Some harvesting and recipies for Autumn

Jamie points us at some seasonal and recipies and ‘free food’ crops;

Hawthorn

I’ve also just been harvesting haws from the hawthorns in the small play park on Uppleby Road in Parkstone. They are a very large and very tasty variety, I discovered today! See recipes at http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/search.php?ingredient=hawthorn
High in vitamin’s C & B, it’s also a traditional medicine for supporting the heart. Apparently tasty addition to brandy. 🙂 There are plenty left if anyone else wants any!

(I think they are of the variety crataegus coccinea aka pedicellata, see  http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Crataegus+pedicellata for more details)

Rosehips

Also, the rosehips will be ready to pick at King’s Park anytime now — they grow plentifully in the field on the way to the Littledown Centre. I’ve gathered there for the last two years and made beautiful rosehip syrup (for hot or cold drinks, also amazing in yoghurt) and jelly. If you either wait for the frost or chuck em inthe freezer when you get home they are even easier to work with — no need to chop them up. I just cook them up in the water, and mash them up with a potato masher. (Recipe below.) I’m also tempted to try making wine with them this year.

Rosehip syrup – from a The Hedgerow Harvest : Ministry of Food recipes from 1943

  1. Boil 3 pints (1.7 litres) of boiling water.
  2. Add about 2 pounds (900gm) of hips, washed and defrosted. I don’t bother to top and tail or even to be all that careful about removing stems. It all gets strained out or skimmed off the top as the hips cook.
  3. Bring to boil and then place aside for 30 minutes.
  4. Pour into a flannel or linen crash jelly bag (presumably some fine muslin will do?) and allow to drip until the bulk of the liquid has come through.
  5. Return the residue to the saucepan, add one and a half pints (852ml) of boiling water, stir and allow to stand for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Pour back into the jelly bag and allow to drip through.
  7. Put the mixed juice into a clean saucepan and boil down until the juice measures about one and a half pints (852ml), then add one and a quarter pounds (560gm) of sugar and boil for a further 5 minutes.
  8. Pour into hot sterile bottles and seal at once.

Tips

  • It is advisable to use small bottles as the syrup will not keep for more than a week or two once the bottle is opened. (I reckon it keeps longer than this, but even a large bottle doesn’t last more than 2-3 weeks in my house!)
  • Store in a dark cupboard.

Cottage Cider

No need for a cider press, ready  to drink in about 4 – 6 weeks

http://www.acountrylife.com/page.php?id=43

Medlar

Andy spotted a big medlar tree in Upton Country Park, groaning with fruit. In the UK, they don’t ripen fully, and one can only use them after the first frost has bletted them – see this recipe for an explanation.

http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/miscellaneous/fetch-recipe.php?rid=misc-spicy-medlar-chutney

Squash

Tatnam Patch have a recipe for a tasty Squash Pilaf

http://tatnampatch.org.uk/?page_id=76

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