When out walking Jodie and Peter, our Greyhounds, I often bump into other dog walkers and stop for a chat. On my regular morning amble after I've walked my son to school I meet two very lovely ladies, Paula and Adele, with their dogs, Rusty and Bunty. Usually we talk about how the dogs are getting on and how sweet they are. Rusty is a playful Airedale Terrier and Bunty is an adventurous chocolate brown labrador. They seem to love each other very much and there is a strong bond of friendship between the dogs themselves and their owners. his week I made Adele and Paula a brooch of their respective dogs.
Owning and caring for a dog truly is one of life's greatest pleasures.
I made this wreath a while back... now its taking a turn on the front door. I cut the hares from felt and glued them on to a simple willow circle. I've used blu tac to secure it in place, now the gales have died down it should be ok.
The more I learn about Lemon Balm, the more marvellous it becomes. I usually brew up a cup of lemon balm tea when I feel the need (which is quite often), during the spring and summer months when it grows rampantly in our back garden. It is renound for its anti-anxiety and stress relieving properties, but has also proven to improve mental performance and mood. This information is backed up with hard scientific evidence and it is being investigated as a treatment for Alzheimers. It is also antibacterial and antiviral and is thought to calm muscle tissue.
With all this in mind and alot of the stuff going in the garden I decided to try making some beer, by adapting a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe for nettle beer. First I picked a decent bunch of Lemon Balm:
Next I chopped it up with some scissors and added it to a large pan with about 3 pints of water. I brought the mixture to the boil for a few minutes, then turned off the heat and allowed it to infuse for about 45 minutes.
Let it brew.
Next I used a seive and spoon to fish out the leaves to leave a clear solution.
Take the leaves out now.
Then I added 210g of caster sugar, 8g cream of tartar,1 tablespoon orange juice,1tablespoon lemon juice.
the other ingredients.
Once the mixture had cooled down to roughly body temperature I added about 1g of ordinary baking yeast. I put the pan with its lid on in our airing cupboard, above the hot water tank, which was the only place I could think of that was reasonably warm, most of the time. It will stay there for about 3 days, then I will bottle it and wait another few days before sampling it.
I shall report back on the quality of what must surely be the ultimate health drink! For me anyway.