Day 91 of the 100 day project

Not long until the end of the project now and suddenly it is time to pick things as well as to continue with the weeding and sorting.  It makes me realise just how long I have been doing this.  I started on 1st April 2018 at a time when things were only just beginning to grow after a long cold spring.  Now we are certainly in high summer and for May and June we have had a lot of hot dry weather.  When I look across to the hills on the other side of the valley the fields are brown and gold.  This is Wales.  The normal colour of my view is green, many shades of deep verdant green.


But this evening through my window shows a bleached dry world.  It is still beautiful but it doesn't quite look like home.  It has been wonderful though to eat outside every day, to sit in the shade because the sun is too hot and to come into the old house where the slate floors and the thick walls produce a cool retreat.  The garden really does need some rain.  Ian has been watering his edible crops every day and I am trying hard not to water flowers as there is just too much to do if it is done indiscriminately.  A handful of cosmos which went in as seedlings have had water but the rest of the garden must take its chance!

Today I have been picking gooseberries and blackcurrants as well as taking out some of the bindweed from the kitchen garden.  Gooseberries seem to have fallen out of favour as a dessert fruit.  I very rarely see them in supermarkets.  I imagine they are a difficult crop to pick in a mechanised fashion and the fact that they need topping and tailing and then cooking before eating means they are also not an instant fruit.  They seem to have become oldfashioned, like wearing hats and writing letters.  I like topping and tailing gooseberries, snipping off the fuzzy end of the berry and the remains of the stalk.  It reminds me of my mother.  When my parents came visiting us here after we moved to North Wales we used to sit and top and tail together, outside on the bench whenever we could, chatting about family and books and putting the world to rights.  I miss that now.

Gooseberries grow well up here and we have always had good crops.  I love the tart edge to their sweetness.  I adore gooseberry fool with its sweet, tart, creaminess and gooseberry crumble with cream.  I love gooseberry jam, sometimes with elderflower, sometimes without.


It is Ian's birthday tomorrow.  I am going to make a pavlova for him so just need to decide whether it will have strawberries and blueberries or whether to make a gooseberry one.  Might have to ask him to choose!

Comments

  1. I love gooseberries and haven’t eaten them for so long This post reminds me of my childhood, picking gooseberries from the bush outside and helping to top and tail them. If memory serves I ate a few too many straight from the bush and gave myself stomach ache. A gooseberry pavlova sounds delicious. B x

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    1. It is strange to see a fruit go out of fashion in the way that gooseberries have now that people no longer grow their own as much as they used to. I keep waiting for high end restaurants to latch onto them because they do have that really interesting contrast of flavour but haven't seen it happen yet!

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  2. My grass is also going brown. This is Wales. We are not used to these levels of sunshine!!!

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    1. Exactly! It looks strange to look out on brown rather than deep lush green!

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  3. Hope you get rain soon; green hills are so much prettier than brown ones.
    Loved your comments on gooseberries...my Irish grandmother brought her love of them with her when she immigrated to the USA and grew them for all of us to enjoy. My other grandmother raised ground cherries, a favorite in old time gardens, but also have lost favor with today's gardeners and cooks. Do they grow in Wales?

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    1. I am sorry to say that I have never heard of ground cherries Pat! I had to go and google them to find out what they were! Here we call them cape gooseberries and they are not widely grown. I don't think I have ever tasted one. Maybe ought to remedy that!

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  4. Ina was never tasted gooseberries, but know that things that I shared with my family are always near and dear to me. I do miss the simple cooking traditions that we did together.

    I hope you get some needed rain soon.

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    1. I have tried to keep up our cooking traditions with our children and grandchildren. You are right - they are a special thing!

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  5. Strange thing - gooseberries grow wild round the edges of this garden. No fruit, just prickly bushes...
    It's TOO HOT!

    Am staggered by your other news!

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