I am a bit of a forager. I pick up windfall apples, and blackberries and sloes (to turn into sloe gin) from hedgerows. I collect shells and stones when I visit the beach, shiny conkers (that soon grow dull). If I go out for a walk I usually arrive home with something!
The other week when I was delivering a print job out to a client who lives down a lane that ends in the sea or a salt-marsh I took myself (and a friend who was with me) down that lane. And we found some crab-apples! I stuffed my pockets with the little blighters and, when we got back home, made some crab-apple jelly. Yesterday as I drove through a local village delivering some more work I spotted a sign – ‘Free medlars’. I’ve often wondered what medlars were like so on the way home I stopped and collected some. They are a strange fruit. About the size of a crab-apple or a small apple crossed with a rose-hip. The skin is perhaps a bit like a ‘russet’ apple.
Once they have been ‘bletted’ (left to go soft) I may try making some medlar jelly (or maybe medlar cheese). I have made many hedgerow jellies over the years… the most unusual was probably hawthorn jelly.