“Michaelmas, a wonderful celebration of harvest’s end and the start of autumn’s mists and mellow fruitfulness.”
As Keats wrote in his famous poem, I have always loved this time of year and I'm fascinated with the ancient feast and festivals that surround this now mostly forgotten date.
Old Michaelmas Day is also called “Devil Spits Day”, it is the last day that blackberries should be picked, according to old British folklore. This is known as the day that the Devil came to earth, he fell from the skies, straight onto a blackberry bush, whereupon he cursed the fruit, scorched them with his fiery breath, stamped on them and then spat on them making them unfit to eat!
To make the most of these devilish delights, why not try Nigel Slater’s stunning recipe for Pork Shoulder with Blackberries