Friday, 27 August 2010

Free Fruit (Year 2)

The darned blog has cut the edge off the recipe. I'll stick it on Twitpic.

So off we trotted, back down to the Grand Union Canal, the bit that runs through Hanwell. This year there were even fewer fruit pickers but more rabbits. So far we've processed about 10kg of blackberries. (They are called brambles in the north, but I realised that southerners had no clue what I was talking about when I called them that; we northerners are bilingual and also speak southern, owing to there being a lot of it on television.) We went back thre weeks later and added around 4kg of apples and another 12kg of damsons.

That picture, that's what you do with them. It's a recipe from my Auntie Dolly's 1930s cookery and household management book. When your relatives are poor, and all you inherit is one book, then you treasure it a bit more than if you get a whole houseful of stuff to sort out . Possibly. Anyway, it's really useful for doing retro things like preserving damsons.

Today, I picked 700g of quinces off the shrub in the front garden. They are just cooling downstairs after a good stewing. Next I'll shove them through a sieve to make a puree, and I might eat it like that with yoghurt, or possibly add a bit of sugar. They are scarily tart. I bet loads of you have a quince bush in the garden; they get bright orangey red flowers in spring, have evil thorns and make little yellow knobbly fruit about 5cm in diameter.

Back to the damsons. I did the damson cheese with them! It's currently sitting in little Pyrex pots in the kitchen. It's dead tasty with real cheese, and my claim is that it neutralises the cholesterol because of all the acids in it. I've been putting it on the Mini Baby Bels I bought to get myself a free spacehopper. (Act fast, they've got 15000 to give away, and all you need are the codes off two packs of 12 or four packs of six.)

By the way, the recipe recommends WAY too much sugar IMHO. I used as much as you can see in the picture and chose demarara because it gives the damsons a toasted caramelish taste. It still tastes pretty sweet; well, it does when you compare it with the fruit leathers that have none at all.

If you want the recipe for jam from page 473, just let me know.
Anyway, go get that fruit! It's all falling off trees and wasting.

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