Sunday, August 24, 2014

Foraging Delights

Yesterday was a full day.  It started with me leaving the house at 5:35 AM, truck loaded with six young buck rabbits, a giant travel cup of coffee, and a wodge of homemade granola bar.  I was off to a local animal swap, in hopes of finding buyers for my surplus boys.  My last litter was 90% boys, and I don't need quite that much testosterone in my rabbitry.  By 7 AM, I had sold two bucks.  By 8 AM, I loaded the truck back up and headed out in search of pastry and hot coffee shared with friends.  Wonderful people, my friends.  They sent me home with two milk crates full of quart size mason jars.

On my drive back home, I took a winding, beautiful back way, past old farms and through lush glens.  I meandered, and spied a most beautiful thing: a lone plum tree, tucked into a sunny nook on the side of the road, with bright pink ripe fruit dropping to the ground.  I turned around and parked--thank heavens for those empty jars!  I filled two to spilling, which was as many plums as I could reach and avoid falling into a rather large and dense thicket of nettles--I was wearing capri tights and a skirt, or I would've waded in regardless.  But it was enough plums to head home with, and start something decadent.

Once home, there were beans to pick, cabbages to rescue from imminent destruction by cabbage loopers, the lawn to mow before tomorrow's horrible temperatures, and four rabbits to process and prep for the freezer.  Whew.  But those plums...oh those beautiful plums!  For them, it was something special.

With any luck, in a few months, I'll have three quart jars of fruit, sugar and gin transformed into a delightful drink reminiscent of the British classic, Damson Gin.  Yes, the drink made famous by the beloved Miss Marple of Agatha Christie will be making an appearance around Christmas time.  By then, it should be a lovely shade of pink, richly flavored by the sweet-tart wild plums, and just sweet enough to serve as a liqueur after a holiday meal.  (There isn't any science to making this kind of drink: wash the plums, sort out any rotten ones, push a clean straight pin through each plum to encourage saturation, then pop them into a quart jar to 3/4 full, add about 3/4 cup of sugar, and fill to the lid-ridge with your preferred gin {I'm a Gordon's girl} pop on a lid, give it a shake once in a while, and tah dah, you've got homemade booze started)

Lest you think that all I do lately is make booze, you'd be right.  I have more than enough jam, from foraged or domesticated sources, and you can never have enough hedgerow liquor, in my opinion.  I mean, if the Zombie Apocalypse should come to pass, who would YOU rather have on your team? Someone who can only make jam?  Or, someone who can make jam, booze AND assorted other things?  I also can wield a mean pitchfork and aim my air rifle relatively straight.  That is, before I start making in-roads on the hootch...


  1. I want to be on your team when the ZA rolls in! I will contribute sewing and bread making skillz, plus I have a clarinet- that'll
    do 'em in FAST. No practice in 40+ years? They're gonners!

  2. Whats a quart jar please, in litres? Thanks.


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