Rosehips

So easily recognisable and such a fantastic flavour, its a shame that more people don’t pick rosehips.

Rosehip syrup – rich with vitamin C, brilliant to pour over icecream – its a bit of a faf, but well worth it for such an unusual taste.

Crush 2lb rosehips (plastic bag, rollling pin- have fun!) and put them into a large pan containing 3 pints water.  Bring it to the boil.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.

Strain this through a jelly bag or muslin into a big bowl allow the liquid to drip – don’t poke or squeeze.  If you don’t have a jelly bag stand – (and let’s face it who does!) turn a kitchen stool upside down, attach your cloth to the legs with elastic bands, and place your bowl underneath.

When the fruit stops dripping, put the pulp back into the pan, add a further 1 1/2 pints water and bring to the boil again.  Cool and strain once more.

Discard the fruit pulp this time and put both bathces of liquid into a clean pan, reduce by boiling until you only have approx 1 1/2 pints of liquid.

At this point add 1lb sugar and stir gently over a low heat until its all dissolved.

Bring to the boil and then pour into warm, sterilised bottles and seal.

Blackberries

Who can resist blackberries? Available at a hedge near you FOR FREE from mid August until late September!  How many people now buy insipid little boxes full of frozen blackberries in the supermarkets when all aroudn the supermarket carpark are bramble bushes heavy with fruit?

Well, I know you wouldn’t pick it from the edge of a carpark or a busy road, but you see my point!!

Anyway, apart from balckberry jam and blackberry crumble and just plain eating them lightly stewed with a little sugar and some cream, what can you do with them?  Well try this for size…

Scots Cream Crowdie

Take 2 oz course oatmeal, place in a pan and toss over the heat until crisp.

Whip 1pt double cream, stir in the toasted oatmeal, 2oz acster sugar, 1 tablespoon rum and 4oz clean blackberries.

Put big fat luchious dollops in pretty bowls!

Autumn Walk for Transition Chesterfield

This afternoon was the last in our series of walks for 2009 for Transition Chesterfield, although Glen is running one on mushrooms later in the year.

Another lucky day with the weather and yet again I was exhaused – this time from moving my daughter into a south coast university the day before (the summer one I had just completed Ashgate Hospice’s Midnight Walk (http://www.ashgatehospice.org/newspopup.php?id=29&title=%3Cfont%20color=pink%3E%3Cb%3EMidsummer%20Midnight%20Walk%20-%20LADIES%20ONLY!%3C/b%3E%3C/font%3E)  sorry that’s rather long – anyway I digress…

Steph brought along home made bread to taste her hedgerow jam.  There was quite a bit to see, but it wasn’t as good as it could  have been – hardly any blackberries and the rosehips were uninspiring.  And again the Horseradish had been mowed!  Best of all was Steph’s discovery of a mulberry tree – not many fo the berries were ripe, but there was enough for veryone to get a look at the unusual berries.

Tansy

Looking so pretty with its button flowers, the smell is very distinct, be sure not to confuse its identity with the horrid Ragwort.  Its great as a ‘cut flower’ on the kitchen windowsill, its spicy aromatic scent deterring flies from entering.  Described by Roger Phillips as ‘strong, pungent and quite disgusting’ he nevertheless goes on to inlcude a couple of recipes – other wild food authors love it Challenge your taste buds see what you think!

Tansy Omelette

6 eggs

salt and pepper

1/2 tablespoon chopped tansy leaves

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Butter

Break the eggs into a bowl, add salt and pepper and the finely chopped herbs.  Heat the butter in an omelette pan  and cook as usual.

Harvest Swap

Took a couple of bottles of Rose Hip Syrup along to the harvest swap.  I decanted it into really nice recycled bottles and cut down corks to fit, then made ‘proper’ lables (like those found on 1920’s suitcases and Paddington Bear and Alice in Wonderland bottles) with nice string.  They went down a treat.  I came home with armfuls of marrows, a bag of apples and a hand knitted dishcloth!

Wet Wild Food

There was no dampening the enthusiasm, but the people on this evening’s wild food walk were so wet by the end of it, it was really silly!  This evening was a Wild Food Walk at Renishaw with a lovely bunch of interesting and interested people.  It was raining lightly when I set out and by 6pm when the walk started it was raining like it meant it!  We covered loads of stuff, like hazelnuts, rosehips, burdock and looked atlots of umbellifers.  Unfortuantley the route was a circular one, so by the time it was really pouring with rain, it was just as far to go on as to go back – so we soldiered on.  Everyone said how good it was and how much they ennjoyed it.  Hope the next one has better weather – when its fine you don’t realise how much depends on it!!