I have always disliked gooseberries. But I am a grown up. I make my children eat things they do not like. It seemed only fair to make an attempt to love the nasty green spikey bushes at the top of my garden. Besides, I have a recipe that uses the teeny tiny unripe gooseberries and mixes them with elderflowers before turning them into jam. And I love elderflowers. Seemed like a plan.
I snuck into the park mid morning and had to trek around three different locations in order to find real proper elder trees. You may remember my fiasco a couple of weeks ago? Actually there were lots everywhere but far from being over, they were inconsiderately not blooming. I had to find some that were pointing in the right direction and in full sunshine. Tsk. As if I have nothing better to do. Oh wait, I am convalescing. Therefore I don’t. I forgot.
Things only got worse when I began the actual picking. I mean, have you seen the thorns on gooseberry bushes? These are berries that were never, and I mean NEVER, designed to be picked. I am now sporting some rather unattractive scratches the length of my forearms. I need to get hold of total body armour. Perhaps I could invent some specifically for foraging and then patent it? Then again, perhaps it’s just me? Do not answer that.
But shortly after that it all went horribly wrong. I am not entirely sure what happened. Except that making gooseberry jam is clearly dabbling in the black arts. My beautiful shiny stainless steel maslin pan turned into a bubbling black cauldron containing a sticky tar like substance that bore no resemblance to the pale green jam in the recipe book.
So, gooseberries and me are not to be.