What did our grandmothers do before UK supermarkets became an abundance of year round global crops? And what does seasonal really mean when we can freeze food? OK a summer fruit salad is probably best avoided in December, but frozen berries and purees mixed in recipes are surely just as good? In fact, compared with tasteless bananas picked while green for import, the freezer wins every time, in nutrients too.
Although our Netherton Farm bramble hunt proved disappointing, Mother Nature turned up other surprises that our grannies, and a 1929 MAFF guide, would never have allowed go to waste.
The Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries & Food, HMSO Bulletin 21: Home Preservation of Fruit & Vegetables.
Mother Garcia’s cherished (and sous chef crayoned) 1970’s copy talked her through jamming, canning and bottling in preparation for the winter months; and a Wholesome Seduction child is born.
Elderberries, lots of.
The post elderflower berry is a nutritional powerhouse. Note: they’re poisonous unless cooked. They won’t kill you, but chances are you’ll vomit them back up before any of their goodness has been absorbed.
Good for: A syrup for coughs or on ice cream; in smoothies, juices or Elderberry & Apple Jelly (jam), or just on top of yoghurt.
Too late for elderflowers, the homemade champagne will sadly have to wait till next year.
Sloes & Rosehips
Good for: Hogmanay Sloe Gin. And Rose-hip syrup – the UK’s pre Ribena answer to Vitamin C.
Brambles & Acorns
Good for: Bramble bircher. And feeding pigs. Look no further than Spain’s famous Pata Negra Jamón.
A (rarely seen) Fairy Ring
Good for: Fairies. They live inside the mushroom circles.
Wild Boar cross Tamworth piglets
Not entirely wild but in fact, largely dependent on Mum Garcia for food, and affection it would seem. Surprisingly needy mammals, pigs.
Good for: Pork belly, smoked bacon, sausages, Pork Pies, Pigs Cheeks with Apple & Cider… It really is my favourite meat.
3 weeks old
For the love of God! Do I really love pork belly that much? Yep, afraid so.