Monday 15 August 2022

Moving seasons

After the ferocious sun of the last few weeks we appear to be in early autumn with misty daylight and cool temperatures - seems more end of September rather than mid August. Despite the dryness, blackberries are sensational this year; Mark has made batch after batch of blackberry, blackberry with elderberry, blackberry and grape, blackberry with whatever else is edible in the hedgerows. It's been difficult to allow time enough to nip out and gather fruit but with dog needing walks it's been combined, much to the eye-rolling of the hound - another stop-start-stop-start meander while humans pick stuff which I feel to be utterly not worth eating.

Dorset childhood autumn days were often marked with blackberry gathering wanderings: a basket, a curved handle walking stick to pull down the higher brambles, Mum and or my uncle Ben. If she'd had more time she would have ventured into bottling the fruit as her mother would have done for the winter months, but jam lasted well into the colder days, sometimes incorporated into cakes or 'fluff pudding' a memorable dessert made of evaporated milk, jelly and jam. 

The moving seasons probably mean that pomegranates are ripe, or almost. In our previous Southern France house we had several very happy pomegranate trees resulting in an abundant late autumn jam episode - one of the things I do miss from our previous region. I have noted a couple of trees hereabouts and will be surveying them, and their owners for generosity/fruit for jam trading possibilities as the days shorten.

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