In the Hedgerow of Wester Auchraw Croft I inherited the great Rugosa Roses know as the mother of all Rose hips! It is the gift barer of vitamin C. Diluted with about five parts cold water, it makes a delicious cordial drink, which kids love. It's also an indulgent alternative to maple syrup on ice cream, waffles and pancakes.
RECIPE: ROSE HIP SYRUP
1 Kilo of Rose hips washed and chopped
1 Kilo of caster sugar
You will also need a jelly bag (cotton cloth or muslin and a sieve).
Fill a pan with 2 Liters of water and bring it to the boil throw in the chopped rose hips and bring it back to the boil again then just let it stand for 30 mins to infuse.
Strain the mixture through a jelly bag or alternatively line a sieve in muslin set over a large bowl. Leave suspended allowing all the juices to run through.
Put the pulp back in the pan with another litre of water and repeat as before. Discard the pulp and combine the juices. Simmer until the volume has reduced by half then boil rapidly for five minutes. Let is cool and pour into warmed sterilised jars or bottles. Voila!
Its all been done before so why bother! Yet I have not done it myself and being an armchair spectator just does not cut the mustard!
RECIPE: ACORN BURGERS.
Makes 10 burgers
5 good hand full's of acorns, shelled and skinned.
1 tin of red kidney beans or beans of choice.
4 cloves of garlic.
4 tsp of cumin seeds
Good bunch of chopped parsley
1 tsp of paprika.
1 tsp of finely grated horseradish
Bread rolls of choice
Pepper & salt to taste
Root horseradish grated finely.
A dash of Balsamic vinegar.
Small squeeze of lemon juice.
The fun begins...find a great oak on your own or with family and friends. The acorns are laying under all the golden Autumn leaves so just scrape them back and like stars they appear.
When you get back home pour your gathered acorns into a baking tray and heat the acorns enough in a warm oven 50 degrees so its enough heat and release the skins from the acorns flesh. Ouch!
Then place the acorns in a muslin cloth and wash under hot water to remove any residue tannins once the water runs clear you are done.
Liquidise the acorns but keep rough for texture and a nutty bite, place in bowl. Same with red kidney beans but i went smooth. Place this and all the other ingrediants into a bowl and mix until quite stiff tasting as you go.
Shape the mix into round burgers and fry or cook both sides with a little oil.
Butter your bun and layer it with burger, garden greens, horseradish relish, accompanied with carrot, parsnip and potato crisps!
November, our first frost has hit deep. Perfecting the timing as the sub zero breath of nature helped split the skins of the astringent sloe. Its been a Sparse year for the sloe however i have picked enough today to share through the festive season with family and friends in front of the fire. (leaning to make fire presently with natures tool box only).
SLOE GIN. Less a recipe than a simple procedure.
Collect a few handfuls of sloes (500g, say), wash and weigh them, then prick each one with a skewer or a thorn from the bush itself.
Place the sloes into a sterilised wine bottle or Kilner jar until it's half-full, then add caster sugar equal to half the weight of the sloes. Top up with gin (no point wasting a premium brand here), pop in a stopper, give the bottle a good shake and leave somewhere cool and dark. Shake once a week for six to eight weeks and it's ready. Ready for Christmas and New-Year
A word of warning, though: not for nothing did the grand old dame of British food writing, Dorothy Hartley, dub sloe gin the original mother's ruin.
Exploring life in the country, foraging free foods from field hedgerow and garden to plate.
Luxury B&B lochearnhead in the loch lomand & trossachs National Park