It has been one of those years where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong, hence lack of attention to the blog. Unfortunately the ups and downs hadn’t quite smoothed out when the kitchen called. Autumn’s mellow fruitfulness had led to an abundance that needed dealing with no matter what else was happening. Choose the country life and you will find yourself up to your elbows in bottles, jars, tubs, pickling spices and alcohol if you want the fruits of your labours to last longer than a few days.
So, the apples were picked and prepared – a whole day spent peeling, cutting, cutting and freezing. Oh yes, that was after we’d had to buy a new freezer after the old one expired! More apples were cooked with cinnamon for a jelly, that was after the usual weekend making cider. Then there were the berries; some frozen, some made into jellies and jams, some put into alcohol. And the hedgerow pickings; sloes for gin and vodka, blackberries for vodka and a blackberry cassis, cob nuts for Christmas, chestnuts for roasting and cooking, the list goes on. Whatever couldn’t be pickled, jellied or steeped in alcohol was put into the new freezer for later use.
Yes, it is extremely satisfying to have so much home produce to eat more or less all year round, and it is nice to be able to give it away as gifts, but no one can say it isn’t a frantic time to make sure it is all saved before it starts to deteriorate. Nor is it necessarily cheap. Not when you have to take the cost of a new freezer into account!