Monthly Archives: April 2012

Wet and Wild


Poppies in bloom near Arnos Vale

Yet another treasure trove of more wild garlic than one could possibly know what to do with! Right on the door step. Lots of food for free…




The crafting of the Barrel BBQ is finally complete!

Drum Cut in half, painted,  hinged together; complete with air vents, supporting legs, handle and grill. A few modifications maybe required but all in all a successful first attempt!

Rhubarb Wine Recipe


Rhubarb wine recipe by John Wright

Rhubarb wine fementing. Photograph: John Wright

Rhubarb wine recipe

Rhubarb wine fementing. Photograph: John Wright

This simple recipe produces one of the best wines I know – fruity, crisp, slightly sweet and very powerful. While I was bottling some up last Friday my friend Alan came round. I can’t quite remember when he left.

1.5kg rhubarb
1.3kg sugar
250ml white grape juice concentrate
1 sachet general purpose white wine yeast
1 tsp yeast nutrient
(the more esoteric items are available from high street homebrewing shops or online from places such as

Wash the rhubarb, then chop finely into 6mm lengths. Place in a sterilised, food grade bucket and stir in the sugar. Cover with a lid or a clean tea towel and leave for three days. I forgot mine for a week and it started to go a bit mouldy on top – not that it seems to have done any harm.

Crush the pulp with the end of a rolling pin then stir in three litres of boiled but cooled water. Strain through sterilised muslin into another clean bucket, add the grape juice concentrate and make it up to 4.5 litres with more water. Add the yeast (activate it if necessary first) and the yeast nutrient.

Cover and leave for a week. Siphon into a clean demijohn and add a bubble trap.

Rhubarb wine ready for bottling. Photograph: John Wright

After three or four weeks “rack off” into another demijohn (this disposes of the muddy stuff at the bottom which can taint the wine). Any shortfall should be made up with a sugar syrup made from boiled water, three parts, to sugar, one part, and allowed to cool.

When all fermentation has stopped siphon into clean bottles. It is ready immediately though patience may have its reward.

In the pink – rhubarb wine. Photograph: John Wright

The bottles pictured here show a slight “haze”. Early rhubarb, like the rhubarb I used, can suffer from “pectin haze”. I added the enzyme “pectolase” when I noticed it, but evidently not enough. Still tastes great though.

Foraging finds



We found all these lovely delights at Ashton Court in Bristol. Wild Chives, Garlic, Nettle and Dandelion.

A lovely soup of Chive, Garlic, Nettle, salt and a knob of butter was inevitable.

Dandelion Coffee – Made by roasting the dandelion root to a brittle finish and grounding up into a fine powder. A great coffee substitute but without the caffeine.