Monday, 3 October 2011

Autumn splendour

What an astonishing year! Hot dry spring, cold wet summer, then a dazzling week of heat and golden sunshine as we entered October, with a 15 degree drop in temperature as the cold and rain hit us once more.
September was a blur of baking, home educating, and playing with preserves. I have a cupboard full of plum jam, damson jam, chutney, elderberry jelly, rosehip syrup and elderberry cordial. The latter makes truly marvellous (if very frothy) cocktails when mixed with sparkling white wine like Prosecco or champagne. A hedgerow Kir Royale - yum!
Luke wanted to learn how to make lemon curd, too. It's his favourite thing for toast or pancakes and we'd never had a go at making it. I decided to follow Nigel Slater's recipe from the Guardian as Nigel's always reliable for that sort of thing. It was absolutely delicious, and Luke was extremely proud of his efforts.
On the cake front, the plum cake season is over; shame, I'll miss it. It's apple cake time again, and I'm looking ahead to parkin recipes too. In the name of research I bought some from Betty's tea rooms in Harrogate. I'll not be happy with mine until it can compare reasonably well with that, so I may be some time...

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