About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Gorse flower wine

Yesterday I was feeling rubbish and, having gone into town and failed to do what we went for (the bank refused to make the transaction), Ian and I went for a walk along the sea front and a little way up the steeper part of the coast path beyond. Although it was a dull day, the gorse flowers were blazing and I started to feel better.

I've been meaning to start another batch of wine brewing, but it's been so cold in our house that I'm not sure the yeast would ferment. Now the weather's getting a bit warmer, though, the conservatory might be OK, and someone had suggested gorse flower wine...

I pulled a carrier bag from my pocket and started picking. After about half an hour (during which time Ian had exchanged a few work emails via Blackberry, from a bench by the coast path), Ian suggested we ought to head back to the car, as the weather was getting worse. I say suggested - he followed this suggestion fairly quickly with action, knowing me well enough to guess that I wouldn't stop picking if he hung around and waited. I followed!

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's recipe calls for five pints of gorse flowers in the eight litres of water I'll be using (size of bucket). I have this many:

gorse flowers in a bag
Some gorse flowers.

I don't know how much that is, but there's no way it's five pints. Luckily, Andy Hamilton over on Selfsufficientish reckons only 2-3 cups of flowers. That's more like it! I more-or-less followed Andy's recipe, though with only two lemons instead of four (well, it was fine for the elderflower champagne) and I did add some wine yeast, having finally bought some recently.

Note: If you start with eight litres of water and add one kilo of sugar, you will end up with somewhat more than eight litres of sugary water. The difference transferred itself to the kitchen floor, which we then stuck to every time we walked across it, until I had a second - more thorough - attempt to clean it up.

Eight and a bit litres of wine-in-the-making are now sitting in the conservatory, gently bubbing. At least, there were bubbles this afternoon, when the sun was out. It may have slowed a bit by now.


  1. I was only thinking yesterday "I wonder if Rachel tried to pick the gorse flowers...?"

    There are stacks here!


  2. You inspired me, Louise!



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