Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring

Monday, 4 July 2011

Gorgeous on Monday... seasonal fruit

It's a fabulous time of year for local, seasonal fruit. And it seems to be a bumper year for berries and currants in particular. Pick your own farms up and down the country are offering a wide range of fruit and vegetables, while in cities, the farmers are bringing their produce to local markets and speciality food fairs.

Now's the time to pick your fruit, and make the most of it in lovely puddings and healthy compotes to stir into yoghurt. Storing it up for later months couldn't be more fun, and it's something we can be doing now, before the children break up from school - the hot pans and volcanic sugary mess of jam making is not for tiny fingers! Turning blackcurrants into jam, jelly (to stir into casseroles and gravies in colder months), cassis-like liqueurs and even home-made cordial is pretty easy as long as you have a few basic bits of kit. Raid your local kitchen shop (or Mum's cupboard, there's often a family hand-me-down lurking somewhere) for a maslin pan, jelly bag and jam funnel. Sterilise some jars and bottles and you're off!
The River Cottage Preserving handbook is an invaluable source of recipes, as is Nigel Slater's Tender volume 2 - loads of simply gorgeous recipes to use seasonal fruit.

You'll get a summery reminiscence in the heart of winter every time you twist the lid off your jam!

And before the children break up, make sure you're stocked up on all the summer outfits your girls will need for the coming sunny months - don't forget to check what's left in our sale, there are still some real bargains to be had! 

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