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Picture of Doodle - a 
black cat

Welcome to Doodlecat, where we enjoy the pleasures of life (with a slight bias towards the outdoors). This page is regularly updated with news and views plus information about any additions or changes to the various parts of the site. It acts as Doodlecat’s Blog too, so the odd rant considered opinion may pop up from time to time.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hedgerow foraging

We went to see how the sloes and blackberries are getting on today. Very well it seems. Our pear trees are laden with fruit, so very soon poached pears and blackberry coulis will be stacked in the freezer. And the sloes? Just waiting for a supermarket bargain on litres of gin.

Blackberries
Blackberries

Sloes in hedgerow
Suffolk Sloes

Later this week we hope to gather some hazelnuts that I spotted a while ago. They should be ready now and will be added to the Christmas cake ingredients. A walk along an old railway line discovered a superb apple tree growing right alongside the old trackbed. The line has been closed for fifty years, so this is probably the product of a discarded apple core from one of the last passengers. And they are delicious (really delicious, not Golden Delicious!).

Summer is all very well, but autumn is the best time of year for me. Cool, still light enough, and full of treats for the forager. Last year's Sloe gin has matured nicely and awaits the onset of suitably nippy weather for its inclusion in the hip flask - roll on the first frost!

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3 Comments:

Blogger Alan Sloman said...

Sloe Gin? Did I hear someone say something about sloe gin?

I think we need to get out for a walk as soon as it's in the bottle. As Mr Donohoe says, two days maturataion is plenty enough.

September 21, 2011 at 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Peewiglet said...

Ultra-yummy pictures!

I have found the sloes here :) There are billions! Question is: do I have to wait until they're ripe before picking? If so, what test of ripeness should I employ? Even a ripe sloe is rather sour.

September 25, 2011 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Hi Shirl,

The answer is to leave them on the branch as long as poss - but not so long that some swine nicks 'em before you! By mid October I reckon that they are generally as ripe as they're going to get.

Down here in sunny south facing hedgerows some are already ripe and 'squidge' slightly when squeezed.

My recipe is HERE if you want to give it a go.

September 25, 2011 at 5:42 PM  

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