Friday, 24 September 2010

Berry Nutty

We popped over to see my sister for a day during the summer hols, she lives in an area of Milton Keynes where the local parish council have planted lots of fruit bushes and trees for everyone in the community to harvest at will, so we immersed ourselves in some foraging and came home with blackberries, damsons and plums, unfortunately the birds had had all the gooseberries and the cob nuts weren't ready.  

My Sis and Buster foraging in Milton Keynes

We were inspired and did a bit of foraging on a recent family cycle trip to Harpenden and back, we came up trumps with a whole load of blackberries and I made a blackberry and apple crumble, is it me or does free food seems to taste so much nicer?  

I have since spotted a few sloe bushes on my way to the gym and am awaiting the first frost so that I can harvest them (according to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall waiting makes them less bitter) and make some sloe gin or vodka.  I have also ordered a Collins book on foraging and hope to do more of the same next year.  I'm currently willing my next-door neighbour's fruit trees to spread their boughs over my fence as I would love some free apples and pears too.

Sadly we said goodbye to our allotment this summer (too much to juggle with Missy coming along) but our little veg plot in the garden is still producing for us, we have been harvesting chillies like crazy and I am making my first foray into preserving by making a chilli jelly.  I have ordered some preserving paraphernalia from Lakeland and will report experimental findings on here soon.

We also have some leeks getting fatter by the day, I made a lovely leek and potato soup at the weekend, I just love Autumnal eats, speaking of which we also enjoyed a sausage, onion and honey mustard casserole and pumpkin soup last week.  You can't beat comfort fodder.

Don't worry, I haven't gone ferral!

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