We then headed out on country amble and an afternoon forage. We collected blackberries, sloes, elderberries and hawthorn berries from the hedgerows. Being before the first frost, it’s strictly a little early to pick sloes. However given my enthusiasm for making sloe gin, and the potential to use a freezer to act as the all important frost, we picked them anyway.
Dragging our haul of foraged goods back to Randolph and Lalu’s house, we quickly agreed to a “crumble off,” with Randolph and I as the two competitors and everyone else as judges. Randolph pleased the crowds with his mother’s crumble recipe, complete with rich and buttery crumble, and blackberries and apples infused with cinnamon. I managed to surprise the judges with my flippant inclusion of elderberries, together with the blackberries, apples, and plums.
The judges awarded first prize to Randolph, which was fair, because the crumble was superior, but sad for me, as it was my first experience of competitive baking!