Well that’s it winter is here again, time to hibernate I suppose. At least, thanks to Tom and Aaron I’ve put on enough fat to see me through, nice way to go though.
It’s been a bit disappointing on the fruit front this year a total contrast to last year and a lot of the staples are closing down although there are still patches of sorrel, chickweed and so on for a while
We’ve been making the usual syrups and booze from the black and elderberries and all of us have been adding stuff like woodruff and wood aven root to see what happens. These have been mostly successful but I have tried to make a sloe syrup that we just couldn’t find a use for. Kev from Woodland Ways is always coming up with new things to try. The latest has been hawthorn ketchup you will get the recipe at the end of this.
Has anybody noticed the amazing amount of mushrooms at the moment and the wide variety as well as they seem to be, well, mushrooming (sorry about that George) if you are tempted to pick get a decent book like Roger Phillips’. You can get this from Woodland Ways I think. What I do is make the identification, some, like the deceivers are easy to spot especially the amethyst which is bright purple, and then try a little before giving to someone else. As I have said before I am still being forgiven for the mother in law stunt.
What I have found quite plentiful are Crab apples. We’ve made loads of jelly but also verjuice. This can be made several ways and was widely used in days gone by as a base for stock. We have been braising our
belly pork in it on a very slow, at least eight hour bake. It seems to make even the fat really succulent and that can add a useful padding to your waistline for the winter months.
Off sea fishing next week, hope I can find something interesting if so it will be on the menu.
Bye for now.
Here’s the ketchup recipe:
500ml cider vinegar
salt & pepper
Once you have collected & cleaned the haws I like to give them a bit of a bash before adding them to the pot. Add the vinegar and bring to the boil & leave for 5 minutes. Then I add the rest of the ingredients, again bring to the boil and let them simmer for a further 30 minutes. Get yourself a sieve and strain the liquid and also push through as much of the berries as possible scraping off the ketchup from the underside of the sieve and adding to the liquid. Once you have got as much as you can through you can put the liquid back on the heat and reduce by 50%. Thats it! We have served instead of normal ketchup on venison burgers, game sausage rolls and other snacks in the pub