Thursday, 20 August 2009

It sounded so idyllic in my head .....

Willow had one of her friends over to play today. My plan was to take them to Wortham Ling and get them to help me pick a load of apples and plums after which we'd have a picnic, mooch round the pond, look for caterpillars etc.

As I'm piling the kids and supplies into the car, the thunder starts to crack like the portent of doom I should've taken it for. Still I press on, hoping that we'll be lucky and the clouds will pass overhead. About 3 minutes later the rain is bouncing down so hard I've got the wipers on double speed and the kids think it's hilarious. Still I press on, hoping it's a shower.

Luckily, it is just a shower, so we arrive and pile out of the car laden with carrier bags to take our harvest home with us. I set off down the path which weaves between the waist high grass trilling brightly "Come on you two, this way!" And so the whining commences ....

Apparently the grass is too scratchy, those purple flowers are sharp, there are nettles (there weren't) screaming occurs when we pass thistles (that's 'pass', not 'impale ourselves upon') Stubbornly I press on and we arrive at the fruit trees. I pick a small handful of ripe plums and show them to girls in the hope of enthusing them. The first one I break open contains a fat maggot and many dark grains of maggot poo, as does the second, and the third - in fact every single ripe plum is infested.

At this point I look at two small and thoroughly appalled faces, encased in kagouls and hear the faint rumble of distant thunder. My shoulders droop. "Who wants to go home and watch Cbeebies?!". Cheers all round.

So while the kids were carefully trashing the house I made a second batch of courgette pickle and some spiced damson jam which is, even if I say so myself, divine.

Spiced Damson Jam.

2 kilos damsons
2 kilos sugar
generous pinch each ground cloves and cinnamon.

Put the damsons in a pan with water about 2cm deep. Simmer til the flesh comes away from the stones, fish out the stones (I put mine in a sieve and rub them around to remove any juice/flesh) Add the sugar and the spices, boil til setting point is reached and pot up as normal.

Yummy scrummy.

By the way, the photo is a pub called the Cock on Fayre Green. There's a park opposite where we stopped on the way home and this made me laugh.


  1. sorry your day didn't go to plan...but at least you got to make some jam!! hope your next outting to the trees is more 'fruitful'!! lol

  2. Lol! Just realised I forgot to keep some damsons back to make damson gin - curses. Will have to go and pick some more.