Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Berries and Blizzards

Some time back my father who is a great countryman and writer penned in one of his writings that the wonderful harvest of wild berries in the hedgerows would herald a truly hard winter and I scoffed. The end of 2009 and Spring of 2010 were very hard weather-wise with very many snow-days...I really couldn't believe that it could be worse this year and I wallowed in the wonderful free hedgerow harvest that abounded thinking only of bramble and apple pie.
The Bramble that produces a Blackberry....everywhere but Scotland where the fruit is known as bramble too.

 Every day I would head out with dog Rosie bag in hand and make our slow collection brambles together. Rosie has a a penchant for fruit and so do I so we would pick thus - one for me, one for Rosie and one for the bag, one for Rosie and one for the bag, one for Rosie and one for the bag. It took a lot of days to collect our black gold

I would never have believed it would all end in this!!
deep deep snow

I hate it, it has kept us housebound for days, but it is stunning too. There are a lot of bad things about snow - everything takes longer, everything is harder, everything is colder and scarier because driving in this is horrible.
Good things about being snowed in - home made bread, spicy lentil soup, stew......and bramble and apple pie.


  1. We collect a lot of fruit during the summer and early autumn and either turn it into Jam or freeze it - got lots of apples to use up at the moment and tubs full of frozen blaeberries - so will be making lots of fruit pies over the next few months I'm sure.

    It's time to collect rosehips now though and make some sweet syrup from them.

  2. My mother is a fantastic jam maker, I however am not. I used to feel guilty about it but no more. I collect what I can use and freeze. This year the hedgerows were absolutely laiden

    I had wondered about when to collect rosehips, they seem to be well past their best. Rosehip is really good for keeping achy rheumatic joints eased and I have developed a rheumy joint in my pinky.
    Can I still pick after this snow????

  3. Rosehips are best collected after the first frost - so maybe it's a bit late now. The ones on the coast here look fine, so I'm going to collect a load soon and make some syrup.

  4. I just made the most wonderful lentil soup today- yummy! I used a ham bone for the broth (made earlier this week) and put in the leftover ham chunks. It called for sausage, so I'll try that next time. How do you do yours?

  5. My boys prefer chicken stock because they say it is less salty and they like a liquidised soup so I basically make the soup as normal...adding a good flavouring of chilli because I think it works well with the lentils and sweet veg like parsnips and turnip that I would normally use for lentil soup. Once well and truly cooked, soaked overnight (next day lentil soup is I reckon definitely better than same day) I liquidise and then I fry up the cheap bacon bits you can buy..the offcuts from the sliced bacon, I buy it for pennies....and some extra lentils and add them in, cook in the lentils lightly enough so they are cooked but not mush and that gives me a bit of *bite*...sounds fiddly but it isn't LOL.
    I love a bit of Chorizo sausage in there if I haven't any bacon bits