Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Foraging Fun!

I have been hanging out for Autumn, Autumn is wonderful, the weather, the leaves and the foraging, Blackberries, apples and rose hips being the major players.

Autumn officially began at the start of March but we have been having a prolonged heatwave which has the result of Tasmanians being surly and sweaty  first we realise that our antiperspirant doesn't cut it and then we all wear too much and the place smells like a cheap body spray whenever you have had a visitor (not my friends  mostly customers by the way  I am sure all my friends smell very sophisticated). So it's been too hot but we insisted on some good old fashioned foraging anyway. 

Proper foraging. 
Not buying from farm gates or door knocking nearby houses (both of which were called foraging on Masterchef!)but picking from the brambles ourselves. 

We found a good spot near the river and whilst baby slept peacefully in the (well ventilated and shaded) car we picked over four kilos of blackberries. Well that's what we weighed up, I am fairly sure we picked more because delightfully quirky four year old never had any in his bucket, seemed to spend most of his time getting caught on brambles and still ended up covered in berry juice so he must have eaten more than we saw!

As soon as we got home I had to start work on using them as they were so sweet and ripe and warm they were already softening. Proper fruit doesn't keep well. It should be processed into delicious things as soon as possible or eaten whilst still warm from the sun and fragrant and juicy. in an ideal world.

I used the Thermomix to make jam (so easy it's like cheating!), froze some mixed with some rapadura, made a blackberry slice based on Bill Granger's recipe here. I used a sweet shortcrust base from a Leon recipe... because I knew I liked it and I could make double quantities, rest it in the fridge, nip out for a quick beer with fabulous people and then use the pastry to make both the slice and a a crumple topped blackberry and apple pie (for dinner). because I forgot to mention we found and old apple tree and I used the apples in the pie.There were some creatures but I cut the creaturey bits out and did only used the good bits!

It was wonderful. I wonder what we will forage next...?

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