Oh it is nice to take the weight of my feet, even if it just for a short while. The Mushroom expedition was not too successful yesterday finding only a few truffles and some wood blewit, a rather pretty coloured dainty which l found growing in several places on its own or in clusters amongst the decaying leaf litter. A lovely mushroom to add to last night's liver and onions.
Today, looking outside through the small, diamond shaped window panes, would appear to be a kitchen day. Over the past week l have been collecting whilst on my perambulations,the brilliant red fruits of the haws and rosehips, the sweet, succulent blackberries and the tart, elderberries. They sit there, in slightly chipped, wicker baskets on my pine scrubbed table, waiting to be transformed into something that little bit special for the monthly village produce sale.
This village feature is held at the market cross in front of the Golden Pheasant Public House on the second Saturday of each month. Over the summer months l must confess to having completely run out of jams and chutneys so to keep my London customers happy, l was forced to buy supplies in from my local Aldi, soaking off the labels and replacing them with my own. The jams received an excellent revue in a monthly food magazine, after a well known celebrity chef bought my entire stock!
Elderberry Chutney: [Grandmother's recipe]
1 1/2lbs elderberries
2oz Demerara sugar
1/2 pint vinegar
1/2oz ground ginger
a few cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon mace
2oz stoned raisins
pass the berries through a sieve, chop the onions finely and boil with the other ingredients for fifteen minutes then pot as usual.
My grandmother always had the most wonderful head of black hair right up until she died at the age of 98. She swore that washing her hair in a mixture of boiled vinegar and elderberry enhanced her natural colour.