Roving peacefully across the English moors in late summer is a pastoral idyll unlike any other – better yet, taking the reins and doing it on horseback assures maximum quaintness to the act. Britain’s irresistible bounty means that one can tread on home soil and concurrently pluck up a ripe ruby apple or a stash of the most succulent cherries and blackberries.
However, Britain’s August harvest is more famously known for plucking a different sort of feast – one which, distressingly, comes with two feet and a face. They are petite, auburn and enjoy roaming through the rural English fields; no, it is not an Austen heroine – it is the renowned red grouse.
Undeniably, August is a tough month for our quintessentially British feathered friends after the commencement of the Glorious Twelfth, the beginning of the grouse shooting season. Find below a seasonal and customarily patriotic selection of daily dishes that are animal-friendly, to satisfy the countryside hunter with a soft-spot for conservation.
Before every glorious little cherry has been and gone, pick yourself a punnet to top a stack of cinnamon pancakes, or to bake into a batch of sweetly spiced cherry and almond tartlets, served of course with a cup of Twinings Earl Grey.
Optimise summer’s surplus of French beans – which can indeed by grown in the United Kingdom – and concoct yourself a mint and thyme infused asparagus and bean risotto. And yes, white wine may be added to the mix.
Provençal rather than English but, nevertheless, ratatouille is everyone’s favourite, so why resist? Prepare a rich tomato sauce to cover a selection of peppers and courgettes, thus – metaphorically rather than literally – killing two birds with one stone by hand-picking Autumn’s array of tomatoes and courgettes.
Make the most of England’s apple yield by baking them into literally anything which Nigella Lawson has put her name to, if not only to please your parents then to add low-key domestic kitschness to your ’gram. Roughly chop for a traditional cinnamon crumble, or cube and mix with flaked almonds and mixed-spice for an aromatic kuchen.
Photo: Sarah Vickers