Saturday 1 October 2016


It doesn't seem all that long ago that I gave you a pinch and a punch for a new month and here I am doing it again!  Where on earth is the year going?  September has passed and October is here.  Three quarters of the year is past and over.  We're starting to see a few festive things in the shops and I love it.  I don't put up any decorations until the last possible moment but I have absolutely no objection to seeing things much earlier and I have a sort of personal tradition which is to buy one special decoration each year.  It has to be red or gold because that's my colour scheme and I have to think it is beautiful in one way or another.

Light is just starting to dawn here and it looks dry but feels cool.  Dressing gown and slippers are not out and in use!

I had a splendidly lazy day yesterday.  I was good and got dressed but really I didn't need to as, apart from Beth who popped round for a short time at the start of the day, I didn't see anyone and nobody saw me.  Just what was needed and I feel a lot better this morning.

I started off by finishing off the mincemeat which is now packed away in jars to mellow.  It really does smell and taste wonderful and I can see that I shall be making mince pies well before Christmas this year.

Then I dealt with the crab apples and have a jar and a half of beautifully pink jelly.  I looked at the remaining pulp, thought there was no way I could waste that, dug some raspberries out of the freezer and I now have six pots of seedless raspberry and crab apple jam as well.  It has set very soft but looks and tastes wonderful.  As the fruit was all given to me, that is very frugal jam, even when using jam sugar.

I picked some runner beans and there were enough needing picking for several days so there was some last night, some today, maybe, and some for the freezer and there's still more to pick and more flowers setting.  I know that the self pollinating bean seeds did cost more but they have more than paid for themselves.  I wonder if they will go on until the first frost.

Thank you for all the kind comments about the bag.  After all the angst, it did turn out OK and I think I shall make one for myself, without a zip and a bit bigger and a bit wider but definitely with the pockets on the outside - although, thinking about it, I could put the pockets on the lining instead and have them inside.  Must think about that one!

Chelmsford does seem to be a very up and coming place, very different to when I moved to this area in the early 1980s.  The latest excitement is a new shopping complex including a White Company, Foyles (woohoo) and, best of all, a John Lewis.  John Lewis and some of the other shops opened this week and great was the excitement thereof.  I had wondered about going in on Thursday, on opening day, but I didn't feel brilliant and I gather it was chock-a-block full so maybe it's just as well.  I don't do crowds all that well.
I then wondered about today but I can't get in early and that's the only time I would get a parking slot right now.  So maybe next week or, perhaps, tomorrow morning?  We will see.

Today I will definitely be having a go at the fougasse from Bake Off and I have it in my mind to use up a whole load of tomatoes making a tomato ketchup but apart from that we shall see how things pan out, I think.  I still have some apples that Jackie gave me and have need to search for an apple chutney recipe that uses things I already have in store.  Thank goodness for Google!

Today's food plans:
B:  oat bran galette with pineapple and yogurt, orange
L:  red pepper hummus and salad wrap, melon
D:  cheese and chive burger, new pots, runner beans, spicy ketchup, pineapple and yogurt

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