I learned how to forage for flowers and fruits in a way we would now label ‘sustainable’. Whether collecting rosehips, sloes, blackberries, or rowanberries, we harvested only what we could reach easily – everything else was for birds and animals. At Christmas, I made gifts of jams, jellies and chutneys using ingredients from the garden and hedgerows, bottling and labelling as I went and learning that you can only make the best with the best.
My mum is my inspiration, a woman intent to get the best out of food, to give us the delight of her pallet and her cooking. She not only passed down her cook books but a love and passion for food, working with seasons and wild fruit.
It’s these fruit seasons that inspire my taste buds to dance, from oranges in January to autumn raspberry’s that capture the last of the summer sun. As I pick them from the bush I can imagine tasting that fresh burst of sunshine in a layered cake in November.
But ultimately I am inspired by my taste imagination capturing a season in a jar. The fruit changes as the seasons unfold so I channel my imagination and I use them to create unique recipes.