The best things about my autumn so far

Wednesday, 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?

Rose hips
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).

Sloe gin
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...

Roast dinners
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?

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  1. The best part of autumn is over anyway (here at least). From now on it's autumn masquerading as the start of winter - naked trees, dark nights, sleet and all.
    Pheasant that your husband shot himself? I need to come round to yours for a roast dinner!

    1. yes, I guess it does all go a bit downhill from here, but at least it's been nice so far.

  2. Autumn has been a bit of a non-starter for me this year...there's still time though right?!

  3. Autumn has never been my favourite time of year but you're right to make the most of it and do (and eat) the things you enjoy. xxx

  4. Harvesting things is a one of the joys of autumn. Good for you that you were able to make another batch of rosehip syrup. I actually never ate green walnuts, though I must admit the thought of you whacking them with a saucepan made me chuckle ... Roast dinners ... mmm, getting quite hungry now xxx

    1. Thankfully my husband wasn't home to see me do that. Writing this made me a little hungry too.

  5. It's definitely in autumn that I most wish I lived in the countryside. I always have grand plans- I'll forage for blackberries, sloes, rosehips; pick apples and bake with them; visit bonfires; go for lots of long country walks.... Yeah none of that happened this autumn! I managed one apple cake, zero foraging, no bonfires, and two shortish walks.

    1. All of which are better than nothing! I wouldn't do half of these things if I didn't have them on my doorstep - all of these things happened within sight of my house.

  6. I'm so glad you had marshmallows with the bonfire. We used to catch them on fire, then fling off the burning crust across the yard. Inevitably it'd make sticky patches in the yard, but it was still worthwhile.

    1. hehe, sound like fun, I don't set mine on fire - I love the crusty toasted bit!


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