Monday, 17 September 2007


The geese going over has made me realise the birds will soon arrive from Scandinavia, and they will strip the trees. So between showers yesterday I gathered rowan berries, and inevitably got caught in a couple of heavy downpours. Still, I got a good bucketful of berries and then there was the long, meditative job of stripping them off their stalks before stewing them up with cooking apples - no hassle there, skins, cores and all. The bright red berries go pale peach and the apple fluffs to a paste. Overnight the fruit has been hanging in a straining bag in the tool shed, dripping slowly into a bowl. I like the fact that it makes you wait, takes its time. There's no rushing the rowan. When I've finished my cyberwork I'll go and boil it up with sugar and soak up the bitter-sweet flavour, watching it transform from opaque to clear as the colour blooms, blushing from pale pink to ruby. If I make enough I'll trying selling it through the Food Link. But I'll need enough to last the year. Traditionally you eat it with venison. It's great on toast and even better with cheese. But to really get the most out of it, have it with turnip or swede.

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