Monday, 23 August 2010

Today, I am mostly using foraged fruits ...

Foraged goodness

... to create some lovely syrups, and medicines for the Winter months.

We picked some lovely ripe Sloes. Yes, I know it's only August but they were ripe and if left would be no good to anyone, so we have popped them in the freezer. We can't wait for the first frosts around here as we often don't get any until very late (some years we rarely get them) so that would mean no sloes. These are destined for Sloe gin making soon and then the fruit is going to be re-used to make sloe gin chocolate truffles.

Blackthorn plant for the Sloes

Ripe sloes ready to use

We picked loads (and I mean loads) of ripe wild cherries that are just absolutely delicious. Many to be frozen for another day, some to be preserved in alcohol - just need to think about what we want to do with them. Te abundant tree they were picked from is heaving with fruit, so I think we shall return to pick some more soon.

Wild cherry harvest

Finally, we also picked loads (yes, that word again) of ripe elderberries. Early again, I hear you say, well yes and too good an opportunity to miss. Many of the Elder plants have them still to turn black and ripe so again we'll be back for more another time. But these were more than ready.

Preparing the elder berries

So, todays task is to make some elderberry syrup - perfect for keeping colds at bay, and some will be turned into an elixir (again, great medicine for colds). Some, or maybe the next foraged pickings, will go into a hedgerow cordial - I made one last year with sloes, blackberries, rosehips and it was the most delicious cordial - so more of that will be made this year with the addition of the elderberries. I'm thinking of then making other things with the elderberries (but not today, that's for the next foraging visit I think). I'm not a jam maker, so these are a better option for us. I love to make jam, but we just don't really use it much - I don't know why and maybe that will change one day, but they just don't get used very often in our house.

It was a little wet at times picking these, but hey you can't miss these opportunities can you? Where was Imogen when all the fun was happening? Well she helped us pick the sloes on Saturday, but Sundays foraging adventure (when it was rainy) - she spent the time here ...

... fast asleep and cosy

So, busy times with all the foraged goodness. Not too much effort to pick, free, and with a few simple store cupboard ingredients I will have some lovely things to consume in the Autumn and Winter months ahead. I will add the recipes I use soon too.


  1. oohh you can't beat free fresh fruit can you :-) I love freezing it knowing that in the winter months i can remember back to the lovely sun filled days when I picked them.

  2. Lovely treats, and free too xx

  3. It's great to have all this food for free, too good an oportunity to pass up.

  4. Ooh, I'd love to make elderberry syrup. Do you have a good recipe?


Don't be shy, come and say hello. Your thoughts are always appreciated, I read them all and will endeavour to respond. Thank you x