December 12, 2020

Blackberry cordial

In nine days we will reach the winter solstice. Here at the manor, we're already looking forward to the earth's shift toward daylight. The weeknight evenings are dark, long, and boring. We chat endlessly about the things we want to do when magical spring, and warmer days, arrive. Daylight hours on the weekends are precious. The moments warm enough to be outside are at a premium in December. 

It's not a big leap of logic to discover the long evening chats often revolve around food. "What's for dinner" is a dangerous question to ask this time of year. Quite often one gets a snarl for a reply. It's nothing personal. We're simply tired of being cooped up, tired of television, and yes, tired of eating. 

It's winter. We eat to survive, not enjoy a meal together. I'm back to spending time on Pinterest, looking for new and interesting recipes. I stumbled across a pin of blackberry cordial, something a former colleague used to make and decided to give it a try. This is what winter boredom can cause - food experimentation. 

Making a cordial is pretty straightforward. It's fruit, sugar, and booze. Methods vary, but my old buddy followed a simplistic recipe. Put the berries in a quart mason jar, add one cup of sugar, and muddle. Then cover with vodka and allow to steep for six months. Strain to remove the pulp and drink. He started his during berry season so it was ready for Christmas. If this works for me, I'll do the same next year. A little cordial is a good prescription for a long, dark winter evening.  

My friend has been gone for over a decade now but I often think of him. My cordial will lack one crucial ingredient, the taste of his friendship, but maybe it will have the flavor of his memory. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

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