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      October 2011 > An ‘Indian Summer’ in North Yorkshire

An ‘Indian Summer’ in North Yorkshire

Helen picking sloesIt’s very warm here at the moment – as I believe it is right across the UK – and I’m sure I’ve just seen a Mohawk raiding party leaving Malton*! Must have been the heat-haze, but this weather makes me long for the summer we never really had – oh, to wander down quiet lanes, picking fruits from the burgeoning hedgerows beneath a gloriously hot sun and deep blue sky.

Maybe I should have joined my colleagues who have been out these last few days collecting sloe berries for home-made sloe gin. I wonder if our current weather patterns are good for berries, for the bushes seem very heavily laden and the fridge in the staff kitchen downstairs is full to bursting with tupperware boxes of sloes. Apparently, it’s a popular autumnal pastime according to this local online guide.

Here are some helpful instructions on how to make sloe gin, supplied by Maureen from our Customer Service Team:

  • ♦ Pick your sloes from blackthorn hedges in October or November when they are most ripe - probably after the first frosts (they’re looking pretty good already).
  • ♦ Take a litre bottle of gin – and drink half of it! (well, perhaps not all at once!)
  • ♦ Cut or prick the sloes and drop into the half-empty bottle so that they displace the remaining gin to near the top;
  • ♦ Add one wine goblet of sugar;
  • ♦ All you have to do now is turn or agitate the bottle daily for a week, then weekly for a month or two ... by which time it will be ready to drink.

Meanwhile, on the office lawn, the croquet set is out again – we didn’t think we’d be seeing that again for a long, long time. This really is an idyllic place to work and we love it here! What better way to spend your lunch break than sitting in the sunshine watching a genteel game of croquet, the sound of wood on ankle bone the only noise to disturb the peace and quiet of the North Yorkshire countryside. Sheer bliss…

Croquet at Inntravel, North Yorkshire

*One of several very similar theories is that it is a term that originated from raids on European colonies by Indian (Native American) war parties; these raids usually ended in late autumn (due to snow-covered ground) or after a severe frost, hence summer-like weather in the late autumn or mid-winter was an ‘Indian Summer’, a time when raiding parties could be expected.

Posted: 29/09/2011 15:55:50 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: gastronomy, heritage, nature, UK

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