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Damson Days

After such a long hot summer, Autumn feels as though it has crept up and hit us over the head! The produce we would normally expect to see at the end of September appeared much earlier...we were out hunting for blackberries at the beginning of August! The fruits of that lovely afternoon are currently bobbing around a bath of gin, ready for our ‘All Hallows Eve’ supper club next week.

A beautiful damson tree over the road from our house exploded with fruit by the end of August, needless to say we were straight out there with a basket. I love to pickle damsons in a sweet spiced red wine liquor and they will be perfect next to out confit wild rabbit at our next supper club.

The challenge has been to try and use as much of it as possible, and it’s been great having a crossover of all the delicious fruits and berries. I’m a massive fan of the sweet juicy blackberries that we’ve been getting from Oakchurch Farm in the Wye Valley, they also have incredible big juicy raspberries which are still hanging on in there. We expect to say farewell for another year to them soon.

The squashes have been great this year, our favourite has been the little onion squashes. They are small, full of sweetness and the skin is tender enough to leave on. We cut them into wedges, roast them with loads of thyme, rosemary, garlic & lemon peel, drizzled with some Yorkshire Rapeseed oil...Paired simply with some crumbled Yorkshire Blue and Roast Pecans.

We’ll be getting some Quince in soon. I can’t wait! I slowly roast them for 3 or 4 hours with bucket loads of white wine and a drizzle of honey until become almost jam like, but with a delicious amount of tartness. These hard and fuzzy fruits need a lot of work but it’s totally worth it. They’ll be delicious on our Christmas feasts with confit Goose.

At the moment we’re pickling and preserving ahead of our next supper club on the 2nd of November. Red Mullet is plentiful just as we’d hoped and we’re also trying different apple varieties for a Mowbray Toffee Apple, working on the perfect spices for our Pumpkin Pie and regularly checking in on our boozy blackberries. We’re always trying out new bakes and breads, and organically getting to know our local suppliers and producers.

 

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