I've been bitten by the preserving bug.
Recently, my colleague had a glut of redcurrants she didn't know what to do with from her allotment. I selflessly volunteered to take some off her hands if she was willing to pick them. She duly did and I took them and tested out making Redcurrant Jelly.
Well, actually, Redcurrant and Rosemary Jelly. While it may not have been brilliant Jelly consistency, it is bloody gorgeous (and as amazing with meat as I hoped, I finally discovered at a BBQ this weekend). Miranda then bought in another kilo of redcurrants which are now a plain Redcurrant Jelly (I think of a better consistency).
This success though gave me confidence for this sort of thing... always dangerous. The Redcurrant Jelly recipe I followed was from the River cottage Preserves Handbook by Pat Corbin. This book is a beautiful book and seems to be the internet's go to book on preserves - seriously, it's everywhere I look. Anyway, there are loads of other recipes I wanted to try and when we realised that there was an accessible apple tree *just there* and... oooh.... are the elderberries ready? Wendy and I ended up walking by hedgerows to see what we could find and based on the recipes in the Preserves Handbook.
We left the Rowan berries and Rosehips for another time, but we did collect enough apples, haw and elderberries to make Apple and Lemon Curd (gorgeous on my crumpets in the morning, will be trying it in porridge soon I have no doubt), Mint Jelly, Saucy Haw Ketchup (search and ye shall find the recipe, or go get the Preserves Handbook already) and a very small amount of Pontack Sauce (yet to be tried...).
Hopefully we'll be going out again to get more Elderberries (for more Pontack sauce), more Haw (for more of the Saucy Haw Ketchup... seriously good) and more apples, rowan berries and rosehips (for jellies).
My mouth is watering just thinking about the jars of yummyness to be created.
EDIT TO ADD: I took a couple of photos, first up what I collected from the hedgerows:
And what I made: