September

“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” is how John Keats starts his ode to Autumn.
It’s a great time to harvest members of the Cucurbitaceae family (like courgettes, cucumbers, marrows, melons, pumpkins and squashes). Courgettes and marrows are best consumed before they get too big – if you have a surplus, why not make some chutney?

Roast goose would traditionally be consumed on Michaelmas Day (29th September).    Michaelmas Day is a Quarter Day – historically one of four days when rents would be paid and servants hired.

It’s the middle of the blackberry season, try picking some wild ones – they’ve got much more flavour than the cultivated varieties.  During World War One The Ministry of Food, in conjunction with the Board of Education, organised a national collection of blackberries to help the troops. Children were given time off school to collect them.  Try blackberries in charlottes, crumbles, fools and pies.

It’s also the time to enjoy damsons.  Market Drayton used to have Damson Fairs where the fruits were sold as to dye clothes.  Before artificial colourings, purple was one of the hardest colours to produce, which is why a Cadbury’s used purple on their wrappers (as people associated that colour with quality).

There’s an excellent guide on Damsons here.  They make a wonderful jam and, like sloes, also make a nice fruit gin.

British pears are also at their best now.   Handle them carefully, as they bruise easily.

A ripe juicy pear is delicious just as it is, but they also make some delicious desserts.

Try poaching them in red wine, or with lemon juice and cinnamon.  Pears also go well with chocolate.

Some Web Links

Have a look on the web for more ideas:
www.bbc.co.uk/food/seasons/september

www.bbcgoodfood.com/seasonal-calendar/month/september

www.eattheseasons.co.uk/september.php

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