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It’s no surprise that the harvest sizes accordingly

Up until now it has been a rather slow but steady berry season at Les Pierres, where we have already picked some great strawberries, raspberries and red currents. Because our bushes are still relatively small (planted only two years ago) it’s no surprise that the harvest sizes accordingly. Enough for the two of us to have our daily fix in our yogurt, but no confiture like proportions.

Today, that’s all about to change with the gooseberries coming in. They are really something else this year: sharp, sweet, crunchy, fresh and…plentiful!

I had to crack my brain about how to handle this flow of berries. Neither of us has a big sweet tooth, so jam seemed out of the question and there’s only so many salads I can come up with. Maybe a syrup? I know Gooseberry Cordial makes for a thrilling combination with the Elderflower one made earlier this year. And the sugary syrups are a great start for the second fermentation of water kefir, something for the bacteria and yeasts to feast on.

But then it dawned on me that I have been putting off making country wine, something I really want to learn. Gooseberries apparently are the king amongst berries for winemaking with their tartness and high acid content that ensure no additional acids are required. They say it’s not particularly hard or complicated and the biggest investment is time. So here we go. I welcome any tips and promise I will post regular updates.

Oh, and full disclosure: not all gooseberries in the picture came from our bushes. As a matter of fact most of them didn’t. They were generously donated by our Belgium friends in the village down the road. If you ever are in the area, I highly recommend staying at their lovely B&B, Domaine Bel Air.

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