Over the weekend, the boys, D, and I went for a ramble with my Dad. He took us to a hillside covered in bramble bushes, where we spotted a Muntjac deer, a hollow tree (“where a gentleman fairy might live, Mummy”) and filled our basket with blackberry after blackberry. On the edge of the woods there was also a crabapple tree, so we gathered as many as we could reach.
Combining the blackberries, the crabapples and the bowl of windfall apples at home in the kitchen, I made a batch of bramble jelly. It’s a two stage process because the fruit has to drip through a muslin overnight, but it really is worth the effort. I stashed away the jars, giving a couple to my Dad, but couldn’t resist spreading some on a round of hot buttered toast. It tastes of Autumn distilled.