Our quarterly e-magazine follows the seasons to showcase the best of Cumbrian food, drink, gifts and crafts. We feature stories about our members and highlight products and gift ideas available online or through the Made in Cumbria shop.
This summer, we explore what our top food and drink producers have in store for us and find out what’s inspiring our celebrated artists and craftspeople.
Autumn is upon us, and with it comes a fresh edition of our e-magazine that follows the seasons.
Over the past few months many of our food and craft producers have been out and about at county shows, farmers markets and craft fairs, chatting with customers, and coming up with new ideas for innovative products that will undoubtedly soon find their way into the Made in Cumbria shop.
We are fortunate to have so much talent and diversity in Cumbria, but then the county has always inspired and nurtured creative people and those who work the land. The county’s iconic landscape exists to be interpreted, photographed, shaped and cherished. The lush land cries out to be farmed and the food begs to be tasted.
Autumn is one of the most peaceful and prettiest time of the year in Cumbria. It’s also one of the most spectacular, the leaves in the valleys turn from vibrant green to beautiful shades of gold, red, bronze and orange creating a different landscape and some truly spectacular views to enjoy.
Nothing can beat a crisp autumn morning walk, somehow the air smells fresher and sweeter, and you can often get the glorious autumnal splendour all to yourself.
As autumn passes and the winter months are upon us, we turn our attention to in a cosy night’s next to a roaring log fire with a warming drink and of course to Christmas!
From to tasty jams, chutneys and pickles to glorious warming pies and crumbles, there are many ways to enjoy the delicious mixture of fruits that are ready to harvest in autumn. In Cumbria the star of the show is the humble damson.
A damson is small and dark purple fruit, with greenish flesh and a tart edge, perfect for making delicious preserves, gin and puddings.
The Lyth and Winster valleys are tucked away in a hidden corner of Cumbria and form a landscape of unspoilt pastoral delights. This is where damsons have been grown and harvested for many years attracting visitors to see the stunning display of white blossom in the spring or to pick the fruit later in the season.
In early spring, vast fluffy clouds of white damson blossom can be seen at every turn, this spectacular, snowy display is marked by Damson Day in April, a hugely popular event that celebrates the damson and brings local producers, growers and craftspeople together.
By autumn, the trees are fully laden with purple fruits and numerous roadside stalls appear to sell the damsons which inspire a wide range of artisan food products. Popular products include Ginger Bakers Luxury Damson Brandy Fruit Cake, Cumbria Delight Damson extra jam, Hawkshead Relish Damson Chutney and Lakeland Liqueurs Lakeland Damson gin.
Looking to give your taste buds a well-deserved treat? The Made in Cumbria Delicious Damson Delight Hamper – £49.00, is a celebration of some of the best homemade Damson products available.
“Cumbria is home to an outstanding variety of seasonal jams and preserves that capture the essence of what traditionally made produce is all about.“
Make your Christmas merry and bright with a Made in Cumbria hamper! Whether it is a Christmas present for a loved one or a gift to yourself, we have a treat for everyone to suit all tastes and budgets, including our Luxury Cumbrian Christmas Hamper.
Our Christmas hamper is packed full of indulgent, mouth-watering delicacies and treats that are guaranteed to tantalise your taste buds to make your festive feast even more special.
The Luxury Cumbrian Christmas Hamper costs from £95.00 plus delivery, you can find out more here.
Our Christmas gift for you! We would like to offer you a 10% discount on all online hamper orders over £100 (excluding delivery) placed before 15 November 2019.
“By choosing a Made in Cumbria Christmas hamper you are not only buying a fabulous gift you are also directly supporting Cumbria’s creative heritage.“
As Christmas seems to creep up on us faster every year, autumn is the perfect time to make your Christmas cake. The longer you make the cake before the big day, the better it will taste, so a traditional Christmas cake needs to be made a few months in advanced. The main reason for this is to allow time for all flavours of the dried fruits, spices and other ingredients to perfectly mature. Ideally, a Christmas cake should be fed regular with your favourite brandy or rum which helps to produce a rich, moist and delicious tasting cake.
Whether you enjoy Christmas Cake or not, Christmas doesn’t feel the same without this traditional treat to share with family and friends. There are many varieties of Christmas cake but generally they are variations on a classic fruitcake with recipes that have been passed down for generations each with their own little twist.
Did you know that the Christmas cake is an English tradition that began as humble plum porridge cooked over the fire? Five hundred years ago people ate the porridge on Christmas Eve, using it to line their stomachs after a day of religious fasting.
Soon, plums, other fruits where added and it became the good old Christmas pudding. During 16th century, oatmeal was removed from the original recipe and butter, flour and eggs were added along with dried fruit and spices. The spices symbolise the exotic eastern spices brought by the Wise Men and this became known as ‘Christmas cake’.
During the Victorian era bakers started to decorate the cakes with winter snow scenes and the Christmas Cake as we know it was born.
Baking and decorating your own cake can appear daunting, so why not cheat a little! Made in Cumbria members Ginger Bakers have a great range of delicious and tempting Christmas cakes including their Damson Brandy Fruit Cake – a mature flavoursome intensely fruity cake made with the finest dried fruits, drenched in brandy with a generous helping of Lake District Lyth Valley Damsons.
If you are not a fan of Christmas cake, there are lots of delicious alternatives available – why not try yummy Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding
As the seasons change and winter is just around the corner, we have plummeting temperatures, cold winds and central heating all to look forward too – unfortunately all the things that don’t lend themselves to a soft, radiant complexion. With dry, tight and tired looking skin, we often wonder if a winter glow is even a possibility? But don’t worry our Made in Cumbria members who specialise in skin care have the answer!
Jason from Artika recommends their best-selling product ‘Cedarwood, Ylang Ylang & Abyssinian Multi Use Body Oil. “This is perfect for skin during the winter months. The drop-in temperature can decrease the moisture in the air, which can leave skin feeling dry and irritated. During this time, it’s important to moisturise consistently to help your skin fight the cold. Thankfully our concentrated formula helps replenishes moisture levels and is perfect for dry skin, cuticles and even hair. The unisex scent is also good as a sleep aid – simply apply to pulse points before bed to help banish those winter blues!”
Award winning Pure Lakes Skin Care’s Claire Mc Keever has a special cold-weather skincare regime. Claire says, “I use our gentle Rosehip Soap-Free Cleanser, cleansing the skin effectively without stripping it of its natural defences, and switch to one of our heavier moisturising balms; I love our Neroli, Rosehip & Frankincense blend. Last thing at night I use our Rosehip, Camellia and Kiwi Seed Oil, full of nutrient-rich Omega fatty acids and when the cold weather sets in even my hands get special treatment; our Hydrating Hand Balm has hero skincare ingredient Hyaluronic Acid, a naturally occurring moisture binding ingredient that helps lock moisture into the skin.
“Created to pamper you in luxurious harmony, every product has been lovingly prepared from the purest ingredients, including locally sourced plant oils, blends and butter.“
As the nights start to draw in and the temperature drops, we all need a calm and warm space in which to hibernate. It’s time to rejoice in indoor comforts; snuggle up on the sofa under warming throw, dive into a mountain of soft cushions on your bed or bury your toes in a soft, sheepskin-style rug!
Cosy indoor spaces can be created with lush textures, ambient lighting and scented candles all adding a warming glow to your home. The current trend is all about layering, one great idea to add the cosiness factor is to put your favourite blankets and throws on display rather than hiding them away in a cupboard. They can be draped across the sofa, on your favourite armchair or on your bed– where they will be easy to get when you need them. You can also create that perfect relaxed and thrown together look, by mixing different textiles, colours and patterns.
Cable & Blake offer a wide range of soft furnishings cushions, curtains and lampshades in their lush Woollen Herdwick fabrics all produced locally. Their fabrics have been inspired by the surrounding Lakeland landscape and the Book of Bloom Autumn pallets will truly bring the seasons striking colours into your home. Rachel Cable, owner says “We pride ourselves on a sumptuous, rich tapestry of relaxing colours inspired by the entrancing iconic landscape of the Lakes District. Our Herdwick fabric collection features a colour palette inspired by the rich seasonal tones of the Lakes District hills and landscapes. The greys reflect the limestone crags and our native Herdwick sheep, and the oranges and pinks evoke the fells in autumn, while the vivid greens are redolent of the mountains of our recent past summer.”
“Handmade textiles have been a thriving cottage industry in Cumbria for thousands of years, making use of wool from native breeds, such as Herdwick, and other natural materials.“
Christmas cocktails and drinks are the perfect way to start the festive season; award winning Made in Cumbria member Shed 1 have a great recipe for a seasonal tipple to get you and your friends and family in the Christmas spirit!
Shed 1 Festive Gin Cocktail
Simply shake and strain. Garnish with holly and cranberries dusted in icing sugar. For an added boozy punch swap the orange juice with Cointreau!
This delicious cocktail was created by Tom of Kindred Spirit, Ulverston. Kindred Spirit provided a full pop- up bar service and offers cocktail masterclasses where you can mix and enjoy your own drinks, ideal for groups of friends. You can contact Tom on 07523187365
“This the season to be jolly…Wishing you 2019 seasons greetings from the Made in Cumbria team.”