scavenging for freebies

This is a delicious time of year – we have the best apples and plums in the world, and right now, they are everywhere!

A huge thank you to Chris for the damsons (see left) – she had so many ripe plums she texted round all her foodie mates and gave away bags full with the instructions “these need making into jam today”! She was completely right – the plums were falling off their stones. I stuck them all in a huge pan, added about the same weight in caster sugar and boiled away until they passed the fridge test (pour a little on an ice-cold saucer and if it wrinkles, it is ready to pour into sterilized jars). I skimmed off the millions of stones as they came to the surface. It might have been easier to remove the stones first but that only occurred to me as I fished them all out.

12 jars of jam later for the price of a bag of sugar. Thanks Chris.

We have lots of windfall apples in our garden from next door – I cut off the odd bounce bruise and they are lovely. No idea what variety they are but you can eat them and they cook well. If you can’t scavenge so easily, look out for Discovery apples, which are ripe now, but don’t keep so are gone soon. PLEASE ignore the US and French apples that for some reason are still in some supermarkets and pick up some Discoveries. They are pink and juicy inside and are the best apples in the world ever. Honest.

Blackberries are now out all over the place so fill your boots before the birds eat them all. They make great jam and pies of course. Blackberry and apple jam used to be around a lot when I was little, but less so now, but if you have a glut of apples, chop them up and add those too.

Slight mishap with the pastry – if you put a thin rim of pastry around the dish first it should stick better on all sides. Or press down better with a fork. Still, Mary and Paul aren’t watching, and it tasted very nice.


And finally, thank you to Nicky for her mini plants that she gave us back in April. We harvested our first beans today and Iz was thrilled as I think she had forgotten we had planted them. Our garden is tiny but she still asked where they were! So despite our lack of care and attention, they flourished. The longest was too long to be measured by ruler. Nicky’s tomatoes look amazing but are all still green – any tips?

Lynda’s courgettes and my pumpkin plant did not survive a rather brutal grass mowing by Steve, or was it the football? Anyway, we promise to try harder next year with those.

So thanks for the freebies – delicious!


About thelocalfoodie

Food writer for The Herts Advertiser.
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One Response to scavenging for freebies

  1. Carol Humphreys says:

    Place green tomatoes in bowl with at least one red tomato and the red tom will help the others ripen. Beans look great.

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