FINALLY we’re having an ‘Indian Summer’ and long may it last! It’s great to see people sitting outside on the patio enjoying cream teas in the sunshine, as well as inside the teashop. In between customers , and after work ,we’ve been busy harvesting the figs, walnuts , apples and greengages, and now the grapes are nearly ready.
The figs were a problem the tree is by the pond… that was bad planning…… and so the figs keep dropping in the water . I’ve been reading instructions on how to dry them, but most recipes tell you to only dry ones that are totally ripe. They are apparently only really ripe when they drop…. you’ve got it …I have to go fishing for them twice a day. Must net the tree next year To dry figs , first wash and dry them, and cut them in half, then put them on a wire rack in an oven at 50 to 55 degrees centigrade, approx. 125 farenheight . In theory they are ready when the skin is no longer sticky. Then they should apparently be frozen for four days . Well I’ll give it a try, who knows it might work… I’ll let Peter be the guineapig …….he loves dried figs!
The Walnuts are another problem altogether. The tree is absolutely laden, but we’re having a race with the resident squirrels. The green outer skin splits on the tree and the walnut drops to be pounced on by me or the squirrel. Must admit I’ve been cheating.They are perfectly edible once the skin starts to split so we’ve picked a good number, but the highest ones will have to drop.Every time I go out a squirrel is racing away along the fence with his booty. Walnuts germinate easily , and squirrels usually forget where they bury their winter store, so we could end up with a mini forest of walnut seedlings next year. I’ll have to dig them up pot them and sell them on my plant stall!
We’ve had endless apple and pear crumbles, and Ive made apple sauce and apple jelly. If any one out there knows a recipe for Fig jam let me know!
The grapes are fantastic too this year so I’ll soon be making my Grape jelly for the Teashop……Lovely on toasted teacakes and on crumpets or scones. I’ll put it on the menu when I’ve finished.