Jobs to do for a better weather day; I am hoping that tomorrow is such a day as the blackberries are turning here locally and I want to take advantage of them. So the plan is:
- Go foraging the blackberries are starting to turn quite a few of them ready to be picked. I intend to go tomorrow first thing and collect some of them and I believe where I go there are a load of Rowan berries. Autumn is starting to slip in and I also need to see what else I can find on the foraging side. At the weekend when we went to the Butcher's Blade in the Fen the elderberries are already deep purple. There is a lot to do and I want to get quite a bit under my belt on the preserving side. Yesterday I found some yellow cherry plums and left them in the van by accident. I had eaten one and they were lovely. OH seems to have eaten the rest in the interim. I am hoping to find some more as it would be lovely to put some of these up on the pantry shelf if I can. Makes a nice jam and I have also bottled them in the past in syrup.
- Set too and turn the finds into preserves. I have in mind Bramble and apple jelly, bramble and apple jam, bramble cordial, bramble liqueur, bramble curd, bramble syrup for pancakes and puddings and use with yogurt to make ice cream. Not all at the same time. I shall start off with jam and jelly and syrup. As more blackberries become available I shall add to the repertoire and also freeze some. The ones I tasted today when I walked Missy were really good and nice and firm which is why if the weather is okay tomorrow first thing I intend to go foraging with Missy and my trolley in tow.
- I obtained the September copy of Country Living Magazine today. There are recipes for pickled cucumber, Strawberry jam, chilli and tomato jam, sweet apple jelly, piccalilli and apricot and lavender jam. There is also a recipe for hedgerow jelly. I am going to freeze some blackberries for the hedgerow jelly which uses crab apples, blackberries, elderberries, rowan berries, sloes, rosehips and haws.
I have plenty of sugar in the pantry for making different preserves. For the syrup and cordial making I shall sterilise the bottle in the baby steriliser and then process the filled bottles to keep the cordial and syrup on the shelf for far longer.
Whilst out with my friend today (I had a lovely day by the way), I came across an old salt glazed crock with no lid for £3.99 in a Charity shop. It just needs a wooden lid making for it and it will be ideal for storing my bulk salt in readiness for meat curing. Unfortunately I seem to have lost my phone somewhere in the house at the moment and so I am unable to take photos. Will rectify this once said phone is found. This old salt crock as it is to be will fit in very nicely with some of the Pearsons ware beige stone storage crocks I have for flour etc. and also an old terracotta pot that I use for storing walnuts in salt in the pantry. Each of these storage jars has a unique place in my pantry as do the large old sweetie jars (like the Roses glass jars) which I am still collecting together with ground glass lid storage jars to store all my bits and bobs in. Quite an eclectic mix but practical in the longer term. Old fashioned definitely but it is what I like and the plan is that wherever I end up I am going to have a very large pantry store so all these bits and bobs are going to be very useful in the longer term.
There were also a load of fir cones which had fallen and so I am going to harvest some of them and also some of the larch cones in readiness for Christmas projects.
So it might be a Put Up Day tomorrow weather permitting.
Right had better get a wriggle on to get ready for tomorrow. As I have said have had a lovely day but I am now very tired.
Catch you all soon.