Monday, 3 October 2011

September's catchup ...

Toadstools in the woods
 (Belatedly) September saw everyone heading back to school and one to college and us getting used to a different, quieter routine with plenty of work in the day and family time squished into busy evenings.

We scrounged medlars from a friend which are now happily maturing on the driveway ...


Canned green beans and a token egg :~)
 I had another go at canning allotment produce, this time it was green french beans. I tried raw packing them and it was so easy! Basically, just heat the clean jars in the oven, wash and chop the beans straight into the hot jars. Fill with boiling water and process in the canner. Simples :~) I haven't tried them yet but they look wonderful ... every time I look at them I think of winter stew and dumplings.

I'm really pleased about the beans after the goldengage (not-quite-a) disaster because this was exactly what I bought the canner for ... to preserve our allotment gluts cheaply, easily and not worry about it taking up precious freezer space. Have you ever frozen homegrown beans? Bleugh ... the canned ones look far better!

Next year, I'll be growing about five times the amount at least!

September seedhead

Blue sky and autumn sun
 We've had plenty of woodland walks and foraged plenty ... one walk saw two buckets filled to the brim with crabapples! If you fancy trying out some crabapple jelly, look here.

So, far there have been about three lots of crabapple foragings and about 11 or 12 jars of jelly. The last lot was combined with rosehips in a beautiful autumnal mixture of goodness :~) The recipe was baed on the usual crabapple one (mentioned above) but just used part rosehips weight for weight.
Rosy crabapple

Crabapple nibbled by a grateful mouse ... so sweet!


 We've had some splendid autumn storms with rainbows, the tail end of a hurricane and torrential rain.
Rainbow after the storm

Stormy sky

Stormy sunset

Rain-drenched lane

Watercress soup
 I visited a local farmshop to buy ten bunches of watercress (yes, ten) and found that they sold raw cream ... wonderful, so buttery.

We've also been frantically seed saving ... peas, borlotti beans and wartime heirloom beans. There's something deeply satisfying and soul-pleasing about seed saving and generally squirreling the harvest away :~)

Wartime heirloom beans ... love the colour!
 We also scrounged a fair few damsons off a friend to make damson jam. It took many hours to make but was so worth it! Perfect in rice pudding ...
New young lettuce plants


Mad Madame Mel said...

wow, look at the colour of those beans !! glad the beans turned out better think I will need to convince OH that we nee a canner for our veg next year :)

Christian said...

Those beans look amazing!!

What variety are they?

Just me said...

I'm not too sure .. I was just told that they're an heirloom variety dating back to the war. Look wonderful don't they :-)