Tag Archives: foraging

Blackberry and Apple Jam

There is nothing better in the mornings than a hot piece of buttered toast slathered with some homemade jam.  Blackberry and Apple Jam is just right for this time of year and accompanied by a hot cup of tea or coffee breakfast feels cosy and autumnal.   But don’t just stop at spreading this jam on toast.  This jam is a great all rounder.  Try it sandwiched in sponge cakes and atop scones but also it works really well with savoury dishes – alongside pork or with venison for example, or it’s lovely served alongside a hunk of tangy cheddar in a ploughman’s or as part of a cheeseboard.

Now I know what you are thinking if you are over the age of 25. …. “great, but what about all those blackberry pips?  I’ll be forever picking them out of my teeth!”  Not exactly an exciting prospect I will be the first to agree.  But don’t worry because this very old fashioned jam recipe of my grandmothers gets over that problem (just as well as she had dentures)  by removing nearly all of them by sieving the pulp.  This isn’t as time consuming as it sounds so please keep on reading.  If you have an old fashioned piece of kitchen equipment called a mouli it is super quick (if not they are really cheap to buy – try Lakeland) and they are so useful for so many tasks in the kitchen.  If not a sieve and a wooden spoon does the same job only it’s a bit slower.

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A mouli in action sieving the pulp

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Forager’s Soup

This soup is also known in our house as “the gardeners revenge” and, despite certain peoples’ initial reservations, is absolutely delicious.  Honestly it really is.  Give it a go and you will have bragging rights when it comes to your cooking/eco credentials as well as a lovely full tummy!

If you can, and are brave enough to try it, please don a pair of gloves (to avoid stings) and go out and gather the wild greens that are all around us as well as growing unwanted in our gardens. Obviously choose where you pick – beside a busy road or a park used frequently by dogs are not good ideas!  I have chosen leaves that are easy to identify or well known such as nettles and wild garlic, otherwise known as ransoms (follow your nose for these) and every gardeners despair, ground elder. I find it particularly satisfying to pick the nettles and ground elder that grow in my garden (much to my despair) and turn them into something delicious to eat –  apparently I get a determined look in my eye as I venture out with the colander and gloves to pick them.

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Nettle tips, wild garlic, ground elder and spinach from the garden

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