I had a nice, cosy day yesterday. I visited one of my favourite shops: Lakeland. I could spend hours in there, browsing the cake tins, cookie cutters and mixing bowls. Plus, it sells the most heavenly liquorice.
The reason for this Lakeland jaunt? Well, I can smell Autumn in the air. The days, although warm and sunny, have a mellow, hazy, muted quality to them. I am almost wishing away the summer, I long for the season of woodsmoke, mists, falling leaves, berries and darkening nights. I can't wait to draw the curtains at 5 and light the coal fire. Autumn, to me, is also the season for making jams, jellies and chutneys.
So, I needed to go to Lakeland to stock up on jam jars. I have a few recipes planned, some of them using fruit from my own garden, which is so satisfying. I'll shortly be posting a recipe for spiced pears, pickled in raspberry vinegar. These are my favourite pickles, divine with chicken liver pate. I use conference pears from the tree my dad planted when I first moved to this ramshackle house.
I'll also be making lovely crab apple and red chilli jelly. Perfect with sausages.
Yesterday I made some beautiful, ruby-coloured strawberry and vanilla jam. It is so luscious and sweetly fragrant that I sneak a spoonful every time I'm in the kitchen.
Once upon a time my dad used to save me jars in preparation my Autumn enterprise. I was terribly disciplined in Lakeland yesterday and only bought the jars, even though I was so tempted by the following:
A lovely, heavy, cream country-style mixing bowl.
A set of icing bags and nozzles in a kitsch 50s style tin.
A set of Emma Bridgewater cake tins.
On another matter. The rescue centre has posted Meg's details on their website click here. I am now so conflicted, as everyone predicted, I have fallen in love with the lovely lurcher. I don't think I can bear to be parted with her. She is so sweet and Hetty is loving having a lurcher sister to run with.