There's a brilliant crop of walnuts on my next door neighbour's tree which happily hangs over into my garden. So I've been making Stilton and Walnut Crisps.
Two things I always make as soon as I get my hands on quinces are Membrillo and Quincemeat. Membrillo is the perfect give away treat, is delicious with cheese and costs a fortune if you have to buy it in the shops. Quincemeat provides a good build up for the festive season, and is a great excuse to eat mince pies in October. A note on preparing quinces - they are a bugger to peel, especially the small, wild knobbly ones so I cook mine whole for my membrillo recipe, then pull off the flesh. However if you have those show-offy perfect, plump quinces then it's easier to peel and core them first, which saves sieving them. The horrible little runt quinces I make into quince jelly to spread on my toast and to glaze fruit tarts.
A spectacular new area at Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival, bringing together all the elements from the sky, sea and land - things that all go to make up our wonderful 'Wild Suffolk'. Find me in the Food Writers Corner, telling you exactly what I think about the modern forager.
If you go to your local park and pick elderflowers it isn't foraging. If you go to your back garden and pick up some windfall apples, it isn't foraging. If you have a basil plant on your balcony, that isn't foraging either. Foraging for edible wild plants and all the new names for what we used to call weeds is OVER - time to stop.
Near suffolkfoodie hq we have an old airbase where lots of trees planted in the war are still producing fruit, including these lovely plums that we are about to turn into jam. You don't need an airbase to forage to get wild fruit - just look at the side of the road where people have chucked out their apple cores. The cores are now fully grown trees. But professional foraging can cause problems as people strip the contents of everywhere wild. Leave some behind for the future!
Paul Foster is making his name with restaurant critics and is due to appear on The Great British Menu on TV next month. He's Head Chef at Tuddenham Mill. Lunch today was very good indeed with the menu featuring some interesting herbs, some of which I believe are foraged locally. Pictured is my main course of potato terrine, artichoke, mushrooms and watercress. I am pretty sure the plate has chickweed on. What does everyone think?
A set lunch is £20 for two courses and £25 for three courses, with both an amuse bouche and very generous plate of home baked breads. A bit of a treat for a Monday!
Been out for blackberries after reading that there are about 140 different types out there. The writer lived in London, recommended only picking above waist height (!) and suggested you buy sweeter varieties from a supermarket as the wild ones have to be cooked to be sweet - lol...