Food for Free!

Couldn’t believe my luck the other day – I was walking with a friend when we cam across the most heavily laden damson tree. What was even more wonderful was they were the plumpest, juiciest damsons I have ever eaten. Armed with a few carrier bags we harvested about 5llbs. Even to make 7 jars of damson jelly and a few bottles of damson gin too!

The jelly is going to make a mighty fine macaron. Not sure yet whether to go for a purple shell which was the colour of the skins or a pink shell which will be the colour of the buttercream. They will make an excellent wedding macaron with their deep fruity flavour regardless of their colour. I will post photo’s of the macarons later.

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Blackberries – stung, scratched and stained!

One of my most popular wedding macarons to date have been the blackberry one’s – they are intense in flavour and produce an amazing naturally coloured pink buttercream. For those brides who choose a secret centre there is also the extra delight of a hidden centre of pure fruit jelly.

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I always make my own blackberry jelly adding a little less sugar so the fruity flavour is intensified. Making my own jam does involve going out and picking my own blackberries and of course the obligatory nettle stings, bramble scratches and the stained hands!

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My favourite spot to pick blackberries is at the bottom of a local field where the brambles intermingle with the hawthorn. This year’s crop has been fantastic – the result of a sunny, warm summer. The blackberries are large, plump and super juicy and super sweet.

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Armed with ‘granddad’s brolley’ I have managed to pick 5 lbs of blackberries the last two days – so plenty to make enough jars of jelly for all of next year’s weddings.

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