Bottling sunshine

Had my plans worked out then this would have been posted on the blog about a week ago. As you may be able to tell, life got in the way and I have not managed to string together a blog post suitable for publication.

“Were you too busy with the interest from your recent guest post on the Independent blog?” you may ask. While I would commend your blatant attempt to drop that particular piece of news back into conversation, the answer is a little more mundane. Too much work, too little time.

“But could we have the link to the blog anyway?” Oh go on then, seeing as you asked so nicely: http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2013/10/08/dish-of-the-day-my-year-in-beer-50-beers-in-52-weeks/

Getting back on track, what I wanted to talk about today is the vast array of bottling and preserving that Mrs Running Buffet has carried out this summer.

Over the summer we enjoyed elderflower and lemon cordials, both of which were a great success in the hot, sunny weather. As well as this, Mrs RB made mint syrup with the glut of mint leaves that she had collected. It is an unusual flavour for a cold drink, but I really came to enjoy it.

In no particular order, some of the other things we have enjoyed recently are:

  • Damson compote
  • Nasturtium capers
  • Berberis jam
  • Blackcurrant cordial
  • Pickled runner beans
  • Green tomato and courgette chutney
  • Cider apple butter

A lot of the recipes have come from the River Cottage Preserves Handbook, which also gave this post its title. In his introduction to the book, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall talks about the joys of “bottling sunshine”, of taking the produce of summer and making it last through the cold, winter months. He was talking about jams and chutneys and preserves of course, but wouldn’t it be great if we could bottle a little bit of summer, ready to be opened in the middle of a dark winter’s day?

In the absence of that little piece of magic, we are left to make the most of the warm weather that remains. Mrs RB and I recently stretched our legs on Dartmoor, on an October day that could have been in June, it was so warm. The photos may not do justice to the heat of the day, a day that saw us regularly stopping to take off yet another of the layers that we had so fastidiously put on before we left the house.

It was our little piece of summer in October. Not bottled, but preserved in our memories.

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2 thoughts on “Bottling sunshine

  1. Love your jams, chutneys, and all the goodies! Impressed by the Dartmoor pics too! Love Dartmoor. I only live a half hour away and get up there so few times. Every time I go up I am filled with wonder and a feeling of joy! Lovely Blog!

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