Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Foraging fun

I've attempted foraging for the first time today. Quite successful I think, as I've come home with 450g of rose hips (two different varieties) and 1lb (454g) of sloes. 

I'm not sure if I'm too early or late for the rose hips. One variety is quite soft and the other is still hard. I'm going to attempt rose hip syrup with them anyway. I'm just waiting to find out if I can mix them or not... 

I was surprised to find the sloes so easily, I was walking on greenbelt land that used to be a railway line for a coal mine. Sloes are a lot smaller than I'd imagined them. Only about the size of my thumb nail. I picked the slightly softer ones that had a bluish tint, there are plenty more that are still really dark and hard so I may well head out again when they're riper for a second batch. 

One of the dogs, Jess, surprised me by happily munching the sloes right off the branches that she could reach! They're supposed to taste disgustingly sour. She's a strange dog, she nabbed some of my strawberries straight from the plants and started on the blackcurrant bush over the summer, I think she's part goat...

Anyway, the plan for the sloes is of course sloe gin! I just need to pick a recipe now and figure out what kind of container to make it in. I've also got a recipe for "turbo cider" I'm going to try once I've got a demijohn for it. Busy busy busy. I will of course share recipes and results on here once I get going.

Apologies for the shoddy photographs, they're from my mobile phone which wasn't being entirely co-operative today.


  1. I think blogger just ate my post so apolgies if you get me twice...

    You might be a bit early for the rosehips. A lot of foragers recommend waiting until after the first frost because it improves the flavour. What you can do is stick the hips in the freezer and that will have much the same effect helping to break down the cellulose and free the juice. I make a lot of wine and this method is useful for a number of fruits (and rhubarb) for improving juice extraction.

    Kilner jars are ideal for fruit liquers but if you have any honey jars (the kind with the plastic lid) those work perfectly well. A bit small but that also means you can experiment with spices, etc.

    We have a border collie who eats a variety of fruits and vegetables if you let him. Dogs are pretty omnivorous and do seem to like berries in particular.

  2. Thanks for the tips :)

    I've posted some pictures on too and there's some discussion going on there at the moment as to whether I've picked sloes or damsons... either way they're going in gin :) Goin to pop them in the freezer tonight, weather man has predicted 2 nights of frost too!

  3. Rosehip wine is delicious and sloe gin is even better! I love finding foods (and dyeing material) in the hedgerows!

  4. PS: What is a scanner (well apart from a thing that I have that scans images)?

  5. Spundun - A scanner is a particular personality type, if you head all the way back to my first post I explained it all there :)