One of the things that I love about gooseberry season is that it is still in its natural state. What I mean by that, is because it isn't a high value crop in huge demand, no one has bothered to try to extend its season.
The understandable passion for strawberries and raspberries means their season has been stretched to the maximum, enabling a fresh UK supply from May to September.
Not so for the humble gooseberry, with it's slightly furry, striped green suit. Its season lasts for a few weeks in June. And if nothing else but just for the pure alien fun of them, they should be top and tailed, simmered, baked, frozen and fooled.
Gooseberries also have a special place in the narrative of my family. As you can imagine, being born with a name like Sky in the 70s could only mean I grew up with parents perusing an alternative lifestyle. When they finally married, my mum was already pregnant with me. My sister (The London Flower Farmer ) and brother were already chasing chickens in the yard.
When they married, my sister was so disappointed by our mother's corduroy that she did a good job of dressing up as the bride herself. After the ceremony at the local registry office in Northallerton, our Granny Sarah made a celebration gooseberry fool. Their honeymoon took place that evening: a picturesque drive in the Yorkshire moors, with the kids in the back.
After a bit of flitting here and there, we moved from Hackney to a house with a garden in Tolleshunt Knights, Essex. This was my first memory of having a garden, and gooseberries were the first fruit I remember picking fresh. My first harvest.
Now, our Gooseberry and elderflower jam is my go to in the morning. A glass of natural yoghurt, a spoon of G&E Jam and perhaps some granola. It sets me up for the day and keeps me until lunch.