Well it's the end of another exhausting weekend spent walking, foraging and baking. At this time of year it's amazing just how much can be gathered from the hedgerows around us. Once you start looking at the type of trees or what fruit may have fallen across a country lane it's impossible not to find new and interesting foraging locations just about everywhere. A word of warning though - it is quite an addictive pastime!
The highlight of the last couple of days has been wild raspberries. These days many wild raspberry plants are bird seeded but the plant is a true British native and in some places you can be picking ripe fruit as early as the last weeks in June.
You may be wondering . . . how can I tell if I am looking at raspberries or unripe blackberries? The answer ... look at the stems. The raspberry has woody, cane like stems and these are comparatively smooth except for a few weak prickles. Anyone who has ever been blackberry picking knows that the prickles can be quite lethal!
The picture below shows yesterday evening's pick:
The following recipe makes an amazing fruity summer drink:
3-4 tbsp clear honey
1tsp lemon juice
Juice of 2 oranges
600ml bottled mineral water
Blend raspberries with the honey and fruit juices in a food processor or blender.
Press through a fine sieve extracting as much of the juice as possible.
Add the water
It can be stored in the fridge for a few days or freeze.
Serve diluted with sparkling mineral water
A useful idea for a summer drink:
If you have ever made blackberry jelly which has not set properly, try putting 2 tbsp of the thick syrup mixture in a long glass and top up with lemonade. The result is a delicious drink great for kids, as long as they remember to brush their teeth!