Thursday, 9 September 2010

Jam tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow

It's just not cricket! The rain it raineth every day.

The rain it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella,
But chiefly on the just because
The unjust steals the just's umbrella!

The beginning of September, we should be enjoying sunshine, farmers should be bringing in their harvest - the "hairst" in Scotland. The last of the wild harvest from the hedgerows is waiting to be picked. It's been pretty good so far this summer. I picked loads of wild raspberries which my wife boils up into the most delicious jelly. Our daughter brought us tiny plums which she turned into plum jam. There's been blackcurrant jelly, garden raspberries for jam and her marmalade, famous throughout three counties. And there's still more to come unless the wet weather rots the fruit on the bushes.

Folk should be more conscious of the countryside and what it offers. It takes about two hours to pick 5 lbs of wild fruit like raspberries, and I'm always surprised how easily and quickly my wife makes the jelly. She always make too much, but a jar of home-made produce is always a much more acceptable gift to give to a hostess when we go for dinner than a boring old bottle of wine. I think it's time I started to learn these simple countryside skills - but it will have to be next year now!

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