Winter Solstice is almost here and I’ll certainly be mulling wine atop the wood heater. But why wait? At the moment I have the beginnings of Triple Lemon Marmalade simmering there, with another pot of oranges softening up, and once the beetroot have boiled for a minute or so on the gas I’ll move that pot to the fire as well. Makes perfect sense, plus perfumes the house. The trick though is getting the right mix of wood. Wattle is key. It burns hot, often too hot for long-term cast-iron health, so some regnum, possibly peppermint or anything else from the woodpile plus a few bits of judicious wattle keeps us all simmering along nicely on these brrrr June days.