Another month, another beautifully written chapter in Paul Waddington's foodie bible, Seasonal Food, full of tantalising tips to make the most of the season's best produce. Those on the lookout for fresh, seasonal foods are spoiled for choice in September - the time when summer meets autumn and British produce is at its peak. As Paul Waddington's extensive and abundant list makes clear, September is a veritable feast of seasonal meats, fish, summer vegetables and late season fruits.
Since my blog post about August's seasonal food, I've enjoyed the challenge of cooking with seasonal ingredients and shopping for locally grown and reared produce. I've barely visited the supermarket and instead found some great alternatives: farm shops, local butchers, food market stalls, and independent grocers delivering to local shops like Spar. Most shops make it even easier for novices like me by labelling vegetables and fruit which are UK-produced. My favourite farm shop even displays a handy list of the best local produce, changing every week or so depending on which vegetables and meat are in their prime.
September is the month for making the most of fruit. Jams, jellies, puddings, pies, and even wine, are top of the agenda this month. Wild blackberries and elderberries are ready to be picked and make delicious late summer puddings and partners to seasonal apples. I've been inspired to seek out some elderberries to make a delicious, juicy wine to drink as a lighter, fruity alternative to port later in the season. Plums and greengages are also at the height of their season this month, with the Victoria dessert variety being the most abundant right now. You can read a round-up of ideas for cooking with plums here. One of my very favourite berry fruits, the rosy pink raspberry, has a fantastic second crop in September. I'm planning to retain the sweet taste of summer for as long as possible by making a batch of thick, sweet raspberry jam; some pink ice cream for the freezer; and, a great idea stolen from Mr Waddington, a raspberry vinegar to add to the store cupboard.
There's a lot more to look forward to, too. In September, we should also be enjoying sun-drenched sweetcorn, home-grown tomatoes, kale, swede, mussels, lobster, goose, wild mushrooms, and almost every British summer vegetable you can think of!