It is starting to get very back endish there is that certain change in the air. the one that denotes the gentle slip of one season to another. In other words the "nip" is back in the air again and the nights are starting to draw in. I have already had the heating on twice this week as it has been too cold for me. I literally seize up if I get cold so the trick is to keep on an even keel i.e. have the heating on for a quick blast to warm everything up and then turn it down and that way I don't seem to be too bad. It will soon be October and it is nearly the end of the blackberry season not that I have had chance to get any this year. Perhaps next. Where has this year gone too. It just has not panned out how I hoped or thought it would.
We walk Missy (our Jack Russel) at night and I have been looking out for puff balls.We are both very partial to these tasty mushrooms. So far we have not seen any this year but this might be down to the fact that we have had a very dry summer, so much so the ground has broken open with deep cracks on the way down to the river so perhaps at the moment things are a tad dry. September month of mists and mellow fruitfulness spiders webs by the dozen cropping up everywhere. When I got home this evening there was a huge web spun between the window box and the gate post with resident spider in situ. I do not have a problem with spiders but OH does. They are very efficient at getting rid of any flies or bugs that are certainly not wanted.
Last night I spent an hour or so sorting out my "canning"/bottling bottles i.e. the Kilner jars and similar jars being reused with the Kilner lids the Quattro Stagioni bottles can be reused with the new Kilner seals and rings. I have managed to sort out about 18 bottles with new seals and rings and they are all sorted in a cardboard box marked appropriately. When I get paid I need to buy some larger jars for the pickled onions, shallots and cucumber. I obtained some from Lakeland Recently and they are a very good size. I just need to find a source for replacement lids. I buy pickled gherkins for OH he is rather partial and the lids from the Lakeland jars fit these perfectly and I wish to reuse them. I recycle where I can. Just need to find the size of the lids and a source.
On A practical basis September jobs
This is the month really to make chutneys so that you get long enough to let them mature. I usually alllow my chutneys to mature for six weeks before opening them up. So now really is the optimum time but you should be okay to the end of October first week in November.
I also need to get the Christmas cake and the Christmas puddings made, so that they can mature properly. I can then forget about them safe in the knowledge that they are all done and dusted and concentrate on other goodies for the pantry shelf and for Christmas.
September is the month when I usually start to stock up on the dried fruit store - I always have fresh for the Christmas cake and puddings but I do not waste any that is in store and perhaps a little past its best. You do not have to chuck it - turn it into home made mincemeat with a little fruit and alcohol no one will ever know the difference after a good soak and not only that you have potentially made something out of nothing and made whats available work for you. Don't worry if you end up with too many jars give the spares as Christmas presents.
The end of September beginning of October was always the time when we used to descend on my Nan for the weekend and the family would congregate going up and down trees picking the apples and then getting them sorted for winter storage.We would then have a family feast a big roast dinner with home made puddings and loads of custard as the reward for the hard work of gathering in the apples. We no longer have her home in the family a big loss to all of us but I still often think fondly of those times and the precious time spent with close family members. I wish we could bring those days back they were seriously happy days. I would love a small holding of my own eventually that has always been part of my dream.
I went to the Co-Op the other evening - they have started to introduce their Christmas range. There are already frozen Turkeys in the freezer, and the biscuits and sweeties are also on display with various offers on this and that. No doubt come pay day I will start stocking up with a few bits here and there so that it is not too demanding on the pocket all in one go. However I have quite a bit of bottling, chutney and jam making to do before then.
Catch you soon.