(First published -Oct 2, 2019)

It’s now officially autumn in the UK and we love to fully embrace this season with it’s abundance of produce! In this blog post we will be sharing the best of our seasonal produce, recipe ideas, and even some foraging inspiration. Go grab a cuppa, it’s a bumper blog post…

In the shop right now we have a wide variety of squashes from Pittormie Fruit Farm in Fife. Whilst they do look pretty on an autumn table, there are far more yummy ways to cook and eat squashes. First of all they can be substituted in any recipe which calls for butternut squash or pumpkin. Squashes lend themselves beautifully to stews, soups, curries and risottos – they have a subtle flavour which shines through without dominating your cooking.

Alongside squashes we have red cabbage, savoy cabbage, Milan turnips, beetroot, potatoes, dirty carrots – all these vegetables are perfect for your autumn inspired recipes. Using seasonal ingredients like this helps reduce your carbon footprint because they come from local farms not from the other side of the world. Here’s a super simple recipe for Savoy Cabbage with Bacon & Onions which requires just 4 ingredients!

The apple harvest is in full swing and we have two varieties of apple in the shop from Downie Mill Farm, near Newbigging. Firstly beautiful Rosette apples – once cut in half you can see the rosette like pink pattern which is what gave them their name. These apples are sweet and crisp to eat alone but are also very versatile for cooking and baking. Downie Mill Farm also delivered Discovery apples which are easy to spot with their pinky-red colouration. These apples are delicious and sweet eaten as they are but are also good for juicing or baked in a pie. The following link has a good introduction to seasonal produce and if you scroll down there is as a recipe for Discovery Apple and Raspberry Crumble Pie.

As well as fresh fruit and vegetables we have bottled and jarred produce on sale. Downie Mill Farm make the Appley Ever After range of pressed apple juices and apple cordials. The juices are single varieties of apple allowing you to really appreciate their sumptuous flavours. The cordials are delicious simply made up with water or they can be used in a wide range of cocktails – the possibilities are endless!

If you have a glut of apples yourself here are three recipe ideas for preserving your harvest, turning your fruit into little jars of autumn that you can enjoy over the winter period:
Spicy Plum and Apple Chutney
Apple Sauce
Apple Butter
(if you haven’t tried homemade apple butter before you should definitely try this recipe, you won’t be disappointed!)
Our display of Sarah Gray’s jams and chutneys always cheer up our shelves and the flavours bursting forth from the jars don’t disappoint! Gooseberry and Elderflower is a crossover of late summer and spring ingredients which we are sure you will love!
There are lots of ways to spice up your drinks and give them an autumn twist. We particularly liked this recipe idea from Boe gin that uses their Scottish Bramble Gin Liqueur. Take your inspiration from fresh, seasonal produce and create your own cocktails, for example you can add fresh apple – this works especially well with Caorunn Gin. We still have damsons in the shop if you are looking to make damson gin, better be quick though the season is almost over!

On the subject of gin, our next Gin & Beer Tasting Evening is on Friday 25th October 2019, ask in the shop or email us ([email protected]) for details.
October is a brilliant time of year to go foraging! It’s lovely to wrap up warm, put your wellies on and head into the countryside in search of wild ingredients to add to your recipes. If you are not sure what you are looking for it’s best to seek the advice of an experienced guide and always remember to respect the rules of the countryside when you are out. Some of us in the Gather team are heading out looking for rosehips to make some rosehip cordial. This link from the Woodland Trust has lots of ideas for things to forage for in October, why not head out and forage?
Wow! And we haven’t even started on the autumn goodness in the Gather kitchen yet! Our soup ingredients are always in tune with the season but we also have some exciting new autumn salads and cakes which we are about to launch! They probably deserve a blog post all to themselves so for now we will share news of our exciting new lattes … there are 3 awesome flavours to choose from; beetroot, turmeric or chai and they are made with 100% natural ingredients, they are vegan and they can be made with whichever milk you prefer – dairy, almond, coconut, soya or oat. So far they are proving to be a big hit with our customers – why not give one a try next time you are in Gather?

Well, we hope we have inspired you here! Until next time...

The Gather Team