If you are somebody who hate’s throwing things away..anything away at all, then maybe you can relate to the disquiet I felt this weekend at that very prospect! Angst turned to a feeling of quiet satisfaction at having found some very do-able little projects to avoid that which I dread! Wasting anything! The subject this time raspberries – the end product, raspberry gin!
This week it was my turn, my turn to bake the cake for the school’s weekly cake raffle. Doesn’t sound too dreadful does it? We have a weekly cake raffle, people buy tickets, mums (usually) bake cakes! School raises money. Happy days. Until you factor in the tiny complication that I can’t actually bake – well nothing that anybody would want to eat anyway!
Weeks of contemplating what was the thing that could go the least wrong and I came up with Peach Melba Squares courtesy of BBC Good Food – tried, tested and usually actually quite nice. Of course I hadn’t reckoned with the violet the objection of my daughter! If it isn’t chocolate, it just doesn’t count mummy!
Having already despatched my husband to buy the ingredients, I already had peaches and raspberries in abundance – wasting these was not an option, so a quick Google search delivered me a happy compromise – raspberry and white chocolate muffins! No peaches, but a quick dash to the corner shop for a bar of Milky Way, and the vital chocolate ingredient is incorporated. A successful cake raffle came to pass and I hope Darius enjoyed his relatively healthy prize!
Stress over! For another year! Except…except, that my husband rather over-shopped on the raspberry front. And to me raspberries are such things of beauty I cannot bear for a single one to be wasted! I start to feel a small amount of angst attached to the surplus punnet of raspberries nestling and deteriorating at a rapid speed in the bottom of my fridge! More baking takes place – this time the aforementioned peach melba squares perfect to take to a friend’s house as an offering in exchange for cuddling her baby goat. But even after the peach melba squares are made, we still have half a punnet left!!
After admiring baby goat and her mother, English goats both – an ancient breed – conversations about goats milk, goats cheese, angora wool and other lovely country cottagey subjects inevitably lead us onto the subject of gin! My friend suggests to me that raspberry gin is a thing of ease to concoct, and I remember that I have a handbag sized bottle of Gordon’s perfect for the job. Barely 20 minutes after my return from our visit, gin, raspberries and caster sugar are mixed and the final raspberries are put to very good use indeed!
For me, this particular gin has a beautiful story attached to it, honeyed no doubt by a beautiful sunshine filled afternoon and some special times with goats! So surely it deserves a name! Now having got into trouble for calling our blackberry gin, Forager’s gin (with many apologies to the Snowdonia Distillery), I will tread more carefully with this one. In tribute to my friend Lizzie, I have to name this little tipple Sussex Blush – some might say, Sussex Hot Flush might be more appropriate, but after a beautiful afternoon enjoying the very best that Sussex has to offer, with a lovely lady and her herds, Sussex Blush gin it is! Now I must remember to drink it!
HOW TO MAKE SUSSEX BLUSH GIN
If you’d like to have a go at making some Sussex Blush, here is how I made it:
- 125g of raspberries (unglamorously stuffed into a small preserving bottle)
- 25g of caster sugar
- 200 ml of Gordon’s gin
- Mix together in the bottle, and turn every day for a fortnight!
- Drink in the garden on a sunny Sussex afternoon!
Sussex Blush Raspberry Gin
And don’t forget to save the boozy berries – left at the bottom of the bottle – perfect for mixing with a champagne/prosecco!