gooseberries and elderflower in the pan

Don’t forget the humble gooseberry – recipe

I’m going to start by coming clean – I absolutely love gooseberries. Every summer I get excited about seeing them on the supermarket shelves and can’t wait to grab the small crop from my local pick your own.

But it appears that I’m alone in my devotion to the prickly berry from even pricklier bushes. It’s true that they can’t be eaten raw and require some level of cooking. But the process doesn’t have to be complicated, and the reward is more than worth it.

With just a little sugar and half an hour of your time, the tart gooseberry develops a floral, nostalgic flavour that can’t be found elsewhere. They make a beautiful amethyst coloured jam that is delicious atop a plain scone. There’s something about their flavour and aroma that conjures up notions of Victorian ladies in white cotton gloves, gossiping about the comings and goings of Ms Simmons over a cream tea. Indeed, we have been eating them since at least the medieval era.

I picked up my first box of gooseberries yesterday, just in time to pair them with another old-fashioned favourite, elderflower. So before you decide that enough is enough of this gooseberry nonsense, try this quick and simple recipe for fridge jam. If you try it and you’re still not convinced, I’ll take my gooseberry crusade elsewhere.

Gooseberry and Elderflower Spoon Jam

Ingredients

300g of green gooseberries

40ml of boiled water

35g of caster sugar

One head of elderflower – freshly picked and checked fur crawlies

Method

Top and tail the gooseberries with a sharp knife. Place in a saucepan with the hot water and sugar. Stir well and put on a low heat.

Hold the elderflower head over the pan and snip off the tiny flowers with a pair of scissors. Simmer gently for around 20 -30 minutes until the gooseberries have burst and the mixture is starting to thicken slightly.

Place the fridge jam into an airtight container and leave to cool. The low level of sugar means that it will not keep in the same way as regular jam, so it must be kept in the fridge and consumed within the week – hence the name.

Put a spoonful on top of a fresh scone, dollop it on natural yoghurt for a virtuous breakfast, or swirl through whipped cream and make gooseberry fool.  

Looking for unique recipes to use in your content marketing? Call 07928122079 or email claire@greedywordsmith.com to find how I can help.

Sweet cicely waffle at Herbs Unlimited open day

Do you need to hit the refresh button?

I’m back to the keyboard after visiting the Herbs Unlimited team on their open day yesterday. Lots of delicious food from the ever brilliant Stephanie Moon, and a fascinating look at the care and hard work that goes into putting these beautiful herbs on our plates.

The sweet cicely waffle with bacon and maple syrup will not be forgotten easily.

I love the way that freelancing enables me to meet others doing fascinating work right on my doorstep. (Particularly when I get to indulge in my favourite pastime – eating!) With the day-to-day pressures that come from meeting client deadlines, paying the bills, business development (pile of business books anyone?) it’s easy to forget that self-employment is about so much more than increasing our bottom line. Many of us chose to go down this route because we yearned for more than the 9-5 treadmill had to offer, and felt sure that doing it for ourselves would allow us to experience life in a totally different way.

If we lose track of those early aspirations we can end up trapped on a treadmill of our own making. As much I love writing, I have been feeling far too busy recently, (for busy, read working like a headless chicken) and when the invitation to attend yesterday’s event came I also turned it down. The chance to eat, drink and meet other people who love business and food – and I almost didn’t go. It’s crackers.

I am so glad that I did attend. I find taking time out with others both inspiring and energising. As a writer I need to get out there and live, otherwise, I run the risk of having nothing interesting to say. As well as finding out more about the excellent work that goes on behind the scenes at Herbs Unlimited, yesterday reminded me of the reasons why I got into this game in the first place.

I have come back to a long to-do list. But I approach it with a totally different mindset to the one that I had on Monday. That has to be good for everyone, including my valuable clients.

Are you trying to do everything but feel like you are achieving nothing? Struggling to find the right words to promote your business? Need a copywriter to take the strain? Get in touch for coffee and a chat via claire@greedywordsmith.com or call 07928122079.

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