I’ve been out and about, meandering and ambling over the marshes, checking on the wild produce that’s growing in the hedgerows and trees that surround where we live…this time last year I had a freezer full of blackberries and rows of jars of blackberry jam were stacked in the pantry, but it’s a very different story this year….the blackberries have been a bit slow and although I picked some last week for a crumble and a few earlier today (for a fruity “bachelors jam” style alcoholic beverage) there hasn’t been the flurry of jam making of previous Summers….hopefully a few more days of sunshine are all that’s needed for the fruit to plump up and the jam making can begin……seeing rows of shiny black jellies , jams and treacle* when I open one of the kitchen cupboard doors makes me feel very happy..all set and prepared for some wet and wild Autumn and Winter mornings.
As I came up over one of the wildflower pastures I couldn’t help but be struck by the wonderful sight of the rusty red sorrel and ragwort growing all round my favourite spot for blackberry picking….
In the hazy morning light it just looked so stunning, the striking mix of the two colours in the sunshine…both surrounded by the constant buzz of bumble bees and red admiral butterflies.
The turkey red sorrel and mustard coloured ragwort combination is very similar to the gorgeous Ella Gordon gloves I’ve got, and it reminded me also of the persimmon coloured wool I bought last Autumn, and which I was hoping to knit up into a scarf this year as it’s such a fantastic and intense colour, and is sure to brighten up even the most over cast and dreary morning…..however with one thing and another I’ve not got round to it yet….just one of the many things on my to do list.
The ragwort is such a great colour, the exact same mustard tone of the little tin that the local Colman’s mustard powder comes in…. I don’t really use it that often, just when I make him cheese scones, but I love the familiarity of the tin, it looks just the same as when I was growing up and I can’t imagine opening a cupboard and not see it nestled in there….like the green tins of Lyle’s golden syrup and red tins of their black treacle….seeing those in a cupboard makes me know I’m home.
*I’m the blackberry jam eater in the house, (he prefers raspberry) but without being able to eat bread I needed to come up with a different way to use the blackberries I was picking last Summer (our freezer isn’t big enough to store more than a few pounds)….a happy accident the Autumn before produced what I think of as a fruity treacle and which I think tastes wonderful stirred into thick yoghurt…I’m happy to eat it for breakfast or as a pudding. (It’s also nice dribbled over meringues and thick whipped cream for a more indulgent treat)