I'm guessing that Gorillaz didn't have Rowan berries in mind when they talked about sunshine in a bag but look at that photo and tell me it's not appropriate. The children and I gathered about 4lbs this afternoon having learned our lesson from last year when we left it too late and were faced with several treeloads of old, wizened berries. I've waited almost a year to taste Rowan jelly so it'd better not disappoint!
The big discovery of the day though was a Mulberry tree. That kind of makes up for the loss of our Quince tree to municipal tidy mindedness last year and, rather neatly, this one was a Xanthe spot ("Blackberries Mummy!") to Willow's initial Quince tree spot.
We didn't recognise it outright, it's like nothing I've seen before. A towering, full size tree with what appeared to be large red and black blackberries tumbling from the boughs and plopping softly onto the grass below. I took some fruit and leaves home and 5 minutes on Google images identified them for me. The plan is to go back next week (after our action packed weekend) and fill as many ice cream tubs as we can get our hands on, then it's Mulberry cook-a-thon ahoy. I haven't actually tasted them yet as by the time I got them home and identified them, they were looking a bit battered, but there seem to a lot of people out there on t'interweb who rate them highly.
I reckon Apple need to come up with a new i-phone app. A bit like that mobile phone thing where you can play some music to your phone and it identifies the track for you. When in the field one should be able to photograph a random wild fruit, send it to a website somewhere and get an instant, reliable id back so you know whether to add it to your picnic or give it a wide berth. (you can have that for free Apple, though a complementary i-phone wouldn't go amiss)
Anyhoo - this year's preserve wish list is below. This is a list of everything I either made and considered a huge success last year, or missed an opportunity to make and want to try in 2010. Hopefully there will also be plenty of ad hoc foraged gluts to deal with along the way too.
Courgette Pickle (done)
Apple and blackberry butter
SeaBuckthorn jelly (the gelatine kind, not the preserve kind)
Sloe Jelly with Port
Red Wine Jelly
Cherry Plum chutney
Cherry Plum cordial
Blackberry and elderberry cordial
Pears in Cider/Red Wine/Perry