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Many of our jams and chutneys are from recipes handed down from both of my grandmothers. I have enjoyed eating them as a child where my mother religiously every season created jams, syrups and pickles from produce grown from our massive garden and also foraged from the forests of Eastern Europe.
On arrival to Australia I have missed those delicious creations as the products here contain very little fruit and it is extremely sweet. In 2007 I have stumbled on wild blackberry bush laden with big clusters of fruit and on anticipation of the remembered seedles blackberry jam that my mother used to make I have picked as much fruit as I could and with the help of my mother recreated the delicacy that was my favourite. From this moment I have started to create jams from anything that I could put my hands on, many times experimenting with flavours to create delicious jams and chutneys. And as we grew up learning to forage, I have gone back to my roots and started to forage for many of the fruits to make the jams. The wild blackberries, little cherry plums and mirabelle plums, apples, quinces and other bushes that self-seeded in the wild or from bushes in abandoned gardens.
Soon we have discovered the treasures of the Pine forests, with bounty of Pine mushrooms (Saffron Milk Caps), Slippery Jacks, Wild Swiss Brown and other delicate mushrooms that we grew up on in Easter Europe. So when the season comes the whole family is involved in picking the mushrooms, cleaning them and then pickling, marinating and also drying them. The flavours of these mushrooms surpass any cultivated mushrooms.
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