Tuesday, 6 September 2016

A Birthday Walk....

took us to the Slad Valley - made famous by Laurie Lee in his books "As I Walked out one Midsummer Morming" the sequel to his "Cider with Rosie".
Views of the Woolpack pub - his favourite haunt, his home, and the church where he now lies kept popping into view as we walked high above the valley

Quince trees rested their laden branches along the tops of Cotswold stone walls
and happily I discovered just what I was looking for

 lots of juicey ripe Elderberries sparkling like jewels in the sunlight - the birds have already started devouring them but there were plenty for us all to share - their destination some homemade ice cream
The ground beneath the Hazelnut tree was thick with open shells and unripe nuts - it must have been a busy squirrel, but why did he throw them down before the're ripe? We debated are they hazel, cob, or filbert nuts? the quesion was unresolved.
turning on to the footpath that leads to Laurie's Wood we noticed that the wild Crab-apple branches were struggling with their heavy burden
We entered Laurie's wood and
stumbled across a secret place where the wee folk appear to live
back home a beautiful bouquet was waiting from the little family in Paris♡ and once the ice cream was made
we ate a slice of homemade Tarte aux Pignons (Pinenut Tart) served with the Elderberry ice cream

60 comments:

  1. I'd like the recipe for the icecream - I can't imagine the taste. The crab apples take me back to making jelly with my Mum.

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    1. I made the icecream to the same recipe as here:- http://wherefivevalleysmeet.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/apricot-ice-cream.html
      The elderberries have a flavour a bit like blackcurrants.
      I macerated the elderberries overnight in sugar and then gently stewed them adding just a small amount of lemon. I didn't cook them to a jam consistency but gentle simmered them until they were cooked. Once cold I added them to the icecream mix with a licquer glass of gin. Next time I would probably strain when cooked as they do have a very small pip in the middle of the fruit.

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  2. What a wonderful way and place to spend time (and birthday).
    Wonderful photos.

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    1. Thank you - it is always lovely to be able to take a nice walk in the sunshine especially when the family are with us.

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  3. That was a very nice way to celebrate your birthday, wonderful wood with the wee folk!

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    1. Yes, somebody had been very busy in the woods.

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  4. Hello Rosemary, What a bountiful autumn you are experiencing. Elderberries are common in Ohio; I have experimented with them a few times, but never thought of ice cream. Quinces are rare in America--once I came across one in the woods, loaded with ripe fruit--it must have escaped from a near-by farm. You are lucky to have a birthday at a time when the very season constitutes a gift.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - I always felt that my birthday fell at the wrong time of year when I was a child - just before school started back again, and because I was born on the last day of August I was often a year younger than most in my class.

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  5. A lovely post. This sounds a perfect way to spend a birthday. I'll be out picking elderberries, too, this week so I hope the birds haven't got there first! It is such a beautiful time of year in the countryside. I love the fairy-folks' home and the ice cream and tart looks delicious.

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    1. It is the first time that I have tried making elderberry ice cream and it worked very well - it is a lovely colour too.

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  6. Beautiful place, and again such lovely photos of what you found on your walk Rosemary.
    I love anything with elderflowers - the cordial mixed with sparkling water has been my Summer thirst quencher - but your ice cream, that looks amazing with the beautiful tart. Who needs birthday cake with a French tarte beckoning!!!!

    Happy week dear - mine is full of travel prep. as we'll be off soon. Summer is waning and when we return it will look a lot different here I'm sure.
    Hugs - Mary

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    1. Dear Mary - surprisingly H actually tried his hand at baking and made me a birthday cake too - just a light sponge filled with fresh cream and strawberries. Next year at blossom time I am going to try making ice cream with the elderflower cordial, I think that it should work well.
      I bet you are both excited at your upcoming trip - I need to start making more preparations for ours - I had a jab for Yellow Fever a couple of weeks ago.

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  7. Mmmmm, that last photo is making me hungry. Hungry and curious -- I've never tried either of those particular flavours before.

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    1. Well both flavours are very good and complimented each other well. Elderberries are a bit like blackcurrants - the tart is one that we first came across in the Camargue region of France, but I think that it is also made in Italy too. The filling is made with ground almonds, eggs, and sultanas that have been soaked in Italian Amaretto - almond licquer, and pinenuts - it is very moreish.

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  8. Happy Birthday, that ice cream looks divine. My husband is a big Laurie Lee fan.

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    1. Thank you Mac n' Janet - Laurie is very popular in this neck of the woods and greatly missed.

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  9. Just perfect, Rosemary! Beautiful day, beautiful scenery, fruits, flowers and home made delights.

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  10. A late Happy Birthday to you, Rosemary! I've not visited much of England, but we did take a walk in Frith Wood this summer, and part of the walk included a piece of the Laurie Lee trail. Looking at maps, I see that where you walked was across the roadway from where we walked. It tickles me to see that landscape that I recognize from so far away. It was a blistering hot day for us.
    Your elderberry find ended up deliciously!

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    1. Thank you for your kind greetings Loorie - it seems incredible to me that you were wandering in woods not far from my little corner of the world. If I had known we could have met up.
      The ice cream was a winner with us all.

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  11. Dear Rosemary, It would be difficult to decide if I want to be invited on your magical walk or be invited to have cake and Hollunder ice cream while admiring your beautiful birthday bouquet.
    Happy Birthday again. ox, Gina

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    1. Dear Gina - had you been here you could have done both which would have given me much pleasure.
      Is Hollunder German for Elderberry?

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  12. How perfectly Perfect :) Happy Birthday !

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    1. Thank you very much for your greetings H.

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  13. I'm so glad you had a good day. Elderberry ice cream is a new one on me but it certainly looks delicious!

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    1. I was prompted to try and make some Jessica as we had some when we were in Austria which we enjoyed.

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  14. Had a few holidays years ago wandering around the Cotswolds in autumn and was amazed at how lush it was compared to Scotland with fruit and nut trees everywhere and a much milder climate as your photos show. Read the Laurie Lee trilogy but Cider with Rosie is the best of the three and most evocative. Winifred Foley's A child in the Forest is an equally good account of growing up in the Forest of Dean as is recent film on TV on film 4 'Moonrise Kingdom', a quirky but highly entertaining account of a 1960s childhood in New England which I really enjoyed a few days ago. Like an American Swallows and Amazons but totally original content and very funny.

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    1. I wonder if you saw Cider with Rosie on TV last year it was actually filmed around here and beautifully captures the book. I am off to see Swallows and Amazons next week, and will see if I can get Moonrise Kingdom on 'catch up' - thanks for telling me about it.

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    2. I did see that one but it wasn't as good as the 1998 version with Juliet Stevenson as the mother which was a complete joy. Got that free in a newspaper years ago and it's still the definitive version. The modern one was beautifully shot but didn't have the same warmth and charisma- well, in my opinion. Hope the modern S and A lives up to expectations. Moonrise Kingdom is brilliant and worth sticking with as the two children in it really make that film when they get together. Another great film is The Straight Story which is currently free on You Tube at the moment in full HD.

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    3. Thanks - I did find Moonrise Kingdom on the computer - I nearly abandoned it after 10 mins but stuck with it and I am glad that I did. I will see if I can find The Straight Story.

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    4. It's the same with Straight Story. Slow start but really gets going after 20 minutes when he sets out on the road.

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  15. I was walking to the shops yesterday and thinking, for no particular reason, about Laurie Lee and his books, which I just love, and today you take me to his valley. Lovely.

    The elderberry ice-cream looks wonderful, you are very adventurous with your ice-cream making Rosemary.

    Ms Soup

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    1. I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing Laurie's valley Ms Soup - we had this ice cream in Austria so thought I would try it out myself

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  16. Nice walk to the Valley, bundles of flowers, a piece of tart with ice-cream - perfectly lovely birthday, Rosemary! The clusters of blue-purple elderberries are so beautiful and elderberry ice cream looks so delicious like other ice-cream in your recipe. Red berries of Japanese species, Japanese red elder, are not edible, I think. In Japan where academic year starts in April, my granddaughter born on the first of April is the youngest, a year younger than most in her class like you in your country. Pleasant stumble on the miniatures. Arrietty (The Borrower Arrietty by Studio Ghibli) might be living there but I simply wonder why there is a seahorse.

    Yoko

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    1. Dear Yoko - personally I didn't like being the youngest in my year, but on the other hand I think that it makes you try harder in order to keep up with the older ones.
      I wondered about the sea horse too, but expect it was a little collection belonging to a child.
      Our elder bushes are very useful - we can make a fragrant refreshing cordial with the blossom in the Springtime, and the berries are good for making either wine or cordial, and as I have done ice cream.

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  17. A walk in the Slad Valley, which I imagine is protected from developers, was an idyllic way to spend your birthday. It looks as if time has stood still there. Receiving a beautiful bouquet and making elderberry ice cream from the berries you gathered was an enjoyable ending to your special day.

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    1. I think what you have said does sum up many of the little villages around here Linda - it is as if time has stood still, and long may it continue.

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  18. What a fabulous place!! Whenever I see any photos of this place, that I have never visited, it always looks just as I imagined it did when I read Cider with Rosie all those years ago. You can almost hear the two grannies banging their brooms and shouting at each other! xx

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    1. I wonder if you saw Cider with Rosie on the TV last year Amy, it was actually filmed in the area.
      Hope you have the chance to visit one day.

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    2. What a lovely post, all that ripe fruit , how wonderful nature is ! And that tart with ice cream ....uhmmmm!

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    3. We first tasted pinenut tart in the Carmargue, France, but I think that it actually originates from Italy - the filling is pinenuts, ground almonds, raisins soaked in Amaretto, eggs, butter, and sugar.

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  19. Happy Birthday and what a glorious way to celebrate the day. The fruit crop is rich and plentiful.
    Your birthday torte and ice-cream have me drooling.
    Thanks for sharing Rosemary.

    Helen xx

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    1. Dear Helen thank you for your kind wishes - we seem to be eating lots of fruit from the hedgerows at the moment - the tart and ice cream are all finished now I shall have to make some more.

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  20. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Rosemary! What a lovely walk...the first pictures is like an dream! So beautiful countryside.
    Love from Titti

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    1. Thanks very much Titti for your kind greetings♡

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  21. Happy birthday sweet Rosemary and what a lovely way to spend your day. Such a beautiful walk and your pictures are absolutely stunning. It seems like you're having just as a beautiful and green September as we've here in the south of Sweden. Just lovely! :)

    Thank you for your sweet words on my blog my friend. Words that went straight to my heart and made me smile. Thank you for being such a dear friend.♥

    Happy friday!

    Charlie
    xx

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    1. Thank you for your birthday greetings Charlie - we seem to be enjoying an Indian Summer here at the moment.
      It is always a delight to find a sweet comment here from you - hope you enjoy a lovely weekend, hopefully with your family♡

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  22. Happy belated birthday. What beautiful shots of a beautiful place. Love those Elderberries!

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    1. Thank you Valerie - the Elderberries turned out to be a great hit in the ice cream

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  23. Oh my, what photos! What a lipsmacking post, with luscious fruit and delicious words and a pie and ice-cream that look to die for. A real pleasure dropping by after far too long away! I will be back! Axxx

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    1. Thank you for visiting Annie - it is lovely to see you back again.
      The ice cream was delicious and worked well with the tart.

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  24. It's lovely to see the landscape I remember so vividly from Laurie Lee's books. The secret garden is so magical! The ice-cream and tart looks fantastic. What a good idea to use the same recipe as the apricots to make a loose jam to add to the ice-cream. Sarah x

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    1. As long as it is loose and I also usual add a little bit of alchol too - in this instance some sloe gin.

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  25. Wonderful walk and wonderful shots. My mother used to make a pretty nifty elderberry wine - most efficacious in clearing up the symptoms of colds; I used to get a lot of colds :-) I assume some birthday congratulations are in order - many happy returns!

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    1. Sounds as if it has similar properties to the Sloe gin that my husband makes, he usually has a licquer glass full of it if he has a cold.
      Thanks for your good wishes.

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