Monday 29 September 2014


Roses still blooming and bee grateful for the late nectar
It's the end of September and Autumn is well under way. The warm Spring and Summer (with the exception of a rather chilly August) has continued into September. No frosts or cold evenings, and very little rain. This has resulted in trees turning a bit early and plenty of flowers maintaing the colour in the garden. the bees are still busy, especially on the late roses and raspberries.

There's lots of work at this time of year. The apples are ripening early and need picking and processing. The warmth has meant the apples aren't keeping well. Some Bramleys I stored 10 days ago in the cool, dark store room behind the garage have already gone black. So we've been cutting up, cooking and freezing apples. This week I'll be making some chutney using the marrows and squashes that are ripening in abundance.

The trees and shrubs have grown tremendously this year so there's a lot of pruning and cutting back. The branches and twigs, along with couch grass and seedy weeds have provided a few great bonfires, one of the fun activities that we're lucky to be able to enjoy in our country garden.

Autumnal red leaves

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Crab apples

Crab apples in pan
Chopped crap apples ready for cooking
On Saturday we picked crab apples and hubby spent most of Sunday cleaning and chopping, then cooking up two huge pots of apples and yesterday squeezing and pressing the juice ready for a big cook up today to produce crab apple jelly with assorted flavourings - plain, sage and rosemary. We made 20 jars.

The sage and rosemary flavours go really well with roast meats like pork, lamb and chicken and also cheese.

Our crab apples are a red variety which produce a rich, dark jelly.

Crab apple jelly - 20 jars