berries


DSCN6697
Hawberry (Crataegus laevigata og Crataegus monogyna)

There are plenty of hawberries on the commons, in hedgerows and scrubs. This year I couldn’t resist to pick some of them. When I got home, I found a recipe for ketchup based on hawthorn on Jonathan Wallace’s blog Self-sufficient in Suburbia.

Since I always have to try things a little different than stated in the recipe, I ended up making ketchup from: Hawthorn, kombucha, sugar, red wine vinegar, salt, garlic, black pepper, paprika, chilli and tarragon.

DSCN6699
Hawthorn Ketchup

The result was 4 glasses of hawberry ketchup. The taste is great, quite similar to tomato ketchup. This is the first time I’ve used hawberries. With this experience, I could not dream of growing tomatoes for ketchup. It is easier to go out on a nice day and pick the small berries, than it is to grow a similar number of tomatoes from seeds, taking care of them spring and summer.

The process is simple. Rinse the berries, cover them with half vinegar and half water (here I used kombucha and a little vinegar). Gently boil them 30 minutes and press them through a sieve. Kernels and stem residues remain in the sieve, out comes a beautiful red mass. The spices are added and the ketchup boiled again, then poured on scalded glasses. I immediately turn the glasses, to let the heat of the content pasteurize the lids.


Flattr this

DSCN5824
Today’s harvest

Today’s harvest included:

Eggplants/Aubergines. Solanum melongena I harvested some of the late fruits, certainly failing to produce seeds. They are grown in open ground, because I am trying to develop an open-air variety. This summer’s heavy rains made me pessimistic, but now many of the plants stands out there in the rough weather with one, two or more fruits. I wonder if water was a limiting factor in the other years I’ve grown eggplants out in the garden?
Apparently they have thrived with melons in the same bed. The melon plants was growing fine all summer, but the rain have prevented any pollination – no melons this year :-(

Groundcherries. Physalis sp. In the bowl is what I picked up from the ground today. I last cleared the ground two days ago. I find the taste very similar to cape gooseberries. The fruit is somewhat smaller. They are grown outdoors, and gives a good yield, in contrast to the low yield of cape gooseberries in my climate. The fruit should not be picked from the plant, but picked up when they fall to the ground. They are protected by the delicate husk, so they don’t get bruised or dirty.
This year I got a much better yield than last year. Primarily I think, because they have a more fertile soil. I grow two cultivars, one without a name, and one called ‘Goldie’. There is no big difference, they taste the same, but ‘Goldie’ is probably a bit bigger in growth and fruit.
Some fruits are ready to eat picked from the ground, others have to further mature for a few days. The berry turn yellow when the delicate aroma and sweetness emerges.

Sweet pepper. Capsicum annuum Purple bell peppers (No cultivar name) and red-orange-yellow ’Alma Paprika’ FS584 apple pepper, both from outdoors. ’Alma Paprika’ FS584 is known to be early, and it has lived up to my high expectations. The plant is densely packed with fruit, and even though I’ve picked these 4, it still seems overloaded with fruits :-) The purple bell pepper is the big surprise. I thought it was a greenhouse variety, but it has fared well in open ground, and set four purple bell peppers.

Tomatillo. Physalis ixocarpa We have been pleased with the tomatillos. They do not taste of much, or in any way significant, apart from slightly acid. But in sauce and casseroles gives a wonderful taste to the other ingredients. Could it be the umami taste? They go well with most ingredients in the kitchen, are easy to grow, and gives a good yield. It might be clever to tie them up a bit. But when the fruit comes with its own wrapper, you can safe time and just let it ramble along the ground. This is one of the vegetables you can eat daily.


Flattr this

DSCN3462
Elderberries, chili and Stolichnaya vodka

In the hedge grow a small wild elderberry. Only few berries this autumn, inspired me to do an elderberry vodka. I cleaned the berries, dumped them in a less than half full bottle of russian Stolichnaya vodka. Then I thought it might become rather insipid without a lot of sugar. But wouldn’t the health benefit be lost with a lot of sugar added? I imagine a little chili heat might balace the elderberries and vodka. In the garden I picked two spanish chilies, but in the end only added one. I want elderberry to taste, not to be overpowered by the chili. The chili is Guindilla, Anselmo in Spain send me seeds for it last winter – thanks a lot Anselmo!
The elder is not a named variety, just one of these small trees that willingly grows as a hedge weed in my neighborhood.

blackcurrant1418
Blackcurrant Ribes nigrum

Today blackcurrants was ripe. From the two young bushes I picked 750g, enough for home made jam.

Blackcurrant leaves we pick in late summer. We enjoy them in salted gherkins, saurkraut and herbal tea, they have a delicate blackcurrant aroma.

I don’t know the variety name. We had a different variety in the garden, but after tasting this variety in my brothers garden, we had some cuttings. It’s a variety very sensitive to fungus diseases, but I decided taste was more important than wether the bush have leaves all summer or drop them all in july.
I our garden the variety seems to thrive and have never dropped the leaved in midsummer.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 214 other followers