Saturday, 18 June 2011


It was a slightly chilly and damp morning, perfect for a bit of picking with Nimmy and James. It's Nimmy's favourite season:

Nathaniel got the idea of this activity very quickly:

We were pleased that they hadn't made us weigh him on the way in! But he got into everything very well and when he wasn't eating, greatly enjoyed carrying the basket to us.

We got rather carried away - no-one had strawberried for a while and we'd forgotten how wonderful it was when they were just all over the place - it's very hard to stop yourself from just picking another handful. And the longer we picked, the better ideas we had of things to do with our spoils. In the end, we sent James back to the shop for another basket, and just went wild!

Nathaniel enjoyed mainly finding delicious specimens for people to eat, and if they refused, did the job himself!

Then we moved onto blackcurrants amid much discussion on most successful picking method, pectin levels, required amounts of sugar to make them palatable and other subjects that quickly dissolved into a need for much more accurate scientific data than we could lay our hands on immediately. Nathaniel wasn't so keen on these fruits (less tasty), and it all started to go downhill when he fell into a patch of stinging nettles, and despite being pretty much immune to the York variety (over exposure at the sailing club has its up sides!), got a very stung bottom.

So we went home with a tonne (small exaggeration) of strawberries and a good amount of blackcurrants. The blackcurrants met a sticky end when Nimmy forgot about them halfway through the jamming process, but thanks to her and James' diligence, we now have a good supply of delicious strawberry jam, and Nathaniel and I have made some slightly dubious, but very munchable strawberry muffins. My gooseberry, elderflower and strawberry crumble was a surprise success (don't knock it til you've tried it!), and the freezer, needless to say, is full of fruit ready to liven up apple crumble for the rest of the year!

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