Autumn is snapping at the heels of summer and that makes for a very busy time. As Keats said, this is indeed the season of mellow fruitfulness and the trees and hedgerows are heavy with their bounty. The mornings are crisp and the evenings are drawing in and soon we will draw ourselves in for the harshness of winter. But before then, so many jars and bottles stand, waiting to be filled!
This weekend alone has seen us out foraging twice, our booty this time was Blackberries and Sloes. The products issuing from the kitchen including wines (both rhubarb and blackberry) blackberry and apple jam, beetroot chutney and pickled beetroot. The shelves are starting to groan under the weight. We now await the ripening of tomatoes, figs, grapes and pears and the preserving will start again.
There is such a satisfaction in growing or foraging for your food and also being able to preserve and store it to see us through the winter. Not only is is healthier and cheaper, it also feels like a connection to the ancestors, keeping alive the skills of our mothers and grandmothers.