Saturday 17 September 2011

Foraging Time

It seems our hedgerow harvest is a little behind most of the country. I've read of people missing the blackberries already but around our way only a few have ripened so far. I tramped across the fields this morning, dodging the showers and sheltering under beech trees when the rain was heavy, on a little foraging trip hoping for fruit.

Solo tramping was very relaxing but rather quiet. My little men begged to stay at home today and finish some mammoth Lego construction with daddy supervising and who am I to argue? After a long week, concentrating hard at school all they wanted was to be left to play, cosy in pyjamas with toast and hot chocolate to keep them going. I think they deserved it.
There were hips and haws a plenty on the hedgerows and some beautifully dusky sloes but as we're not really drinkers I thought I'd leave those for the birds rather than take them to make sloe gin with.
I've had my eye on a lovely crab apple tree all summer but the little fruits are still quite hard, bright green and firm on the tree so another forage in a few more weeks will hopefully yield up a crop of rosy apples ready for picking. Crab apple jelly with cheddar cheese and some smoky ham is divine.
Hunting was much better along the canal side. In this picture you can see the line of trees I walked along (from right to left) and then I cut through the water treatment plant (with my nose closed!) and down onto the tow path.
Its a funny day today, every time I took my hood down the rain returned, even though the sun was so bright.
This is my way back, past the narrow boats home to a few hardy souls. Today there was woodsmoke curling from a chimney and the smell followed me all the way home. Autumn is truly in the air.
Wellies by the back door is a sure sign the year is getting older. Crocs and sandals are packed away for months now. Time to gather my little haul of purpleness and make a crumble for lunch tomorrow. Yippee!!
Thanks for all your lovely comments about market shopping and recipes. Its especially great to hear from people who know our little market, small world!

Quite a few people have asked for some of the recipes and now at last I have worked out how to add separate pages to my blog I though I'd add a few of my standbys over the next few days. Some are from my favourite cook books so I'll add links and credits where I can, otherwise I hope you won't mind a few random scribblings on my favourite seasonal food. Hope to have the courgette cakes and paella dishes up later this evening. Have a happy Saturday Stephx


The Cookie Jar said...

Love anything with blackberries. The ones near my allotment have not ripened yet. I'm keeping an eye on them to try to get there before the birds.

Looking forward to your recipes. Look like a intersting collecting of cookbooks

Annie said...

That boots by the door pic is so familiar ... wellingtons are replacing crocs here too. There has been one pair of wellies all summer - my son had a summer job on a local farm - but these last two weeks they've been muddy rather than dusty. And so the year turns.

Annie, who's off to see if she can find some blackberries!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful walk you had! Beautiful countriside!

Adele said...

Lucky you. I almost missed our blackberries they were so early this year, but did manage to make a few crumbles. I mix equal parts crumble topping with wholemeal breadcrumbs - delicious. Looking forward to your recipes. I'm off to heat up leftover Aubergine, tomato and pine nut rissoto for supper. Guess what I found today? Some more strawberries on the plants I thought had finished a month ago! They are ripening nicely.

Unknown said...

Apple and blackberry crumble with fruit from our10 year old tree and the hedgerows is THE moment autumn starts in our family! What a yummy start to the season it is. xx

**Anne** said...

Thank you for sharing your foraging walk. It looks very pretty where you live. I love the photo of the rain coming down and the lovely little boat home.
Enjoy your crumble.
Anne xx

Anonymous said...

I woul love to be able to forage for blackberries etc but her in NZ the road sides are often sprayed. Such a shame. Living in a small seaside holiday community means that I can forage fruit trees, especially citrus as the homes are mostly only lived in for the Summer holiday season. I don't feel guilty because it just rots on the ground otherwise. So wasteful!
I love your blog and think you have a real gift for writing.

Nata per sognare said...

Your photos and your story is fabulous,
I do go with the mind in England.

Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

Hi Steph

Foraging at this time of the year is one of my favourite activities. I like the whole ritual of getting my basket ready, going out for a walk in search of blackberries, elderberries, nuts and haws and of course making things with them on my return. Today we have such a day planned. Last week we found some berries but I am hoping for better looking berries this week.
We are so blessed to live in a country with such beautiful and bountiful countryside. I love your photos, especially of the one with the dark sky and the stunning countryside below it. I find that dark skies make all the colours in nature look that much more striking. Yesterday, my camera was out capturing the dark skies around us.
Have fun eating making things with your berries!
Isabelle x

Unknown said...

Autumn is my absolute favourite time of the year. One of the reasons I love it so much is the food/ Looking forward to your recipe pages - I can't quite work out how to create extra pages - must try harder!

Bobo Bun said...

Our blackberries seem to be lasting forever round here, I don't think any one else is picking them. Next foraging stop for us is sloes as we love sloe gin and lemonade, makes me very giggly.

Loved your walk and that you actually had that moment to
yourself. Enjoy your foodie day today.

Thanks for the gardening tip by the way.


brookeslay said...

I know how you love the `bers ( Autumn) I have Berry envy great little walk very colourful despite the drizzle.

Well Done on extra bloggy pages can I put a request in for your Hedgehog birthday cake Pretty Please ??

Rhubarb and Venison said...

this is going to sound so cheesy, but i just finished watching the new jane eyre movie and was utterly transfixed. your photos and the idea of foraging in that landscape...just add a bonnet and a mr. rochester and you are basically living it!

Country Rabbit said...

Delightfully lovely post Steph, The weather has been exactly the same in the west country this weekend. I just finished a post about 'wellies and walks'...Blustery windy and wet but with lovely sudden bursts of sunlight ;0)...we had a walk down by the River Tamar...Dodging showers!...stamping in puddles and admiring the beaming fruitful and pretty hedgerows.
Always good to get out and have a good walk x

Enjoy your crumble! x

Florawood said...

Lovely post....i want that basket!!! the wellys are out in ours too although they start off neatly lined up and end up in a big pile in the corner of the kitchen!

Sue said...

I have basket envy too Steph,I also loved your walk.We had family and friends round for our sons 21st birthday BBQ,it absolutely threw it down at one point,rain,hail,and sunshine all at the same time,only dampend our spirits for a short time tho'!!!
Thank You for shareing
Best Wishes
Sue xxx
(Can't wait to see your recipe pages too)

Unknown said...

I got inspired to go blackberrying - found we had lots still & then I found sloes. Hooray! Linked you in my post to say thankyou. Hope you don't mind. x

Tea with Prudence said...

Another inspiringly beautiful post of course!
Springtime over here for this misplaced Scot, so no blackberries for me yet.

I would love to hear your recipe rambles - wonderful idea.

The only thing up for foraging around here at the mo' would be nettles, which I am just about to look up a recipe for nettle soup.

My raspberry canes are just starting to burst out into leaf, and Ive got some promises on my strawberry plants starting to pop up, so looking forward to that.


Ruth said...

Lovely post and great pics Steph - I love the rain though the sun photo! We went blackberrying and shower dodging on Saturday but with remembering to take the kids raincoats and old containers and things I forgot my camera! I have frozen mine to make some jam or bramble jelly when I get organised enough.

Christals Creations said...

I saw a gentleman foraging on the road up by us in the week and it made me feel quite autumnal. We made apple and plum jam at our womans group last week. It really is that time of year. :o)

melanie said...

We've been really lucky with the blackberries this year, picking them from our garden and the hedgerow, we have about 7 or 8 tubs in the freezer, ready to make jam and crumbles with :) We also foraged loads of elderberries to make wine with :) I love foraging, it is such a fun and relaxing past time :) xxx

FunkySteph said...

Reader for sometime now, I appreciate your blog. I only have been able to go once to pickup blackberries, when I went back there were none left... I usually make tarte with them (childhood remember)... We also have signs here saying summer is behind...

LandGirl1980 said...

I ADORE the photo of the canal boat!!! BRILLIANT!!

Sara said...

Oh so lovely. I love the act of hunter-gathering for berries and autumn fruit; on the right day it's the perfect end to summer.
I'm looking forward to apples too, and sweet chestnuts! x

Catherine said...

Soooo Autumnal! Beautiful! Cx

Victoria said...

i always like to see new posts from your blog, your pictures are so lovely. x

The Curious Cat said...

Did you pick any rose hips? How do you prepare them? xxx

Faye 'Country Chic' said...

Hi Steph,
Those pictures look fantastic, we are going blackberry picking this weekend... fingers crossed there will be some left.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post. I could smell the autumn as I read it. Our blackberries are over sadly, as the bramble jelly I made turned out like rubber! Looks good though!

naaz said...

loving your pictures... so fresh.. :D

Anonymous said...

Lovely photos. I just stumbled upon your blog today.
Wish I could take that lovely walk.
What does one do with the rose hips? Make jelly? Here in California we're having an early fall, about to get our first rain.

Anonymous said...

These are some beautiful photos, reminds me of my great aunts sheep farm in the mountains of North Carolina.

Barry Miller
Birmingham Realtor

Lyn said...

what a lovely post with great photos. I love the barge in the rain!