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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

steepholm steepholm
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The Queen of Berries
Today I picked my first crop of gooseberries...

This morning, on the bush...


Harvest Home! Here is the entire 2013 crop...


It wasn't enough for a proper gooseberry updside-down pudding, but it occurred to me that I could make a batch of small ones...


Cooked, but not yet upside-down:


Pleasingly inverted:


They tasted excellent. Next year, I hope for a larger-scale operation on the same lines:


I shall spare you tomorrow's dissection of the stools in pursuit of undigested gooseberry seeds, but feel free to imagine it over your civet coffee.

I had never seen gooseberries before. I had no idea that they were green. (I always imagined that they looked like blueberries.) They actually have the civet coffee around here. Part of me wants to try it someday just to find out what the fuss is about. Have you ever had it?

No, though I admit I'm curious too.

I wonder whether the green colour is related to the idea of "playing gooseberry" - in terms either of inexperience or jealousy?

Thanks - that's very interesting!

Aren't gooseberries associated with the dish "gooseberry fool"? So it would make sense to say "play the gooseberry" to mean "play the fool," and it would be playing the fool to pretend that you didn't know what was going on between the couple.

It makes sense! Though there are other fruit fools, gooseberries are particularly associated with it, I would guess.

You've done better than my first raspberry cane crop, ONE BERRY.

I imagine the civet coffee tastes better if you don't have it explained to you beforehand.

Well, I hope you enjoy the raspberry, all the same. It's my second favourite - but even with just one we can be confident of seeds caught between the teeth.

I think raspberries take years to get going.

brilliant use of an adorable crop! :)

How nice of you to say so!

I've never eaten gooseberries, but these look very tasty.

They are, but very tart (at least the way I like them), so have to be offset by something sweet - in this case a puddle of demerara melted in butter.

Oooh! Lovely. We can't often get currants and gooseberries here, as ribes carry white pine blister rust (deadly to timber). They're lifted the ban, I believe, but the crops haven't come back.

On the other hand, we've been feasting on sour cherries, in crisp crumbles and pies.


we've been feasting on sour cherries, in crisp crumbles and pies.

Ooh, I love sourness almost as much as I love tartness! [Please insert Bread and Jam for Frances-style rhapsody about the wonderful variety of foods, their tastes and textures.]

Wait. What's the difference between "sourness" and "tartness"?

I always think of tartness as being more closely allied to bitter than sour. I'm not 100% sure I'm right, though!