Autumn is his favourite time of year, and hunting round blackberry bushes, listening to Radio 4 podcasts on his mp3 player is his idea of a good time. The big bonus for our family is that he comes home laden with free food.
It's been a good year for both blackberries and apples, and we've had far too many to guzzle all at once, so this year we have frozen the blackberries to see us through the next few months.
To do this, wash the berries well and lay them out on a tray so that none are touching. Place tray in your freezer and then, once frozen, pop the berries into freezer bags. Because they aren't stuck together, you can use as many as you want, when you want, instead of having to use up 500g at a time.
With apples, we stew them and then freeze. We had several windfalls in the garden over the past couple of days and they were looking rather sorry for themselves in the fruit bowl. I decided to rescue these bruised, worm-holed specimens, rather than wasting them, so put them to good use in a crumble.
Because my father-in-law was coming unexpectedly for tea, I needed to "pad out" the filling, so I added a generous handful of blackberries. Some of the apples, although "eaters" (not "cookers") were very sour, so additional sugar was necessary, and the dish was finished off with a teaspoonful of mixed spice, my favourite Autumnal smell.
I had some crumble mixture in the fridge from last time, but unfortunately insufficient to cover the fruit. With little time to start weighing flour and rubbing in butter, I decided to put my Home Front knowledge to test again and stretch the crumble topping too.
At the back of the cereal cupboard, I found some porridge oats and added a handful to the topping. Next I crushed up a couple of ginger snaps and stirred them in.
The result was a delicious pudding that cost pennies. It was a real "something out of nothing" affair, and proved popular with everyone around the table, except Secundus, but that's nothing new. As puddings go, I reckon it was pretty healthy, and it was a good way to encourage future foraging on the part of my husband.