I have been trying to tick on with the advent calendar decorations, aiming at one per calendar per evening- that is to say, six per evening. So far: hearts, robins, pears, Christmas puds and mittens.
Also now part of my autumn routine is the making of rosehip syrup, the subject of one of my first ever posts, and this year bramley lemon curd.
Still on the preserving list is pepper jelly (South Devon Chilli Farm to provide rather than my local hedgerow!), pontak sauce (daily checks on elder berries: still green and hard), apple chutney, hedgerow jelly, blackberry and apple gin, and haw brandy. It is now that those empty jars, rattling around under the sink and in the shed so annoyingly all year round, tumbling out at a sideways glance, seem too thin on the ground, and things like nylon sieves, sticky label remover and muslins are high on the shopping list. As the light lengthens, the swallows depart and the long sleeves are dug out from under the piles of summer clothing, it’s lovely to think of all these fruity, summer flavours on hot toast in front of the fire. As Nigella Lawson so truthfully writes in her baking cookbook, “I’ve often thought that bad weather has its compensations, most of them culinary.”