My early morning walk has proven to be very productive today… I just happened to notice on a piece of pathway that I have walked hundreds of times before..one or two purple blobs. On closer inspection they turned out to be small, rock hard purple fruits. I looked up to see, hidden amongst the leaves of the overhaging tree branches little clusters of these fruits dangling temptingly way out of my reach! With a little enterprising snooping and a bit of grovelling in the bushes I discovered a way through the hedgerow to approach this tree from behind!! It is a huge tree…so it is probably considerably older that even me!! But it is only fruiting on one small section….and by crawling through the undergrowth I was able to come up underneath the lower branches and pick away. I whipped out my carrier bag – always kept in my pocket for just such an occasion(!) and began to fill it.
I gathered about 2 kilos – 5 pounds (ish)…and after rinsing and picking out the leaves and most of the twigs!! I popped them into a pan with some water and boiled them up!! Ok, so it is a bit messy as you have to strain out the stones when once the fruit has boiled down…so there are sieves and colanders and blobs of thick fruit puree everywhere…or there is with my cooking!! And the whole thing is inevitably greeted by my adoring and very patient other half by the well worn and affectionate question…”What are you up to now, woman?!!” as he enters the bombsite of a kitchen!!
But – to be fair – exasperating as I may be to live with they none of them complain about eating my creations!!….well, most of them anyway!!
On the hob this morning is a huge vat of my own brand of sweet chilli sauce – a great favourite for all of them and always labelled with the statement “Mum’s Hot Stuff!!” ….so true in many ways!!!
And now I have added a big pan of the damson puree…
How pretty are they…..??!
Yesterday I made some Spiced Tomato Chutney – a lovely deep mahogany colour…..and I still have to make my renouned Dill Cucumber Relish….fondly known within the family as ‘pond slime’ – as I refuse to add artificial colours to the stuff that nature provides – and so it is a rather khaki green colour – rather more gastronomic than photogenic!! (And yes, I know I am very hypercritcal because I use terrible, artificial colours to decorate my cakes…but that is a whole other story!!)
Finding this hoard of natures little jewel coloured treasures has really brightened my morning!….
I have also added a little jewellery related post to the blog on my website this morning…so if you want to see what I have been up to over the last week or so do pop over and have a look!! http://www.solunarsilverstudio.co.uk.