Foraging is starting to dominate my life. I stir jam between checking emails, have an oven full of fruit leather cooking as I work, and have wrinkled fingers from repeatedly pushing fruit puree through old pairs of tights, and washing up every pan I own.
Coke bottles have been turned into funnels, towels stained purple and blue, and every jar I own now contains ‘autumn’. The flat is warm from having the oven on low all day, and ‘mellow fruitfulness’ fills the air.
Thanks to a lovely friend who kindly provided me with a huge bag full of apples, damsons and blackberries from her garden, and the fruits of my previous forages, my larder (and gift stash) has been topped up as much as my drinks’ cabinet.
Along with the drinks I’ve already written about, I now have:
Fruit leathers: blackberry and apple; hawthorn; honey, apple and vanilla; damson and apple; and hedgerow (a mix of everything). [Recipe in previous post]
Jellies: Apple; hedgerow; and damson – along with some set mixed fruit jellies (or here’s hoping – they’re an experiment currently in progress.)
Jams: Blackberry and apple, and damson.
Juices: Apple and honey nectar; damson; blackberry and apple; pear and ginger.
Some of the latter may become new additions to my fruit spirits collection, others may get turned into cordials or jellies. (The basic ingredients of fruit and sugar can go in many directions.)
It’s a joyous bounty. But there is a little pain to accompany the joy.
The cost of all these delights is hours spent cleaning the kitchen afterwards.
I like to pay nature back for her produce too, by planting wildflowers, litter picking and generally sharing nature love. I’m also going to see if any of the seeds will still grow after enduring being boiled. It’s a long shot but at worst, they should make a nice snack for the birds.