autumn fruits

Another lovely thing about the onset of Autumn is the arrival of all the wonderful berries, which we enjoy foraging for, and also our neighbour's glut of apples! Sadly both blackberries and elderberries are all but finished now but in case you're lucky enough to have some still, here's a great simple recipe for elderberry chutney, taken from this book, that we made last year with the vast quantity we gathered one day. Because of the low sugar content it is rather tart but we like it that way -

elderberry chutney

2 lb elderberries
1 pt cider vinegar
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablesp sugar
1 teasp each salt, ground ginger, mustard seeds
1/2 teasp each cayenne pepper and mixed spice

De-stalk and wash elderberries, put in a pan and bruise them with a wooden spoon. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer until thick. Put into warmed jars when cool

Elderberries are well known for having anti-viral properties so we always keep a good stash in the freezer for use throughout the cold season. Added to juices, smoothies or to a gravy accompanying roast game, it's a great way to get a quick health fix!

I've also discovered another way to preserve all of these fruits, in the form of this Michael Miller fabric, bought recently from here, and made into a gorgeous but simple skirt for Jemima. Made with a full amount of fabric and a good wide hem, I'm hoping we should be able to get at least a couple of Autumns out of it! If only it would fit me ...

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