In the local paper was a report that it was a bad year for bilberries (blåbær) locally. I’m glad we didn’t listen and went anyway as it was pretty good as you can see with several kilos to dry and make bilberry leather with:
A productive afternoon in the woods yesterday on the Malvik side of Solemsvåttan with my Swiss helper Julia Albrecht with a good haul of bilberries and the year’s first chantarelles! Yes, I think I live in paradise :)
On Thursday this week we went for a forage locally as I’d heard reports that chantarelles were appearing after the rain….we didn’t see any edible fungi but there were large quantities of bilberries (blåbær), wild raspberries and even a bog where there were unpicked cloudberries, so we transferred our attentions to picking berries!
I neither use sugar nor do I have a freezer. My favourite way of preserving fruit is drying and the quickest way of drying fruit in an oven is by making fruit leather…simply boil the fruit to sterilise and mashing as you boil, then pour into an oven tray and dry for a few hours at about 40C!
Have just finished a batch of redcurrants (rips) and raspberries (bringebær). The raspberries were both wild red raspberries, an old Norwegian yellow (gulbringebær) and a cultivar “White Russian”
See last year’s blog on raspberry / bilberry leather here: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=13187
12th August Added pictures of leather made from cloudberries, bilberries and wild raspberries!
My first (of many) loads of apples drying over the wood stove!
I’m 100% self-sufficient in fruit and never buy bananas, oranges etc. and don’t use a freezer. When the apples are properly dried, they can be stored for several years (so if there’s a bad apple year next year I also have fruit next year…it’s a good year this year so I dry as much as possible). When fresh fruit isn’t available (typically from February to June), I use only dried fruit. Dried apples are fantastic to eat as they are and are popular with guests as snacks and also a perfect present for family and friends. I eat a home made muesli for breakfast every morning – large organic oat flakes that I buy in large sacks and I mix with various nuts. I soak a mix of dried fruit (apple, cherry, bilberry, plums, saskatoons etc.) and use them on the muesli.
It was actually bilberries that were the evening’s objective, but when you see several ceps / steinsopp in the woods and hedgehogs/piggsopp and saffron milk caps / matriske (almost all surprisingly in good condition without fly larvae) and chantarelles / kantarell, then there’s a change of plan….and there was still time to pick more than enough bilberries for drying another ovenfull!
Pictures from my cycle home from work with a large detour up into the woods to pick bilberries and fungi!
The video that comes first is the magical moment when I discover a large ring of hedgehog fungi in the forest :)
Perennial vegetables, Edimentals (plants that are edible and ornamental) and other goings on in The Edible Garden