Summer fruits for a winters day

Last years, bottled apple chunks in brandy and spices ended up in the Family and Friends, Christmas stockings, and I’ve had requests for more!

So this year I’ve done 15 jars of plums in syrup, and a few jars of apples. Listening to others complain that the small pears are hard as rock, I just explained you need to cook them! and was then given a whole carrier bag of wind- fall.

Tonight I will be picking up some cheap plonk to poach the pears in, and look around the grocers for some ideas, to jazz them up a bit.  Star anise, maybe almonds, in white wine, or a few elderberries, perhaps if I can find some black cherries make the jars look pretty, or spices and red wine, the possibilities are endless and there is nothing more satisfying than the day when you open a jar of ready made, home made food on a busy day.

Plans for this week, are to forage some damsons when I get some time.  There is a tree overhanging the road, on the A28, the pavement is littered with fruit, I’ve been past on my bike a few times and never had time to stop, or a bag to put them in.  Elderberries are plentiful right now, and I don’t need to look far to find them, at least two bushes overhang the car-park outside my flat, and there is a massive amount along the footpath withing 500 meters of here, so even modern living in a flat without a garden is no excuse for not eating the vitamin packed fruits, actually I’ve already produced a couple of bottles of pontack, and its tasting good, even before ageing.

It’s that time of year again when I’m searching the back of the larder for kilner jars!  I still have jam from last year, black-current and plum, and even found a couple of small jars of forgotten chutney, one which I started to tuck into last night with some fine cheese and crackers.

Think I need to go down to the bottle bank and see if I can scrounge some jam jars, stock is running low and the jars I have are all full


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