The best things about my autumn so farWednesday, November 09, 2016
I know we're only half way through autumn but so far it's been lovely. I miss summer when it ends and usually take some time to readjust to the new season, but not this year.
The best bits?
This has to be pretty close to the top of the list - foraging for them, making them into syrup, and ingesting it! It feels really good to have foraged for something that I didn't intend to make gin with!
I've made two batches. The first is almost finished and a few days ago I made a second, this time using light golden cane sugar (as I'm allergic to sugar beet), which was totally inspired by Sophie.
This batch yielded almost twice as much syrup than the first, I had to abandon my fancy pants Kilner bottle and use an old gin bottle instead! Not that I'm complaining, it should last me a good long while.
My favourite way to use it is for breakfast, either drizzled in porridge, with soya yogurt and apple, or on pancakes.
Last time I met up with Sophie, we had a conversation about how nice it is to look forward to certain things that you can only get at different times of the year. This will definitely be one of the things I look forward to when autumn rolls around next year.
We have a tree in our garden and this year I bagged up all the fallen nuts and Googled what to do with them. Turns out it's pretty simple - eat them! As they had already fallen from the tree, and shed their husks, nature had done the hard work for me. I'd never tried green walnuts before and they're delicious! Thanks to Instagram (and Betty Herbert), I discovered that I can open the shells with a dinner knife, rather than whacking them with a saucepan - the former is much easier than the later!
Jennifer from Pastry and Purls mentioned bonfires and as soon as I read it, I started hankering after the smoky, crackle of a bonfire. My husband obliged (and marshmallows were involved).
Straining the gin that's been sitting in my cupboard for a year was a delight. I made a cocktail devised by the bartender from the Crown Hotel in Bury St Edmunds - a sloe gin fizz, and thought what a shame it was that I hadn't picked any sloes this year. But I do have blackberry gin brewing...
No photo - too busy eating! The first one since spring is always a goodie, even if I did burn the parsnips a little. We had pheasant, shot locally, and dressed by my husband. We actually sat at the table to eat, at the same time, together - this doesn't happen very often.
What are your best bits of autumn so far?