Blackberry Vodka


A while ago, my Granny’s neighbour passed away leaving a hugely overgrown garden chock full of blackberries.  I’m not one to pass up a chance to snaffle up nature’s bounty, and since Granny was friendly with her neighbour, yesterday we went scrumping.  I came home with at least a couple of kilos of blackberries (and a terracotta plant pot.  Well, it’s not as if it’s going to be missed) , most of which are in my freezer for future crumbles and cakes.

But 600g of which are fermenting in a kilner jar along side 300g of sugar and a bottle of vodka.  I do like fruit liquours and since I had such a huge abundance of blackberries I decided to have a bash at it.

So, assemble your ingredients

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Pulled Pork. Best thing ever. Fact.

Last week, Ross had his birthday. As much as I don’t always enjoy my birthday (I am going to be twenty-seven forever), I do love to celebrate other people’s birthdays, and I really love to throw a party.

(You may have got that gist from the immense effort I put into Ruby’s third birthday, and the huge and beautiful joy I got from knowing she had such a lovely day.)

So, for Ross’ birthday, the kids and I gave him a barbecue, and threw him a party.  We had some people round, there was a nice selection of beers, and it rained so we borrowed a gazebo, because Chapmans barbecue whatever the weather.  We don’t let a bit of rain stand in the way of our grilling, no sir. And it gave me a chance to go all festival chic, with my pretty Cath Kidston wellies and summer dress.

I love a barbecue, probably because it means it’s someone else cooking for a change, but this time, what I really really looked forward to was the oven roasted pulled pork I made, incase it did prove too wet to grill outside (it did not). It’s not my personal recipe, and let it be said right now, this is no quick supper.  To make this you need time, and a fair bit of it.  But it was so so amazing that it would be a crime against food not to share it.

  • 3 tablespoons of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar (I used dark brown soft for this)
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 3 tablespoons coarse salt
  • a nice shoulder of pork, with the rind on and a generous amount of fat still on.  I used about 6lbs meat this time and it served approximately 15 people.

Mix together all the ingredients for the spice blend and rub into the pork.  Leave to marinate for as long as you can.  But preferably overnight.  I had the pork in a glass casserole dish with a lid and every time I opened my fridge this amazing smell hit me, and lingered in my kitchen.

When you come to cook it, preheat the oven to 150 degrees C.  If you have a roasting trivet, stick the pork on that in a large roasting tin and cover with foil. Roast for at least 6 hours.

You know it’s ready when you can stick 2 forks in the joint and pull it apart, hence the name; pulled pork.  There will be a lot of the cooking juices in the bottom of the pan, shred the pork in these juices to keep it deliciously moist and succulent.

Serve it in rolls with barbecue sauce.


I wish I had taken photos to document this epic pork, but I was too busy eating it. So there are none. Sorry.