September is one of the busiest months in the kitchen garden. Courgettes, cucumbers and tomatoes are showing no signs of slowing down, carrots and onions are ready to be pulled and apples are piling up on every surface.
At the same time hedgerow fruits are in full swing. Dog walks that usually take an hour now last four as we clamber through the thicket, baring bramble scratches and nettle stings to pick sloes, blackberries, haws and elderberries.
The B. on the Road larder is bursting at the seams and Chef Beth is very happy.
Curating a menu to showcase all this produce is a challenge. Luckily most of it can be persevered in jam, chutney or jelly form and frozen. This provides us with access to these flavours through the winter months. You’ll notice that blackcurrants and gooseberries still feature. The warm spring brought a bumper berry harvest, so the freezer is still full of summer berries; a nice reminder of summer as the nights start drawing in.
Highlights to look out for in your afternoon tea this month include the tomato chutney. Tomatoes that are freshly picked are so flavoursome and this carries through to a deliciously sweet and tomato-y chutney. It tempers the mature Loch Arthur cheddar perfectly. Chef Beth’s personal favourite is the blackcurrant macaron. Sweet and sharp in equal measure.
Homegrown and foraged flavours of September: