Happy autumn equinox! The Welsh name means mid-autumn festival and it's the middle of the three harvest festivals. In other words, we're slap-bang in the middle of harvest season.
There's not a lot in the garden, thanks to the slugs, but there are plenty of blackberries and mushroom season is under way. It's an excellent year for rowan berries, so I have a couple of gallons of rowan wine on the go.
Rowan wine. Also rosehip syrup.
Earlier in the year I gathered bilberries, dried them and then, because experience has taught me that dried bilberries are liable to in mouldy, soaked them in brandy. This evening I used them as the basis for my Christmas pudding, adding fresh hogweed fruit and rosehips, sloe puree, damson leather and quince jelly from last year, and some magnolia petals that had fallen into my sister-in-law's garden in the spring, which I gathered and pickled. I include some more conventional ingredients, too, like flour and sugar.
I find it very satisfying to bring together these various preserved ingredients and turn them into a treat that will keep for the middle of winter.