First off, Watermelon vs Butternut Squash. You decide:
Never has a Battle Royale been so stationary. I went down to inspect them and not a sausage. Karin suggested they were behaving like the toys in Toy Story and since then, I’ve only looked at them obliquely, but still nothing. After a thorough going over back in the house, I couldn’t detect any overt vampiric markings, like blood on the rind. Or fang marks. Having said that, the squash did smell a lot more squashy this afternoon, but that might have been because I squished it coming back through the front door. They’re now nestled next to the mangolds, with nine days to go before their possible transformation.
Next. On the first Tuesday of August, the good people of Egton Bridge, North Yorkshire hold the annual Egton Bridge Old Gooseberry Show, reportedly the oldest gooseberry show in the world. Only this year, of course it was cancelled. But as I am quite partial to a goosegog, I thought I would do something gooseberry inspired. Like make gooseberry gin.
Rookie mistake. The gooseberry season is tiny, just a couple of weeks. This I didn’t know. So the punnets I saw last week, had vanished by this. I tried to find them yesterday and again today, my local greengrocer even had a look for me at the market this morning. But nope, nowt. So I cheated and bought a tin.
Tinned gooseberries are the wrong colour and eye-wateringly sweet. When biting into a gooseberry, one is supposed to experience the wince of tart, not the nostril flare of syrup. I figured this meant I didn’t have to add any extra sugar. And making gooseberry gin is easy. You mix gooseberries with gin. There really isn’t much more to it than that.
Although I suppose it was quite cathartic stabbing all the gooseberries so they could ooze in the booze. My gin jar is now cupboard bound, waiting on a gentle daily shake for the next week or so. And I am very much looking forward to tasting it. I might even open it on Vamp Night to toast the newly turned veg. Or to pair it with a lovely butternut squash risotto and watermelon salad. Who can tell.