06 August 2009

Free food!

Go on, admit it. When you see those words your heart leaps and your first thought is 'let me at it'. Then sense returns and you think 'no, no, really I mustn't!... I'm trying to lose weight for goodness sake'.

But this is free food with a difference - no deep-fried bitsa stuff or curling sandwiches here. The benefits of a rather soggy British spring and summer, interspersed with the odd period of glorious sunshine, means this is a bumper year for soft fruits. Fresh and delicious, straight from the tree and available in the strangest of places. Places like the bus stop I stand at every morning... and what's more, it's free.

For the last week or so the fruits have been coming to perfect ripeness and I've picked the odd one or two. At first people seemed to think I was odd (nothing unusual there then!), and I received a fair few looks askance. But the passion has gradually spread until, this morning, there were four of us picking. Each taking just a handful of the beautiful ripe fruits. Don't get greedy, fat lass.

I've been calling them cherries - they are small and red and look a lot like cherries. But one of the others thought they were plums, albeit very, very tiny plums, as the stone looked a bit more plum-like. There are two trees, each bearing a different variety with a quite distinct flavour, one bright red, the other deep purple, both lovely. One of each perhaps? No matter, they're both of the prunus genus and they taste gorgeous.

This is hedgerow harvest at it's best! And the whimberries will be out...and the blackberries will soon be ready, then there'll be sloes... and hazel nuts... and maybe a mulberry or walnut or two if I'm really lucky. What a lovely thought.

Oh yes, and those prunus fruits? I looked them up on good old wikipedia... and found they are 'cherry plums'! Right now I have my eye on a pear tree and several varieties of apple tree in a local car park. Let's make that an outing for later this month!


Sara said...

OMG, my new personal mantra is going to be "don't get greedy, fat lass"!

Glad I stopped by to read, I'll be back!

Deniz said...

Yeah, it's amazing just how often I find myself saying that! Thanks for stopping by to see me and leaving your comment Sara. I love reading your site - you write beautifully and always, but always, give me something to think about. All the best with the rest of your journey - we WILL both get there :-)

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