This is the time of year when all of the hard work at the allotment and in the garden starts to pay off. In fact I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of the stuff that needs picking, washing, topping, tailing, jamming and frreezing. Every spare moment is spent trying to make sure none of it is wasted. Above is just some of this week's haul.
The cherries are from my next-door neighbour, whose new cherry tree overhangs our garden. The cherries are morello, so really need cooking, but they do have the most exquisite taste. I'd definitely put in a tree myself if I had room. I cooked these lightly with sugar, and served them over a vanilla cheesecake.
I've got more gooseberries than I can shake a stick at. Ironic really, because when I took over the allotment a year ago, the two big gooseberry bushes hardly had a single leaf on them. The wood looked ancient, and I thought about taking them out, in fact I was advised to do so. But I gave them a year, and they have been covered in fruit. I made a couple of jars of jam - not too much, as I've already made strawberry and strawberry and raspberry, and I've probably got enough to last a year now. And today I made some gooseberry ice-cream from a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe. It was delicious, and two out of three boys liked it, which is pretty much a triumph in my book.
I drafted in a little assistance with the shelling of peas, by making it a competition. Clever me.
Elsewhere there has been a little pond-dipping. The tadpoles are still tadpoles. Shouldn't they be froglets by now? I worry that they won't be done by the time that autumn comes.
I'm off to wrestle with mountains of blackcurrants now. I'm thinking a nice tart and then the rest into the freezer, which is rapidly running out of space. But I'm not complaining, it is so very good to harvest these things, and to lay them by for the winter.