Even though we live in the city, there is plenty of nature around us to enjoy. And in Autumn, there’s even more ways to enjoy nature than just by talking walks. There were lots of pickings…
These last ones I had spotted last year, but way too late to make what I wanted with them. So, I made a mental note, set a date in my diary with exclamation marks and picked the bush. Only one bush, I’m afraid… So a very low yield, but enough to make a bottle of this: sloe gin.
And the rosehips… I used to always pick the big fat ones, but after watching Wartime Farm, I realized that the smaller ones are also used. So, not afraid of experiments, I nibbled lots of hips of the local branches – and there are masses and masses around when you start looking!
I used this recipe… ish, as I used Marmello, and added way less sugar than in the recipe. Just enough to keep the jam sweet, but not too sweet that you don’t taste the hips anymore. I always find it amazing that something that smells so horrible when you first boil it, turns into a lovely jam – full of vitamin C! A big and a small jar, just enough to get me through winter. And if I’m out before then, there will still be plenty of hips out there to pick in the coming weeks.
And then there are two bottles (well, almost 2) of elderberry syrup, made according to this recipe… I only managed to make elderflower juice twice, and it’s berry time now. There were lots of berries, but this will do me for winter, as I only use a little bit of it over pancakes and through porridge and stuff.
The seeds will be scattered alongside our house, to hopefully create a colourful display next summer.
I’m off on more walks this week, to find what other hidden treasures the city has to offer. I have already found some hops, but as I don’t have any beer making equipment, I left it where it is… But first, more research on some of the berries I saw online, to make sure I’m not taking stuff home that’s not edible…