Sunday, December 11, 2005

Gooseberry Foolishness

While helping to pick 60+ kg of gooseberries over a couple of hours that went from sweltering heat to pouring rain, I came to the conclusion that the gooseberry bush is an exceptionally evil form of plant life. It appears so generous offering up branches laden with green berries but those branches are also spiked with needle sharp spines as long as my fingers. And when you do extract the pale green veiny fruit (not a pretty berry, imho) from its thorny lair, it tastes mild and bland: not quite sweet and not quite tart. But a caterer will pay good money for them so we turned our hands into pincushions (I'm going to have to try and avoid cutting tomatoes until all the little holes heal up).

Now that's finished I'm dealing with a couple of kilos of split and otherwise less-than-caterer-quality fruit. There's a pot of chutney bubbling on the stove, permeating the house with the aroma of malt vinegar. And later I'll stew the rest to make gooseberry tarts. I'd like to try a gooseberry fool, just because it's one of the best food names I've never experienced, but do you know how much cream is involved? I'd have to have a dinner party to justify that kind of dish, and I just can't be bothered. At least gooseberry tarts are freezable and portable.

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