Wednesday, 6 October 2010

this house smells like a pickle factory!

This was my sister's remark this morning as I brought my courgette and coriander chutney to the point of perfection.  The words glut and courgettes automatically go together at this time of year but one always feels duty bound to rescue the last remaining few before the first frosts turn them to mush.  I have already frozen some (both chopped and sliced) and I've made several batches of Katie's lovely soup ( see Vintage Squirrel's blog ) which went down very well with one of my most "foodie" friends who appeared today just in time for lunch.  She even had seconds!                                                 

Walks with the dogs at this time of the year tend to turn into foraging expeditions as our beautiful hedgerows are laden with sloes, brambles, rowans, rosehips and elderberries.  I have already made some sloe gin, and I'm making bramble gin for the first time.  Sloe gin is usually ready for Christmas and is particularly lovely with a big slice of fruit cake!  I haven't made elderberry wine for years so that could be a possibility for this year, but apple and elderberry jelly is also very good so I might make that instead.  It's delicious with venison and pheasant as well as on toast and scones.  There are still quite a lot of brambles around so we should make an effort to gather some more before the frost finishes them off.  We've had a couple of lovely bramble crumbles this autumn and I must make bramble jam as it's one of our favourites.  Our apples are also ready to harvest and this year we are going to try and improve our apple storage methods as I'm sure that if we looked after them properly we could be using our own apples well into the spring.   

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