Saturday night we moored at Armitage, just north of the toilet factory. I love that place. The way the toilet bowls are all lined up along the back fence. The way scintillating conversation vanishes down the pan as lavatorial puns abound and we hurry past with no time to loos. Sorry. Had to be done.
Flushed with success (ok, I’ll stop now) over my dewberry moment on Sunday, I was not expecting more. Indeed, I was happy with my lot. I would have been quite content to let the Dewberry Jelly drip overnight and jam it this morning. But this is August the hedgerows are teeming. During the course of the day I had the opportunity to effect my Standing on the Roof of your Narrowboat gathering method for some wild plums which were perfectly ripe.
We ate probably more than we should have done and the rest I set aside for jam and Rumtopf. Then there were the enormous rosehips of the Japanese Rose. If Carlsberg made rosehips, then they would definitely make them like this. Obviously I found dewberries and blackberries. But what most surprised was that the elderberries were beginning to ripen. I found enough inky black ones to throw into my jam.
I needed apples too but our Bramley apple tree had shaken its branches before we left home and I had gathered a bagful of windfalls to bring with me. As jams go, it is very tasty. Particularly as by making it two parts the boat was filled with the scent of rosehips, apples and plums one day, then blackberries and elderberries the next. Divine.
225g Japanese Rosehips
450g Wild Plums
900g Windfall Apples / Crab Apples
300g Blackberries & Elderberries
Wash fruit. Put rosehips, plums and chopped apples (skins & cores) into a preserving pan. Add water to cover (about 1.2 litres) and cook slowly until the fruit is tender. Strain in a scalded jelly bag overnight. Return strained liquid to pan with blackberries & elderberries. Add sugar and heat gently stirring all the time until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a fast boil and boil until setting point is reached – about 10 to 15 mins. Pour into sterilised jars and seal.