I love this time of year, the misty mornings giving way to blue skies, the still warm days but far fewer people on the beach; the woody scent of bonfires mixing with the last of the barbeques, and free food dripping from every hedgerow.
With what seemed to be an ever-shrinking budget fresh fruit was one of the first victims on my shopping list, brutally culled to ensure we weren't running out of things to eat two days before pension day. As a result, the arrival of blackberry season as been greeted with even more joy than usual, and not just the blackberries. Hips and haws, elderberries, rowan, even a few early sloes.... there has hardly been a day when I haven't been out walking the footpaths and lanes around here, filling my freezer (and our stomachs) to overflowing.
Hubby is particularly fond of blackberry crumble. So far none have made it as far as the freezer, I think I shall have to start making those in secret. Blackberry muffins are another favourite, although they are my weakness not his. Elderberry cordial, rosehip syrup...my kitchen is likely to be a hive of activity for weeks to come as I find as many ways to preserve all that berry goodness as I can. All too soon the cold weather will be here, and the hedgerow abundance will be over for another year, but if I plan this right and harvest what I can now, preserve as much as I can, we should have plenty to see us through the dark months.