Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Three months in...

It only seems like yesterday when we arrived in France to start our new life in Normandie, but three and a half months have passed in the blink of an eye.

I imagined that I would be blogging every aspect of my new life, but living it seems to take up so much time!! I have inherited a vegetable plot for a season which is so theraputic to dig, listening to the birds in the trees and the gentle babble of the stream which flows at the end of the garden.
For a serial townie, moving to the countryside is new and exciting, finding exotic wildlife is such a treat. The lizard basking in the warm sun on the doorstep, or the fire salamander hiding in the soil as I was digging the garden.

Following the progress of nature as the seasons unfold and using the goodies found in the hedgerow to make jellies and salads is the best part.
Yesterday I started the first step in making Dandelion Jelly. This sounds so ordinary but looks like pure sunshine in a jar and tastes like golden honey. I picked 400 dandelion heads and separated out the petals to steep in 1.5 litres of water.
This was brought to the boil and then covered and left to cool, preferably overnight.
Then, strain the petals and discard, adding 1.5Kg of preserving sugar and the juice of a lemon.

Boil rapidly for around an hour until the liquid starts to thicken and coat the spoon, taking care not to let it get on your skin.
Fill sterilised jars and leave to cool, then enjoy the taste of summer.

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