With no posting days left until Christmas are you still wondering what presents to get for some people. We often opt for edible gifts in such cases; at least then there’s no unwanted items to get rid of as generously sharing edible presents can be discreetly done if they’re not to your liking!
If you’re in Gloucestershire this weekend and the thought of hitting the High Street for last minute gifts fills you with dread, why not take a drive out to Stroud and visit the Farmers Market. There you’ll find a whole host of interesting and delicious edible gifts including Selsley Foods who kindly sent me their Ginger Beer Plant and Sour Cherry and Vanilla syrup to sample.
I’ve wanted to make Ginger Beer since visiting the Dig for Victory exhibition at the Imperial War Museum. I liked the idea that even during Wartime Britain when families were managing on rations they kept their spirits up at Christmas making treats for the kids like these chocolate biscuits and home-made brews (despite the name Ginger Beer isn’t an alcoholic drink). The Selsley Foods Ginger Beer Plant contains the ingredients needed to create a yeast and ginger starter and all you need to get is a bag of sugar, a bunch of lemons and water. It takes a week of daily feeds for the starter, a few days fermenting and then leaving for a week before sampling. It’s amazing just how naturally fizzy it is and the yeast residue can be reused time and again. I’m keeping my bottle for Christmas week as 5 litres of Ginger Beer is way too much for me to work through on my own. I’m hoping it’s improving with age – the fact that it hasn’t exploded has got to be a good sign right?
At this time of year when cherries are expensive, Selsleys Sour Cherry and Vanilla syrup is a fabulous addition to desserts. We shook our bottle of syrup at some stewed apples and with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream transformed them into a pudding worth talking about. For a couple of days E only wanted his porridge with ”cherry apple on top”. Well who wouldn’t love a cheerful pink blob of fruit to jazz up their breakfast?
With over 30 stall holders regularly at Stroud’s weekly Farmers Market you’re sure to find something (and no doubt come home with a little treat or two for yourself). It’s a shame we can’t make it to the Farmers Market tomorrow, I quite fancy Mulling syrups, as a simple way to make a delicious mulled wine, cider or apple juice. Apparently also nice poured over ice-cream or fruit, added to the Sunday roast gravy or brushed over cocktail sausages apparently. Hey ho, I’ll have to wait until next Christmas to find that out!
Disclosure: I was sent samples from Selsley Foods gift range to try for the purposes of this review. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.