Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blueberry success

The blueberries that we had planted for us last year produced their first bumper crop. I ignored the urgings of various people to tear out the clover that surrounded them, and instead mulched the beds with pine branches which I'd read on the Net that they like. The clover grew up through the mulch, and I assume, provided the blueberries with nitrogen as opposed to competing savagely with them as our garden man had intimated. I did take care to provide them with regular water, and I daresay they would have done even better with more. One other factor in the large harvest is that the berries are planted in front of my office porthole, and whenever a local husband and wife bird couple came to sup on them I dashed out to chase them away. The fishing line that I tied just above the horizontals on the bamboo fence also denied them a place to sit before they hopped onto the bushes. (I'm sure I heard one of them say "#%$@! What is this damn string doing here!")

For all of August, our two varieties (whose names I forget) provided us with a goodly quantity for breakfast or dessert. One variety is has large and pale berry, while the other is round and black. They each have a distinct and different flavour.

We had so many berries in fact, that some were shrivelling on the bush before we could eat them. Noting this wasteful situation, the missus broke with precedent and ventured out into the garden with a basket to collect them for jam. The young master went out too, but was too busy slapping at the mosquitoes on his legs to help much.

The jam was cooked with a couple of tablespoons of sugar and a mere splash of water. Nothing else. It's rather rougher in texture than shop-boughten jam, but it's naturally sweet and contains no preservatives. It goes nicely with yoghurt.

Incidentally, I have received a complaint from the missus that my photos of food are 'unappetising' and that I should ensure that there are no extraneous objects in the shot to detract from the food. Readers will kindly note that this is not one of those blogs that presents life in an idealized and enviable form, without ugliness and failure. No, this is one of those blogs that shows the clutter that surrounds us as we eat our imperfect home-produced food.