We have some rather lovely Raspberry canes at River Cottage, beside a sweet little blackcurrant bush. I was most pleased to make this discovery after moving in, being as we consume vast amounts of raspberry jam, and nothing tastes better than the homemade variety.
However, there are trecherous raspberry thieves on the loose. Each afternoon, upon our return from work and nursery, I visit said canes and find them quite bare, when only the previous evening I had spied plenty of sweet raspberries, almost ripe, and thought how lovely it would be to pick them the next day to make some jam.
I have looked about for possible culprits. Wee ones in tow, we looked for tracks or sneaky clues which may lead us to a vast haul of raspberries. Alas, no tracks or clues were found. Boo and Bear assure me it must be rabbits, because they are greedy animals and like raspberries very much. My wee ones even stand right beside the canes, guarding them from further ambush.
I commented upon their surprisingly red moustaches, but was assured this was merely a clever guise with which to deter said greedy rabbits and other beastly robbers of raspberries, and nothing at all to do with the actual consumption of raspberries, as one might first conclude.
I think they must be right about the rabbits, for right at the top of the canes just a few raspberries remained, and we all know small rabbits cannot stretch so high. So my single bowl of raspberries and a few blackcurrants made just 1.5 pots of jam.
The strawberries are ripening nicely too, now the sun has arrived, but Boo and Bear offered to guard them aswell, just in case the berry thief should strike again. I was assured that rabbits do no like tomatoes or peas, so these should not require guarding. Thank goodness for that, and for little guards!
* To make jam, weigh the (any) fruit and boil wih equal weight in sugar, when a set is achieved (a small blob of the jam on a plate wrinkles when pushed with finger), decant into sterilised jars and consume spread on warm buttered toast or stirred into hot porridge. Simple!