This year we managed to save our small crop of gooseberries before they succumbed to caterpillars and thieving whippets, and enjoyed these plump little berries all by ourselves for a change. The whippets have now turned their attention to the ripening apples that can be easily plucked from low hanging branches, redistributed and abandoned half-chewed, around the garden.
As the redcurrants ripened at the same time as their mildly hairy neighbours, I stewed the two together to make an unctuous pink breakfast compote as topping for my muesli and yoghurt. But my instinct tells me that the tartness of a hand-full of gooseberries, if finely-tuned, would make a good marriage with an oily fish, such as mackerel. My Ma’ s recipe (see pic above) for 2 tablespoons of Pernot added to 1lb of gently stewed gooseberries, sugar to taste, and either fennel seeds or dill seeds, would fulfill that role perfectly.