We love this tree, although it is getting very tall… (The crows love sitting at the top in the early morning and serenade me at breakfast!) You can see the hazel catkins below it, already fully out despite the snow. I have even seen some pollen flying. Winter meets spring…
Requires plenty of damp grey weather, loves rain or snow, is frost hardy, tolerates shade, does not need pruning, nor feeding…
Soon after moving here we removed the ugly evergreens threatening to take over the rockery. This tree stump is one of the last to decompose – it’s taken seven years! Perhaps I will finally be able to dig it out this spring…
I am slightly obsessed with raspberries and vanilla at the moment, as you can see…
Melding with vanilla dreams
Icy pink summer
Raspberry Ripple Vanilla Ice Cream
(Really easy, and no machine required!)
220ml (1 cup) cream
110ml (1/2 cup) milk
2 vanilla beans
2 tsps vanilla extract
400g (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
125g (1 cup) raspberries
1 tsp kirsch or vodka
Scrape the seeds of the vanilla beans into the cream, and add the empty bean pods too, and the vanilla extract. Then warm the cream gently. After a few minutes remove from the heat and allow to steep for an hour. Then chill. Once completely cold you can remove the vanilla pods and whisk in the milk and condensed milk.
Puree the raspberries with the kirsch/vodka and strain. You now have approximately 6 or 7 tbsps puree (about 100ml). Swirl this through the vanilla ice cream mix, pour into a freezer container and freeze for at least 8 hours.
The puree tends to rise to the top of the container, but this doesn’t matter. Just make sure your scoops catch a bit of the ripple!
(Tip: tastes even better with fresh raspberries on top! )