Season of mist and mellow fruitfulness as delightfully outlined by Sir John Keats in his Ode to Autumn which is available here:
But how true are those words in the greater scheme of things so descriptive and the spiders are everywhere. Despite repeated washing the windows are still bearing the spiders finely spun webs and as soon as you get rid of them they come back again. The other evening saw the first of the mists but there certainly is a plethora of fruits and vegetables as they are harvested for the end of the growing season and squirrelled up ready to use within the winter months in various different guises whether that be jam for tea in the form of sandwiches or with toast, muffins maybe or slathered over a home made Victoria sponge cake and served with either cream or buttercream. Both are delightful.
I would dearly love my own orchard. That is what I miss from my Nan's home. The seasonal routines and the family picking gangs arriving en-masse to bring the harvest in and the companionship. All of us usefully employed going about our business in finely worn systems of working and grooves. The space, the orchards, the produce. My Nan always sold the best of the apples and also stored the best of the keepers for use during the winter months. We always used to use the fallers though and when I asked why she quite simply said that the apples that had fallen had their heads in the sky and had ripened first. To her mind they were the best apples as they had had their heads in the sun. It was one of our tasks as children to go and collect the fallers and bring them in and in retrospect Nan was right they were the best of the apples. She would always prepare these apples as apple puree or in pies and cider which she made a lot of.
In this household I use a lot of apples and plums and tomatoes through the year they are my basics along with things like pears and potatoes and onions. Now I have the canners I am having to slightly re-think my strategy when it comes to storing food as so much more different foods are now going to be open to me to make with me shopping for ingredients and doing the food production myself. I now am thinking well how many jars of this do I need to get me through the season. I really have no idea at the present and so am going to make a few things that we would regularly use and take it from there. I think that this will be a list that will evolve and grow to suit our family. Even so I have been looking at the calendar and trying to calculate how many weeks it will be until Spring again in order to formulate roughly how many jars of this or that I will need which will be about 30 jars of pasta sauce! Oh well I had better get a wriggle on!
However now I am starting to take the reins of this responsibility for myself I now find I need an awful lot more storage. Once this is all sorted out it will then be the growing space. I know that this late on in my life it possibly will never happen but its a dream and you just never know. It is my dream. You need the dreams to help you through reality when times are tough. A place to escape too and a place to be.
I need to get a lot more apples. As previously stated I have prepared two stone of cookers already in various guises and there will be a lot more squirrelled away on top of that.
I have a lot of yellow fleshed greengages to put up in syrup later on to have as dessert plums either after a full dinner or a tea - it is something different. I also have Victorias done the same way. A couple of the jars of the Victorias are going to be turned into sugar plums for Christmas.
The link is here Victorian Christmas and was prepared by the Victorian Farm Team as a special. The link to the Sugar Plums is here Sugar Plums
I still also need to do the mixed fruit salad and also the red fruit salad. Should be much easier with the steam canner - I bought the pressure canner mostly for meats, soups, vegetables etc.
Right I had better get a wriggle on.
Catch you later on.
P.S. its about 14 weeks to Christmas so I think the cakes are going to be done this weekend (well at least one of them anyway).