Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Halfway through September already, and we've only been out twice to pick berries! Once in August we went up Puy de Dome and gathered about a pound of wild blueberries, leaving the tupperware half empty in anticipation of blackberries on the way home. Alas, not a single blackberry was ripe.

We did make three pots of the best blueberry jam ever, but sadly never got back up the mountain for more.

This past weekend we took a hike around the Gergovia Plateau (where Vercingetorix held off Caesar in one of the few defeats of the Roman army way back in the days) and came up with a boxful of blackberries right at the end of the season. They were pretty well picked over already. A bunch went into an apple-berry crumble, and the rest might make jam tonight.

Nancy's goal is to never buy jam again. Between what grows on the trees out back and what's free on the local hillsides, there's no reason to ever purchase jam at the store. Unless, of course, you're on a road trip and you come across a 6-ounce jar of "Gratte-cul" in a little boutique somewhere. Gotta try that.

oh, yeah. Gratte-cul means butt-scratch in French. And this was at the Fontfroide Abbey - profane jam made by monks!

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