For tales of your foraging and your preserving; and particularly for the preserving of the things you forage.
I generally forage either on foot for local goodies (mostly blackberries) or on a bike if the resources are more distant. I started making jellies/jams last year, as detailed in this thread, so I’m definitely a novice. My list of foraged feral fruit targets for preserves this year is:
- Apple (jelly)
- Blackberry (jelly)
- Plum (jam)
- Damson (jam)
- Sloe (dunno yet)
- Mulberry (jelly; there’s a tree in a local park – I can collect windfalls, so I’m OK with jelly but wary of jam)
This has been a cold summer in the UK, and everything is late. Just to get me back in the preserving groove, as it were (I haven’t made a preserve since January’s marmalades), I bought limes and lemons to make – uh – lemon and lime marmalade. And then, typically, the blackberries, plums and mulberries all were suddenly ready. So I’ve started with a bang this last week.
I did a pre-forage bike ride last Wednesday, realized the plums were ready – and found a load more plum trees with fruit, so at least they’ve liked the weather this year. Found a load of blackberries close to home. Gotta get out there! So I went out gathering on the bike on Friday – and someone had picked my plums! Outrageous! Fortunately, as I said, I had found more plums, so I was OK. Picked a load of blackberries as well.
Friday night – blackberry jelly using this recipe. Five jars of batch 2021-BB-00003, very good. Used commercial pectin to set this instead of apple – first time I’ve ever made blackberry jelly, first time I’ve used pectin.
Saturday night – lemon and lime marmalade using this recipe. Five jars of batch 2021-MA-00004, flat out excellent. Proud of myself. First time I’ve ever made this too – OK, it’s not foraging unless you count the fruit aisles in Tesco, but you’ve seen my explanation.
Sunday night – plum jam using this recipe, modified. (These are wild plums and very small, so I cooked them before de-stoning them.) Four jars of batch 2021-PL-00005, excellent. Not just the first plum jam I’ve made, it’s the first jam I’ve made (depending on how you classify marmalade).
Three batches, 14 jars in 3 days, Next up, mulberries – I’m collecting and freezing the windfalls, saving them up for a batch of jelly. Almost there.
So what are you planning? Or if you’re ahead of me, what have you been up to? Any ideas you’d like to share?