Friday, 21 August 2009

Hedgerow Harvest

This morning, at precisely 8:30am, I had a very special appointment.

I donned my allotment overalls ( imagine 1940's women's land army and you would be right !) and armed with plastic bags, plastic containers and scissors I headed off down the road to meet up with my lovely friend Lucy from Little Blue Door.

We headed off down the lane, towards my allotment , down the footpath and on towards the fields and hedgerows that surround our little town.

Finally we arrived and then spent the next hour and a half collecting the harvest that the hedgerow has to offer at this time of year - plums, blackberries, and apples to name just a few.

Here is a fraction of the harvest .....

So, the next thing I needed to do was to decide what to make from my huge harvest haul.

I decided to consult one of my favourite preserving books...

And for this haul I settled on some fruit jellies, vinegars and also thought I would have a go at making something I have never done before ... "Bachelors Jam" or "Rumtopf."

Now, I understood there are special jars for making this, and I have had my eye out for one over the past few weeks. Unfortunately I have had very little luck with sourcing said jar having tried a few local cook shops, antique shops and also online with little avail. However, during our conversation this morning Lucy ( who always has a keen eye for thrifty finds) mentioned she had spied one in our local charity shop last week !

So without further ado, a quick dash...( well semi quick with my youngest in tow ) was made to this gem of a shop. I asked at the counter, and they reported that they thought they had sold it last week....such a disappointment. So I collected my youngest from the toys..and just as I turned round I spied a rather huge looking stoneware jar on a top shelf.

Could it be ? Why yes ...

....A Rumtopf Jar !!

Total cost £3.49....a true bargain if ever I saw one.

So, tonight I will be spending some time reading on how to make this lovely preserve...

meanwhile I shall leave you with the ever familiar sight that our kitchen dons at this time of year

Night , Night .