Summer abundance

August 24, 2010

Time for harvest ! Thanks to a very hot Summer,  Nature has been very generous ! We are having lots of fruits.  Here is an apricot tree growing on the way up to a mountain village. You can pick the fruits  yourself in the orchard,  then pay for your precious  harvest and go back home to prepare pies, marmelades, jellies or just eat them as they are: fresh, juicy, sweet.

I made some apricot marmelade for the Winter months;  a tasty reminder of a wonderful Summer afternoon spent in a steep field facing the mountains. I love spices and in this marmelade I added  just a few pieces of star anise.In our garden there is  only a single bush of redcurrants. But what a harvest ! This year its berries are particularly big and sweet. A vanilla pod gives an exotic touch to this bright red marmelade .Wild blackberries grow on a bank behind our house. Every year more and more. Almost an invasion… but one I don´t mind.  It is quite an experience (a painful one !) to pick  those delicious fruits hiding amongst their stubborn and sharp thorns !A painful job but what a reward ! The most gorgeous marmelade for your breakfast; I like to spread butter and marmelade on a slice of brown bread for my breakfast, a “tartine” as we call it.Another delicious fruit is the “zanette” (local name). These small yellow prunes are also growing in our mountains.  Not much bigger than an  olive. The prune trees do not give such a good harvest every Summer but sometimes you can be lucky. And when you are, those tiny prunes taste so good that you just eat them as you pick them : au naturel ! And if  you can save some, the marmelade you make is a real dessert. If you like “chaud-froid” (warm and cold), you can heat it lightly and serve it with an ice cream.  Why not giving yourself a treat ? 😉