Cooking on a lovely cold Derwent Valley morning

Just had a snow shower here! Wonderful. Must grab the opportunity while it’s so lovely and cold.

On Hester – two different batches of hop yeast being made (one for gluten free bread, the other for ‘normal’ bread). The hops, growing wild, were picked down by the Derwent River, secret location, and then frozen to make beer and yeast for bread during the year.

I can feel an attack of slice making coming on – there’s a pot of apples for an apple slice, and lemon flavoured dates for an old fashioned date slice. There will be likely be some for sale out on the stall at the gate by the weekend.

There’s 5 litres of mint sauce in the jam pan that needs bottling off, and a hotpot for the chickens simmering away on the back.

In the oven there are bones browning off for various stocks I will make later today. The wood stove is ideal for simmering huge potfuls. I’ve taken to making stock all the time – what a huge difference in flavour it makes to savoury dishes.

Then it is high time I used the last of the frozen gooseberries to make sparkling gooseberry for a function we have here in a week or two.

Meanwhile, on the pile of topsoil out at the gate, sits Poppy. Robert went out briefly without her, and so here she sits, dozing and fretting till he comes back again.

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