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.
Oh my goodness CJ, your allotment and garden haul is amazing! I planted a Gooseberry this Spring, and it has a lot of fruit. I shall definitely be making some of that ice cream, so thanks for the idea.ReplyDelete
I would love an allotment. It must be so satisfying to see all your hard work be rewarded by such bounty.
I hope you manage to get an allotment, it is a lovely thing to have, even though it can be a bit overwhelming at times.Delete
Oh love your new header too. Where i it taken?ReplyDelete
It's Weston-super-Mare, taken on New Year's Day this year. It's a bit of a tradition we have to go there on either Boxing Day or New Year's Day and walk along the beach to blow away the cobwebs. And the light is always wonderful, so I take lots of photos too.Delete
Have you ever made/tried gooseberry chutney ... it's divine :) Gooseberry ice cream sounds pretty perfect too!ReplyDelete
Mmm, that's a great idea, I imagine it's really tangy. I'll look out for a recipe and give it a try.Delete
What a wonderful harvest from your allotment! I can see that you've been busy jamming and preserving all that fruit. I like the sound of gooseberry ice cream very much, I have to say. xReplyDelete
It is wonderful, I'm so grateful for it all. Just picked another five containers of blackcurrants this evening, plus one of gooseberries, a couple of cucumbers, a courgette, a squash, raspberries and some little tomatoes. The work pays off at this time of year!Delete
Look at the fruits of your labor! Everything looks so delicious. There is nothing like fresh fruit from the garden. I'm sure you'll be baking up a storm:) Hope you're having a great day.ReplyDelete
Thanks Kari. There aren't enough hours in the day to deal with it all at the moment!Delete
Note to self: must try harder!
You are too kind. Your raised beds are absolutely amazing. I'm particularly envious of all of those cucumbers. We could definitely keep up with eating them in this house!Delete
Ooh you are so lucky to have all that fruit. We have a gooseberry bush in our garden but this year only got enough fruit for two gooseberry Eton mess', disappointing. Lovely to see your boys lending a hand, I can't wait to take my little boy to my allotment and have him help out rather than just try to eat things and fall over into nettles!ReplyDelete
Oh, poor little chap. I'm happy if mine don't cause any actual trouble at the allotment! Hopefully your gooseberry will perk up next year. I've just put a pot grown one out into the garden, and it's really much happier now I've released it, so maybe next year I'll have some at home too. I did a gooseberry Eton mess yesterday, and before that a blackcurrant one which was delicious. Such a great idea - fruit, meringue and cream. Yum.Delete
Wow what a great selection.. well done. Love the game of shelling peas.. clever you!ReplyDelete
I've come up with a new one - the blackcurrant processing competition. I'm just hoping none of them get squashed into the carpet.Delete
You've plenty to choose from there. Flighty xxReplyDelete
It's a great time of year and I'm trying to make the most of it.Delete
Hello CJ, What wonderful and tasty looking Jams you are making.. I am sure you will enjoy them this Winter.. The Homemade Ice Cream looks very very good indeed.. I just discovered your lovely blog and I am your newest follower.. Hugs JudyReplyDelete
Welcome Judy, thank you so much for following me, I'm so happy to have you here. You are right about enjoying things in winter. At the moment there is so much, but when the winter comes the fruit and jams will seem quite special.Delete
What a lovely selection of summer fruits - I love the sound of the different jams and desserts you're making with them. The gooseberry ice cream looks delicious. I love the pea-shelling team, I hope you can call upon them again!ReplyDelete
Thank you Wendy. I am indeed pressing them into service whenever I can. I have a sneaking suspicion the novelty will wear off though.Delete
My mouth is watering! I know I've said this before, but I'm so impressed with your gardening skills. I really love how you focus on the simple pleasures of life. Those are my favorite :)ReplyDelete
Thank you Devon, although I can't really take much credit for the allotment fruit which I inherited with the plot. You are right about the simple pleasures. That is where contentment is found I think.Delete
Gooseberry ice cream - oh yum! And I am a bit relieved to see your tadpoles are still tadpoles, because ours are too. I do worry for them!ReplyDelete
I'm glad it's not just my tadpoles. They do seem a bit slow. I think I'll do a little research and see what size they should be.Delete
There are times when tadpoles don't actually develop into frogs - more common than you might think. It can be that there are too many competing for not enough food. I had some once that just became very large tadpoles. Are they in a jar all the time?ReplyDelete
They're in a pond. There are various bits of leaf in there, and weed and the odd unfortunate snail falls in. It's a bit of a mystery at the moment why they're not growing legs and things.Delete