Sunday, 6 December 2009
Well they do say you reap what you sow ....
I'm beginning to think that the highlight of the foraging year may just be the deep mid-winter. OK, so there isn't any fruit around (other than the last few crab apples clinging perilously to the trees) but now is the time to plunder the goodies we worked so hard to lay down over the summer.
Today we're having Hugh's Artichoke and Goat's cheese salad with our Sunday roast made with winter salad and Jerusalem artichokes from the garden with foraged hazlenuts. We're following it up with Mulled Quince and Pear crumble, assembled from quinces from the freezer (kindly donated by a friend), pears bottled in spiced cider (foraged) and some more hazlenuts (foraged).
The spice in the bottled pears is actually very strong and 3 small, chopped pears are enough to flavour the whole dish. I poured a little of the cider syrup over the fruit prior to cooking. As the warm, buttery smell of cloves and cinnamon wafts through the house there can be no doubt that Christmas is upon us. (Especially after our visit to Father Christmas this afternoon)
One of the joys of living in a small Norfolk market town is the impossibility of buying alcohol on a Sunday evening. Until recently we had 2 off licenses which meant we had until 8pm to buy wine but as the credit crunch has forced them to close we now have to rely on the supermarkets which close at 4pm. It's a pretty safe bet that about 4.05pm one of us will say "Did we pick up any wine to go with dinner?" - Doh. However, our foraging ways step in and save the day once more. Our store of fruit liqueurs and Quince cider will be pressed into service this evening, a tad unconventional perhaps but needs must.