Colin has been very busy over the last week as the process of stocking The Lint Mill Larder begins in earnest. It started with harvesting kilos and kilos of jewel- like redcurrants that were dripping from our neighbour’s currant bush, and which he has turned into jars and jars of redcurrant jelly and redcurrant and mint jelly. They will both be a delicious complement to our home produced Shetland lamb later in the year.
He foraged for wild raspberries in the hedgerows off our lane and the resulting jam is gorgeous. We will put some jars aside for the darkest winter days and can already imagine how this bottled sunshine will cheer us in midwinter.
He then began to turn the threatened glut of cucumbers into my favourite jars of sweet pickled cucumbers, which will be perfect with the leg of pork we’re curing for the Boxing Day buffet.
Then there’s Mint Syrup. Clearly I haven’t been using enough of my Morrocan mint in tea, so Colin has harvested a bundle and bottled it into a sweet syrup that will make a cooling summer drink (we’re still hopeful that we’ll get a summer!) when mixed with iced water, lemonade or tonic.
There are plans afoot for an onion marmalade over the weekend and we haven’t even contemplated the chutneys that will follow next month and the month after.
The inspiration of course, is the bounty of the season, which despite the unseasonal rain is still offering up its treasures to those who care to notice. Another inspiration is ‘Pam the Jam’ Corbin whose book ‘Preserves’ is crammed with both traditional jam and chutney recipes and deliciously adventurous ones such as Elderberry Pontak and Elixir of Sage…more of those later!
Far from being that emblem of unfulfilled promise, at The Lint Mill we will at least have ‘jam tomorrow’.