Thursday, 14 July 2011

Overheating, Jam making in the garden & Booze, Booze, Booze

My goodness the weather has taken a turn for the better, or worse depending on an individuals tolerance to heat! Personally I love it but it makes doing anything at all very difficult! Oh it's such a hard life;D Nigel spends a couple of hours every day naked, cooling off in the pool or relaxing by it hahaha, mind you most of the day is spent working very hard as everything he does is physical & in this heat he is entitled ;D;D;D
Plums, plums, plums, plums, plums, plums, plums! Its plum season here, the small damson type. three types at the moment but not the victoria plummy purple plum just yet. We have small red/blush plums, small white plums & even smaller red plums in our garden & all around the village. Nigel has been picking the plums from our property every day 2.5 - 5 kilo a day, with still more to harvest :)
We have also been scrumping from the village, got 14 kilo's yesterday, as I am making lots of plum brandy, schnapps & liqueur, yummy :) We make our own wine every year from our small vinyard & off course after the wine we develop mush into Rakia.
Slivovitsa ( Slee-vo-vee-tsah) fermenting process.

 I have also been making the jam every day which has been difficult in this heat with temps in the evening of 30c, forget making anything in the day! Nige has fixed me up an outside cooking area with our camping gas cooker,, as the kitchen is unbearable while cooking now even with the door open & the extractor hood & room fan on! I have managed to cook dinner & quite a few batches of said jam out there.
I have turned to making the booze now though as we have so many gallons of home made Rakia (Bulgarian brandy) which has matured beautifully :) We get great compliments from Bulgarians, Russians & English. We even sent some to England to a Rakia loving friend & he loved it saying it was the best he had tasted & he has only had bought over the counter Rakia's, So a real compliment. As we will be brewing the next batch in September/October, I decided to make some flavoured brandies & liqueurs from it & also have kirsch maturing away :)  Nigel thinks I am mad as we very rarely drink, never just on our own & very little when entertaining (mind you we don't need much Rakia) but I love the making of it. Same with the wine we have gallons coming out of our ears but its gorgeous now as it has matured & people really enjoy it, I also use some in cooking :)
Next on my list is plum muffins & I have an idea for a new batch so if they are successful I will be blogging it in my food blog, http://www.bulgarianvillagerecipes/ the link is down the side of this blog page :D
We are visiting friends on Friday & I will be making some for them, I hope they turn out ok but I do have a standby trusted recipe to make too, just in case but I am sure they won't mind being my guinepig's :D
We popped in to meet Karen who owns the cave book store, in Veliko Tarnovo, last week. Its a great shop where we English speakers can buy books we can read. Obviously we are starved of reading matter here as the shops are not going to sell English speaking books, Although saying that I did actually find a Martina Cole book a couple of years ago along with a small handful of other books in a book  shop in VT, but this is a real rarity. Having a place we can go & find a new book is great, they also sell some at a car boot that is held once a month, near Veliko Tarnovo. I am blessed with a full book load at the moment though as I bought a sack full of them off Ebay & Nigel drove them back when he came home after spending 6 months working in UK last year :)
Karen was telling Nigel about talking books & Nigel, who has only read three books in his life, has now gone on the rampage looking for books to download! First his MP3 player broke, then his Clio has a faulty memory card or something, not a happy man.......Until he remembered my Clie. So now he has some 6 books downloaded & is currently listening to A Christmas Carol :D Bless him, he is such a techie It appeals to his nature, whereas I love books & need to own something I can hold & read myself.
So village life here now is all about the Fruit & veg tending it, harvesting it & quickly preserving it. For me that is about it but for villagers its a different matter as they grow enough food to see them through the winter. Our friend Yovo has a thousand Tomato plants to our 100!!!!!!! His day starts at 5am tending his crops & animals & finishes at 9pm after a 2 hour  siesta at lunch time. He has goats chickens & turkeys. He used to have sheep & Pigs but he had someone break in & steal them so he sticks to breeding & eating his goats now! A lot of ex pats also have animals usually Pigs, donkeys & almost everyone has chickens. A lot have horses, if you are a horse lover its the perfect fit here as your property would have room & the horses need love & people to care for them. We are sticking to domestic animals :) well we say domestic they are free'er than that, 5 cats & 4 dogs all dogs are rescued. We moved here with just 1 cat, then was adopted before we walked through the gate on arrival from th UK :) Saskia, as we named her, then proceeded to get pregnant & produced 3 kittens who are now 2 yrs old. Enough is enough I say hahaha No chickens for me as there is no way I want to traipse down to the chicken houses in 3' snow to clean & feed them, Nope!!!!

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