Juniper Berries…

Juniper berries are used in gin to give it that distinctive flavour.

My bird training son suggested I harvest some from my clusters of trees at Footlights so I went out one afternoon and spent a couple of languid hours rolling the fragrant boughs between my fingers


and collecting the deep purple berries,


that promptly got lost in the bottom of my oversized basket.

It became a gentle, strolling meditation and I became lost in the emptying of my mind.

My hands grew pleasantly sticky and were soon coated with a film of resin from the branches and the bloom of the tiny berries, which aren’t really berries at all but the female seed cone with unusually fleshy and merged scales that give it its berry-like appearance.


My haul amounted to just over 12 oz,


which are now sitting in a jar in my pantry for use as a citrusy spice for meats, sauerkraut, pickles…

Slightly bruised before use they will release a pungent and distinctive flavour.

I can hardly wait to infuse them in a clear spirit and make my own gin…

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