Last of the summer twine!

SWEET & SOUR BRAMBLES

YOU WILL NEED:
• 350g blackberries
• 140ml apple cider or white wine vinegar
• 230g sugar

METHOD:
• Wash the blackberries with cold water and then gently pat dry
• Put the blackberries, sugar and vinegar in a heavy based pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
• Simmer for a further 5 minutes and then carefully scoop out the blackberries with a slotted spoon and place them in a sterilised jar
• Turn up the heat and bubble the remaining liquid in the pan until it thickens and becomes syrupy then add this to the jar
• Seal the jar with a sterilised lid and store somewhere cool and dark until you’re ready to use it.
• I keep mine for up to three months and it tastes all the better for it! But check the contents before using them to make sure no mould or other nasties have formed.
Step back and admire your jars of crimson magic. This glorious pickle will work perfectly with game or duck dishes, cheeseboards and even in stir-fries. Or, why not add a ribbon and tag to a couple of the jars if you’re feeling generous. Then you can congratulate yourself on ticking off some gifts on that Christmas list!


Words by:
Nikki Bawn
Featured in:
October 2021

There’s always a pang or two of sadness as October arrives. The realisation that summer has well and truly gone becomes undeniable. But, for foragers everywhere this is soon replaced by excitement and a hive of activity as leaves become flushed with red, amber and gold, heralding a time of plenty before the jaws of winter bite.
By Nikki Bawn of Boggle Lane Foods.

Wild ones everywhere are consumed with a growing anticipation of the most bountiful time for foragers.
Gathering, prepping, preserving and pickling reaches fever pitch in the coming weeks. Watch a squirrel and you’ll know what I mean. It’s not just our furry friends that are being taken over by the primeval instinct and irresistible urge to hoard in preparation for the cold months.

For every keen forager this is the busiest time of the year. I wallow in contentment as I fill my kitchen with fresh, sparkling kilner jars, glass bottles and a myriad of other storage items ready to fill up the pantry with the generosity of Mother Nature.Her timing is always perfect and everything she presents now will provide healing, sustenance and even brightness, long after the landscape is laid bare. I never cease to marvel at the precision of nature. Just before the darkest, most desolate days arrive, we are blessed with a bumper crop of everything we could possibly need to soothe, heal and feed, and more importantly, survive until spring arrives.

There’s no end to the uses of foraged items available now, from cooking and healing to beauty therapies and even lantern or basket making! Nuts, roots, berries and mushrooms are all ripe for the picking. Whatever your preference, you’re bound to find blissful contentment as you beaver away on developing the creative potential of the wild.

The hedgerows are literally bowing with the weight of plump berries as winter closes in. Haws, slows, rosehips and brambles are on a very long list of the crimson colour that adorns the countryside right now. All will add nutrition, flavour and sumptuous colour to jams, ketchups and alcoholic beverages. Less than a hundred years ago children would be sent to gather these jewels and their mothers would use them to stock up with remedies and treats to bring cheer and healing throughout the hardest months.

Why not wrap up and explore the changing scenery, kick up the leaves and bring your own share of the season? Then use it to while away an hour or two as you make the most of this fabulous fall!

Remember to always positively identify whatever you pick to make sure it doesn’t come with an unexpected or nasty surprise, and of course, forage responsibly so you don’t upset the animals or people!

For more information about foraging workshops email nikki@bogglelane.co.uk



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