Friday, 14 August 2009
Had a fab holiday oop north, it was lovely to catch up with lots of family and old friends. We spent some time with my parents, some in The Waverley Hotel, Llandudno and some in Arbor Low B&B near Bakewell. Both were fantastic and highly recommended.
Being the foraging family that we are we were constantly on the look out for hedgerow fruit and comparing it to our supplies back home. In Warrington we found a surprisingly wide range of fruit including cherries, sloes, cherry plums, yellow bullace and the ubiquitous blackberry. However, the quantities were way down on what we find in Norfolk which isn't surprising considering we have more farmland/hedgerows here.
We didn't find much in Llandudno but then we didn't really get out of town, however, we did spot some dewberries in an overgrown hedge behind our hotel.
We pinned all our foraging hopes on the Peak District but we were actually bitterly disappointed and found absolutely zip. The reason is blindingly obvious once you realise - they don't do hedges in the Peaks, it's all dry stone walls, so nothing but rocks and thistles. Saying that though, the Lake District also goes in for dry stone walls, but in spring Windermere is thick with wild garlic which grows unbidden from the walls themselves, in grass verges, around bus stops etc, it's unstoppable.
We arrived back in Norfolk at lunchtime, by 4.30pm the apple bowl was full of wildings and a kilo of blackberries nestled in the fridge. We stopped on the A143 to pick the apples on the way home to take advantage of our favourite apple tree and we found we couldn't sit in the house for longer than 30 minutes before we got twitchy so took ourselves off to Wortham Ling for the mixed pleasure of blackberry picking. Blackberries are delicious but I always shed blood in pursuit of them.
Tomorrow, jam making beckons, I've got the bullace we picked before our holiday out of the freezer. I think it's practically legally enforceable that I make some sort of apple and blackberry pudding then the rest of the blackberries will go into the freezer where I'll build up my supply over the next week or so before having a marathon bramble jelly/blackberry cordial session.
Happy days - it's good to be home!