Sunday, 16 October 2016

Autumn on the smallholding

This weekend has felt very Autumnal.  It’s been a mixture of lots of lovely things.  The changing colour of the trees, the leaves that have appeared underfoot when we’re out walking, the apples that are readily falling and being used in the cooking, the homegrown squash that I roasted and we ate, the dip in temperature on a night yet the days that are still creeping up to 17 and 18C and I finally got round to making a Sunday lunch and doing some baking again. 
I made some chocolate, ginger and oat cookies from my new favourite person, Mary Berry.  Between her, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Pam Corbin, I think I have a year’s worth of recipes to keep us going.  The cookies are really nice and I got 21 out of her recipe.  It claims you will make 24, but we don’t eat biscuits that are so small in this house ;).  They took 11 minutes on the bottom rung of the Aga (just for my future reference).
I’ve also made a start on the Elderberry wine.  I did wonder if I was too late but we found a bountiful supply that were still young and fresh so as a family, we picked them and brought them home to make a start.  I also made a Elderberry Winter Tonic which I’ve read about in a few places.  It’s now sat in my fridge waiting for the cold season to start.  I only used 2 cupfuls of Elderberries which yielded around 400ml of tonic.  I’m giving my Mam some to try and help her through the winter as she has a hernia and suffers terribly with what she can and can’t eat, hopefully she can have this without side effects and it’ll help keep her immune systems up.
Of course to go along with the homemade wine, Steven needed to try homemade cider, so he and our lovely neighbour borrowed a cider press and got to work pressing buckets of our apples from the orchard and the neighbours too.  They managed to make 15 litres which is gurgling away in the pantry.
We’ve managed to get rid of quite a lot of muck this weekend and in return bagged ourselves a large carrier full of different breads which are all now in the new freezer ready for when we run out of have unexpected guests that need feeding.
I’m off to bed shortly, not necessarily ready for going back to work tomorrow, but certainly feeling blessed from the weekend. The dogs look like they are quite content too.

8 comments:

  1. It all looks and sounds very autumnal, yesterday we had rain first for two weeks and was much needed the tanks were running empty, day temps have been good and the log burner is being lit most evenings :-)

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  2. I love a barter, bread for muck is a good one. Great way to use your glut of apples.

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    1. We've had all sorts for muck. It amazes me. Salt of the earth type of people coming for muck. Love it

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  3. Oh what a lovely description, chic! I just love Autumn. Today started off very rainy indeed, as yesterday was, so our butts are full to the brim, too. I am going to gather myself in a moment and get the garlic out. I love seeing straight rows of things in veg plots but my rows are always a bit wonky! Your sheep look fab! Will email soon.x

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    1. Thanks hun. We've had very mixed days, very strange. We think something is stopping the butts filling quickly as they were full to the brim earlier in the year after a down pour or 2. My garlic hasnt arrived yet. Look forward to it x

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  4. Sheep, always a head in a bucket if there is one around. good muck is like gold dust!

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    1. They are bloody pushy when they want to be 😊

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