Despite the gloom the fruit is ripening.
The strawberries have been hardest hit by the abundant rains. The yield is disappointing; what’s not rotten is rather water-logged and definitely slug-damaged. (But what we’ve salvaged has made some fabulous Eton Mess – that glorious melange of strawberries, homemade meringue, and whipped cream…)
The red and black currants are ripe and delicious. We’ve picked one punnet already and there are more to gather. Time to decide how best to celebrate their tart juiciness – currant jelly, summer pudding, fresh on pancakes?
The gooseberries, so astringent but with a lovely musky scent, are finally ready too. We carefully poached a kilo of them in a bit of water and vanilla sugar until they dissolved into a soft, fragrant soup. Gently mashed, cooled, and then folded into lightly whipped cream, those gooseberries made an absolutely delicious fool. (Notice a unifying theme? [cream!])
But perhaps the most exciting sight has been the sour cherries that appeared on our two diminutive cherry trees that we planted last spring. They cannot compare to the orchard of trees, gnarled with age and dripping with fruit, that we loved to visit on the old farm near Lake Ontario. After those visits we’d come home with enough hand-picked cherries to make pots of jam and numerous pies. In contrast, our baby allotment trees produced around 30 cherries in total! But it’s a start…