twice a day for 5 days after which it is decanted into a demijohn(s) and then left for a couple of months to ferment out before bottling.  I have since found the link to this lovely site with a few recipes and further links for those of you wanting to head into unknown territory and try something new.

I am going to make some Strawberry jam later on I make crushed Strawberry jam and it is very tasty and is good as a cake filling as well as on hunks of toast.   I also want to freeze some Strawberries  but first I need a new Freezer.  I still have not got one and it is impacting heavily as I do use my Freezers an awful lot.  I also want to bottle some Strawberries up in syrup for the winter months.

I am also going to start the Rumptopf off with some Strawberries of course for Christmas this year and have other items on the Agenda and to keep you on tenterhooks they will be covered in a separate post.

Catch you all later on.




  1. Hello Tricia!
    I'm so happy to see you're still blogging away and creating all those delicious treats, even though I'm still a little too far away to try :) I'm glad to hear your mom is healing and that you're able to spend that time with her. The strawberry wine sounds wonderful...take care and blessings to you and yours x

  2. How productive you're being - I love strawberries in any form. Don't think I've ever had strawberry wine but it sounds delicious!

  3. I can just smell those strawberries! I "play" at winemaking - going long spells without making any and then turning all the surpluses into something alcoholic. I am going to make myself some Elderberry Syrup this afternoon (I have a big bag in the freezer from last year), as I have read it will help my immune system, so I reckon it is much needed.

    I hope your mum continues to make good progress.

  4. Hope your Mom is feeling better, sorry to read she has been so poorly.
    I've started my very first rumtopft... though it's a vodkatopft as that was the only alcohol I had!
    Loads of love
    Rose H


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