Thursday, September 15, 2011

Footpath Harvest














Confession: I'm cheating a bit here, and back-dating this post. We've been having such a great time exploring England - London to Shropshire to Herefordshire - that I've got more than enough to write about and not enough days to do it in. And I still have some great spots to share that we visited during our bike tour in Hokkaido. Such a difficult life I lead...

England, thankfully, is riddled with footpaths. These ancient rite-of-ways, as a good friend called them during a recent outing, are a real treasure. Not only do they afford a fantastic way to explore the countryside as well as a handy shortcut through the village, but this time of year they overflow with damson plums, black raspberries, sloes, as well as an assortment of apples and pears. So far we've made two fruit crumbles, a.k.a. fruit crisps - one with red and green plums as well as apples, and one with just apples - with another on the menu for tonight. (I think we'll give damsons a go in this one, and see what we get.) Jane made a beautiful batch of damson gin (the drink that started my love affair with that particular fruit and perhaps inspired all the shus I've since made), and we're contemplating damson cheese, too. (The sample we tried at the Ludlow Food Festival proved inspiring, to say the least. Damson cheese is, essentially, a fruit butter poured into a mold and served up in slabs like cheese.) No wonder my pants feel a bit more snug.

4 comments:

Anjuli said...

How absolutely delightful- it just conjures up a wonderful relaxing time of refreshment- walking through back paths- picking berries- making fruit crumbles- experimenting with recipes- WONDERFUL....it seems snug pants are a small price to pay for this priceless experience :)

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

Right you are, Anjuli. Although, walking the footpaths helps keep them slightly less snug, but not much. ;)

bookworm said...

This sounds heavenly. On our local Rail Trail there were elderberries. Now there are small apples (not sure if they are large crabapples or small wild apples), wild grapes and soon there will be black walnuts. I'm not sure it is legal to pick any of them. I wish I did have legal access to wild fruits, though.

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

I bet you could pick them, bookworm. Elderberries, I've heard here of late, make a good jam as well as nice liqueur. And I've become a big fan of the apple these days, too! I just wish I'd had time on this visit to make jam and really explore half of what is possible. Maybe next time.