Some of the vodka stash

A peek in the pantry

Its fair to say I am an inveterate hoarder of stuff. All sorts of stuff. Books. Old adminy type things. Christmas and birthday cards. Shoes. Jars. Old kitchen things. Stuff. And more stuff.

This means our house can get quite full and because its an old house there aren’t actually that many places to shove or hide all this stuff. So rooms that are supposed to have other purposes become sort of holding areas for, well, stuff. And then if someone come to visit the stuff gets shuffled about and hidden for a while in a different room only to re-emerge and migrate back to its original position. Two rooms are particularly prone to this hoarding activity: the dining room and the spare bedroom.

Some of the vodka stash

But somewhere on Friday I developed the urge to actually be able to get in the dining room and use it for its proper purpose. And to do this I needed to get all the bottles and jars, empty and full, sorted and in the pantry, which of course was full of random things instead of pantry type things. The pantry is actually off the dining room because originally what we use as a dining room was the kitchen. So things meant for the pantry have a tendency to lurk on the dining room table.

The chutney and pickle stash

I worked away diligently for much of Saturday and Sunday, sorting, getting rid, organising, putting things in boxes, regrouping, dusting, polishing, and on and on. Finally I emerged triumphant. All was sorted, everything in its rightful place and a dining room restored to its proper use, the pantry now pantry like.

Tidy at last

So to celebrate we had a big roast dinner of shoulder of pork, pommes anna, asparagus and white sprouting broccoli. Yum. Oh and couple of nips of some of that lovely flavoured voddy. Here’s the recipe, works with all sorts of fruit including rhubarb (which is in season right now):

My Legendary Fruit Vodka

I don’t use fixed measure for this but ratios.
Select your fruit of choice and weigh it. They tip it in a large glass jar (e.g. a preserving jar with a clip lid).
Add between half to the same weight of sugar (I usually used granulated) depending on how tart the fruit is and how sweet you want the result to be.
Then pour over about 1 ¼ -1 ½ times the volume of vodka as you had weight of fruit; so if you had a 750ml bottle of vodka you’d be looking to find between 500-600g of fruit.
Add any extras you think you’d like, a shaving of lemon peel is good with damsons or sloes.
Stir it all round to get as much as the sugar to dissolve as possible.
Close the jar and leave for a minimum of 6 weeks.
Check regularly and shake to help the sugar dissolve. After the first 6 weeks test the flavour and either leave to extract more flavour or strain and bottle.
Leave the bottle to mature for a further few months minimum. It gets better with age if you can resist for long enough.
  • If you haven’t got a large glass jar but have a glut of fruit you need to use up quickly then put everything a big non-reactive pan, cover and then track down a jar – it’ll be fine for the first few weeks in a pan.
  • You can use gin instead of vodka but remember gin already contains its own aromatics so you’ll get a different flavour. Sloes and damsons work particularly well with gin.
  • If the fruit is quite hard then you need to break the skin to allow the flavours to mix – I do this by putting the fruit in a large freezer bag and bashing it a bit with the rolling pin. If you’ve stoned the fruit (or its a soft fruit) then there’s no need to do this.
  • You might want to strain through muslin or even a coffee filter before bottling if you want a really clear result. If you don’t mind sediment there’s no need to bother.
  • Be wise whom you share the vodka with; once people have tried some they’ll always be angling for another bottle.

16 thoughts on “A peek in the pantry”

  1. Your vodka recipe is absolutely awesome. I’m going to give this a go at the earliest opportunity and I am really not kidding. Nice pantry too.

  2. ooooh I want a pantry…

    and one of those big tall steamers…

    and that white thing…

    and a pink carrier bag holder….

    and yes, the voddy is ADDICTIVE!

  3. Oh for a pantry, especially one filled with such yummy things. Luckily, given what I said earlier about my rhubarb, I have some rhubarb vodka left over from last year. I’ve also got some chilli and cinnaomon vodka which is really hot and works well with just a teaspoon added to a glass of something else. I like a Forkful’s Cocoa Vodka, so might have to try that next.
    .-= Choclette´s last blog ..Chocolate & Peppermint Cupcakes =-.

  4. Linda, ignoring the shoe fetish, and the Mac and WordPress evangelism, I reckon we could be twins! ;)

    PS I spot one of my jars in there, haven’t you eaten it yet?!
    .-= Kavey´s last blog ..Cooking A Crab! =-.

  5. My mum used to have a pantry – HOW I wish I could have a special place to hoard food – alhthough maybe I’d accidentally on purpose lock myself in ;-)

    Great recipe for fruit vodka – definitely something worth locking yourself in a pantry with!

  6. Your house sounds very much like mine, with things finding a ‘home’ in the most unusual and unexpected of places until I get round to doing a major tidy up. Doesn’t help though that my ‘office’ space is based in my pantry!! Although I do (oddly) rather like it there.

    Love the sound of the vodka. I must make some this year.
    .-= George@CulinaryTravels´s last blog ..If Life Throws You A Lemon =-.

  7. Thanks for all the lovely comments :)

    A forkful: I’m going to try rhubarb vodka this year too and interested to know how the cocoa nib turns out.

    Jan: rather too many goodies possibly for two people may be I need to work out a way to swap some of them for different things!

    Helen: It really is lovely and makes a great mixer with fizzy wine. I do love having a pantry wish it was HUGE though.

    Lynne: I think you are meant to say I would like not I WANT ;0

    Choclette: Ah I hadn’t thought of spice based vodkas – more experiments for me :)

    Kavey: shoe fetish? mac and wordpress evangelism? I think you have me mixed up with someone else! Erm *coughs* yes that might be one of yours in there :0

    Katie: Yes the pantry in the first place my husband looks if he can’t find me ;)

    Nic: Sneaky peaks are great aren’t they. When there are houses for sale in our road I always want to pretend I am buying just to get a look. I don’t actually do that of course I just wish I could!

    Alex: well some got thrown away and some got put in the cellar and some of it was just being more organised with the space :) Sadly there are lots of other bits of the house still to tackle.

    George: Office space in the pantry wow that would be dangerous, too tempting I think. Can highly recommend fruit vodkas :)

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