Yippee! This is the day I’ve been waiting for for weeks, this is the day the PYO opens.
The best thing would be an allotment, but my parish council doesn’t have any allotments, so the next best thing is the Pick Your Own fruit and vegetable farm. Due to our crazy weather it has opened a little late this season, and today was my first day there.
Tom Phippen’s farm, at Chew Magna, is run by Tom (son of the original Tom), and his wife Jean. High above
Gooseberries are suddenly terribly fashionable and according to Jean the crop will be completely picked in ten days. It used to be that you couldn’t give gooseberries away, but now the goosegog has become hip, the cool green berries rarely seen in supermarkets and having a short season. They are easy to pick, although the bushes are thorny, and, unlike the other summer fruits, not as tempting to gorge yourself on whilst picking.
Top and tail them, and then put to stew gently with a little water and quite a lot of sugar. Sometimes I add elderflower cordial for an extra kick. This will be my breakfast for the next few days, with some greek yoghurt.
They make the best fool in the world, swirled with custard, or, even more decadently, whipped cream. Or try as a sauce for mackerel, the fish slashed and grilled over the barbeque.