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Witches brew?

asked by sozzygee on

I made some elderberry gin last weekend for the first time, but now I'm worried that it may not be safe to drink! I microwaved the washed berries for 2 minutes before putting them in a kilner jar with sugar and gin, but some of the berries are not fully ripe and there are very small bits of twig in there (very fine, like hair). I'm hoping that the cooking will have killed off the toxins, but I'm not sure about the unripe berries and the tiny bits of stem. Can anybody help please? I'm very new to all this hedgerow foraging malarkey! Thank you.

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Dry cure bacon

asked by hamandsausagesisthebest on

I have been making bacon using the River Cottage method for the last few months.
Last month I bought a 2.5kg pork belly from my usual supplier an cured it as usual.
This time,the first, I found it hard to get it to dry out. On slicing today I found a blood clot which I cut out (as I didn't think that it would fry very well!).


Is the bacon safe to use?
Will it taste as good?


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Curing air dry hams in same room as soft cheese

asked by Brian Robert on

I have enjoyed making cheese and curing meats.
I now have a cold room with great humidity (85%) and 10/12 C temperatures.
I wonder if you can help with a question please. The cold room now has
air dried hams maturing (between 4 and 8 months old now) and I would like
to be making more soft cheeses.
Can I move my Camemberts out of the separate drying area (17/18 C) into
this cold room to ripen. Will the meat maturing matter/ hinder the cheeses?

It would be very kind if you can help or comment.

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Signed picture of Hugh for my butcher shop

asked by Bakesthebutcher on


Hugh is one of my food hero's and i would love to know where i could buy a signed picture of Hugh similar to the cover of his "MEAT" book which i have a copy of.

Many thanks!!

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Food Intolerance

asked by Noel G Crump on

Good afternoon,

I have the triple 'whammy' of being intolerant to food and drink with either gluten, yeast or dairy in them. Do you have book of recipes for people like me, or possibly point me at some recipes that may help to brighten up my eating life.

Many Thanks

Noel G Crump

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Sloe gin

asked by sozzygee on

Hi, I bottled some sloe gin last night, but despite washing the sloes twice and picking them over before bottling, on shaking the jar this morning I noticed a couple of tiny worm-like creatures floating in there! Should I do anything about this?

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hello there my name is lizzy i'm new to river cottage site but not new all together iv followed for years and years when you first started out :) .... hoping i can get a help cos im puzzled what to do ..... im a jam maker but got to much fruit and want to freeze it if i boil it down in kg weights at a time siv and de'stone it but in stead of going to the next stage adding the sugger if in stead i put it in pour and store bags an froze it would this be okay of wreck the fruit to make in to jam later on in winter time on bad days farmers wife to be cold do with a bit off addvice please :) x kind regards lizzy

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khaki campbell ducks!

asked by country lassy on

hi all i have a question hopefully you can help me with?
a friend bought me 6 ducks all brown but 2 or 3 have markings on the wing feathers does this mean they could be males?as i purely want these ducks for the eggs not breeding.

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Epine Aperitif - 'Booze' book recipe

asked by greenbough on

I've just made up the epine recipe from the booze book with a tightly packed 500ml of blackthorn leaves which John Wright said are harmless (in relation to the cyanide in other prunus species).

I then stumbled upon the recipe (again by John Wright) on the guardian website which states not to exceed the 500ml leaf quantity due to the cyanide in the leaves, is it safe to increase the amount or not?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, I wouldn't usually worry with varying quantities, however, the cyanide element has me a little concerned!


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asked by ElisaJane on

I need a central dish with wow for a vegetarian Christmas, I've started looking now so I can practice cooking it. Ideas please. All the veggie dishes I do now look like a series of side dishes!

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