Thursday, 1 September 2011

Potential things to do in September

I like lists, lists help give you a visual of the things you have flying round your mind and once written down - they don't let you forget.  Here are just a few ideas and musings of possible things (flying round my mind at the moment)all to do in September .  More an aide memoire-  really and no particular order random thoughts just an attempt at some planning bearing in mind that I work full time and am on a tight budget.  Well there is method in my madness  - somewhere!

September is the month when I normally start my Christmas preparations folks, so I apologise profusely but I start sorting out ingredients and start a Christmas store of ingredients and bits and bobs (always check the dates) then I have a stock of lovely things to choose from come Christmas itself without having a massive blow out in one fair go.Trying to do an item or a couple of items ie some pickles or make some aprons, etc or make a freeze a couple of batches of sausage rolls (uncooked) to store in the freezer will also help ease the load and the financial burden and also the cooking (especially if the family descend).  You may have your own ideas and if you grow your own fruit and veg its going to be a busy time with the harvesting.

Don't forget to take advantage of all the autumn hedgerow fruits and the crab apples.  You can also make your own pectin stock for use in Jam making throughout the year at this particular time too.
  1. Make my Christmas cake - will give the cake time to mature and also the cake can then be marzipanned and iced in good time
  2. Make a Dundee cake.
  3. Make your Christmas puddings or wait until Stir up Sunday.
  4. Draft Christmas letter on the computer to go into Christmas cards.
  5. Purchase or make Christmas cards.
  6. Purchase a few stamps each week and put up
  7. Type up on the computer address labels.
  8. Start buying Christmas paper or decorating your own
  9. Start making Christmas presents or start popping up a little money each week and put up out the way.
  10. Make your own Christmas Crackers
  11. Collect fir cones for open fires they give a lovely resinous smell as they burn
  12. Bramble Jelly or anything bramble orientated including Bramble Cassis
  13. Last of the summer fruits i.e. strawberries raspberries and redcurrants bottled in a mulled rose
  14. Crab apple jelly
  15. Same for Elderberries  Done
  16. Elderberry "Pontack" Sauce Done
  17. Elderberry Chutney
  18. Elderberry vinegar Done
  19. Bottled Elderberry, apple and bramble pie filling
  20. Mulled Plum Jelly.
  21. Hips and Haws Haw Sin Ketchup made
  22. Make Rowanberry jelly
  23. Redcurrant Jelly
  24. Damson Cheese
  25. Damson and Orange Jam.
  26. Bottled Damsons.
  27. Damson Gin.
  28. Damson or Plum Vodka
  29. Quince/Japonica Cheese
  30. Bottle Apricot and Almond Compote.
  31. Apricot and Apple Chutney.
  32. If your grow your own Borlotti Beans harvest and dry.
  33. Dry Agapanthus seed heads, thistle heads etc. ready to decorate the house for Christmas.
  34. Make Mincemeat done
  35. Almond and Amaretti Mincemeat done
  36. Clementines in brandied caramel
  37. Figs in Spiced syrup
  38. Smokey Barbecue Sauce
  39. Saffron Pickled pears
  40. Make Christmas Beer
  41. Make Cider
  42. Make Stout
  43. Make Bitter
  44. Make Lager
  45. Make Piccalilli
  46. Make Limoncello
  47. Candy/Crystallise or put fruits in syrup for your own sweetmeats board that need not cost the earth just a bit of time and patience.
  48. Make Wines Especially hedgerow ones
  49. Bottled Plums (You need to make some of these if you want to make proper Victorian Sugar Plums for a Christmas sweetmeat.
  50. Pickled Beetroot
  51. Pickled Cucumber
  52. Pickled Onions
  53. Pickled Eggs
  54. Pickled Quails eggs
  55. Pickled Shallots
  56. Bottle Passata
  57. Pickled Vegetables
  58. Spiced Plum Sauce
  59. Make Christmas Chutney (if you make a couple of batches of this you can always give it away as a Christmas present for the friend who doesn't do for themselves. I have found home made preserves always go down a treat
  60. Nuts in honey for dribbling over ice cream  - saw some Filberts in Waitrose today
  61. Home made chocolate spread
  62. Belgian Pears

Etc etc.  no doubt I will add some more ideas as I go along

I actually enjoy the creativity, the making of things.  One thing I always do though is make my own mincemeat it is far superior than the bought variety and after all for me food is about the different flavours; it is not complicated to do and there are various recipes out there.

Well that's just for starters - got to dash.

Catch up soon




  1. Fantastic list Tricia, you've jogged my memory on a few things I should be getting on with, although I've just finished making the blackberry jam as we found a fantastic blackberry patch this year and managed to pick a few before the holidaying school children ate them all, can't blame them, they are delicious.


  2. Hi Lily glad the list was of help. Part of it get carried over into a list in a paper diary every year, just helps identify those bits you need to get done in particular months and it is always busy at this time of year and saves relying on my memory which is sometimes elusive. Its been a good year for brambles this year. Take care and thanks for popping by



  3. that is one enormous list Tricia!

    My list would be so much smaller, simply because we have such a simple, small scale christmas. As a pagan christmas itself holds little meaning, but i do celebrate the winter solstice. There's only my son and daughter living here with me, and my daughter is often out. we dont do any real socialising with friends or neighbours etc over the festive season, and we'd never get through that amount of food, preserves and beverages in a million years! (from no.12 down to 61!) I will make a xmas cake, shortbread, other cakes and pastries,etc, home made stuffings etc, I will be making some more chutney this autumn and cider with the windfalls, but we honestly do not really feast over the xmas period as many do. additionally, I am at work until the friday 23rd and back at work on the tuesday, there's little time to do a lot of anything!

    Leanne x

  4. Hi Leanne

    Don't panic I don't make all of them; it is mainly a potential list - but if I don't write things down I forget I have the option/choice available. Its more like an aide memoire really.

    I make many different things during the year. No one year ever has exactly the same things, although there are some mainstays that I make year in year out like the passata sauce and the hedgepick preserve - now we know who is responsible for that area of preserving don't we! Only teasing!

    My family and extended family all have big appetites, especially my step children and their families, and I keep them supplied, as well as provide "gifts" for friends at Christmas and also keep ourselves in preserves too. I am the only one who tends to "Preserve, Pickle and pot" in the family, but equally the family have things they are good at too and we sort of help each other out on a skills basis. Now if I had a canner, it may be a different matter altogether and then I think I could be in real trouble!. I just like cooking, preserving and generally fiddling about.

    Hope you are okay

    Take care



  5. Oh and I forgot to say - the family normally descend on me at Christmas in any event; it gets quite hectic and our Christmases are a lot simpler than they used to be which I enjoy far more. I only buy the core ingredients and then make things myself which is why I start stockpiling ingredients from September onwards buying a few ingredients each week or a few goodies put up to one side, so that my purse doesn't suffer shell shock having to pay out all in one go. I enjoy all of it and if the house I lived in was bigger I would have more people over its a family tradition.

    Take care Pattypan


  6. There was no criticism meant, i hope it didnt read like there was. I was just astounded as I thought all of that was for this coming xmas! (and seriously impressed if you had managed all on that list! ) Our xmases are quiet, and if I am honest, some of the magic also died when my lovely dad died. and then when my ex walked out, we;ll, it all became even quieter! I am quite a quiet soul though, so my simple festivities are fine. Maybe one day there'll be extended families and grandchildren etc and they will become livelier again!(My daughter at 22 is the youngest member of our family!)

    Leanne x

  7. Leanne breathe, no problem - I took everything in the spirit it was meant. I thought you had missed the word "potential"!

    I know how you feel its not the same without our Dad's. Something disappeared from me when I lost my Dad and I suspect with you too. Things will sort though, and I suspect you will be in your element when more young people join the family! I think this will be sooner than you think. I just try and keep everyone happy by showing I care in a different way.

    Take care dear friend and enjoy what you do



  8. Hello there,

    I found your blog whilst searching Google for Bramble Cassis recipes. Do you have a tried and tested recipe to make this as I've been looking everywhere with no luck (I have a glut of blackberries)!


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