Sunday, 23 September 2012

Holiday 2012

Last week we finally went on a holiday!  My first for nearly 3 years, and let me tell you, it was a looong time coming, and it was soooooo good!  I just RELAXED the whole time, wonderful!  And I am afraid I didn't really want to come back home to the hum drum of every day life, doing laundry and endless dished, tidying and stressing about getting to places on time. It was so nice to spend hours reading, and putting my feet up, not worrying about cleaning and tidying, playing with Orren, spending time talking to my husband, doing cross words, visiting lovely old houses and romantic ruins, walking on the beaches, not having to be anywhere in particular.  It was bliss.  
We didn't travel far, just to the North Norfolk coast to a little fisherman's cottage in a village called Blakeney.    Thankfully we had some wonderful sunny, if a little blowy days, and only one day of drizzle.  
On our holiday we:
  • Walked along the Quay at Blakeney,
  • Visited three National Trust properties; Felbrigg Hall, Blicking Estate and Oxburgh Hall,
  • Visited two lots of ruins; Binham priory and Baconsfield Castle,
  • Visited three seaside towns and walked on their beaches; Wells-Next-the-Sea, Cromer and Sheringham,
  • Ate lunch at the Blakeney Hotel,
  • Had lots of picnics,
  • Laughed a lot,
  • Took lots of photos:

Sunday, 9 September 2012

My baby ate blackberries!

On Friday we took Orren to the allotment for a foraging session and gave him a blackberry to enjoy.  He examined it carefully the gently stroked it's shiny black bumps before squashing it into his little fist and slurping it from his hand.  He had juice all over his face, hand, arm and top, but a happy smile on his face!  I think he enjoyed it.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Zesty Beetroot Chutney

We often end up with a glut of vegetables in our fruit boxes (which is one of the reasons we aren't getting it any more) and a few weeks ago we had one too many beetroot, along with a growing collection of empty jars I was inspired to make some chutney.  I find that beetroot can be a bit muddy tasting sometimes, even when fresh, and don't even get me started on the picked variety, yuck!  So I was pleasantly surprised to find that this recipe transformed the beetroot into delicious fruity chutney that goes perfectly with cheese on toast. 

You can find the full recipe here,

1 1/2kg beetroot trimmed and peeled and chopped,
3 onions chopped,
3 eating apples peeled and cored and chopped,
Zest and juice of 3 oranges,
2 tbsp white or yellow mustard seeds, 
1 tbsp coriander seeds,
1 tbsp ground cloves,
1 tbsp ground cinnamon,
700ml red wine vinegar,
700g granulated sugar.

Mix ingredients together in a pan and cook until the beetroot is tender and the mixture parts when you run and spoon along the base of the pan,
Sterilise jars then put the chutney into the jars.
Eat! (It gets better with age.)

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

The start of Autumn

Saturday was officially the first day of Autumn, (well ok officially the 22nd of September is the start of Autumn because that's the autumnal equinox, but I say 1st September because if you divide the year into four then there are three months for each season and September is the first for Autumn so there we go) and it had started to feel like it at the end of last week; we woke up to a bit of condensation on the windows and a general sense of chilliness in the air.  Normally this time of year fills me with dread, all those dark mornings and evenings, the cold, the wet, but this year I feel different, I am looking froward to watching the leaves change colour and walking in them through the woods hearing them crunch underfoot, I am looking forward to pumpkin pie and fruit cake and other Autumnal delights.  I am finding myself fantasising about frosty mornings, seeing my breath in the air, walking on crunchy grass and best of all, our first Christmas at home!
I always vowed that once we had a baby we would no longer be performing the yearly ritual of travelling from one side of the country to the other, visiting one set of parents in London and another set in Wales, so this is the year when we get to snuggle up in our very own beds on Christmas eve, fill a little stocking for Orren then wake up and settle in on our own sofas with some chocolates.  Oooh so excited about our first Christmas dinner our way, making our own Christmas traditions, watching what we want on TV and much much more.
I can also put the past year of veg growing (or lack thereof) behind me and start thinking about growing lots of lovely things to eat at the allotment and let Orren have a good dig around in the mud too.  I am still chasing my tail with him, stressing about not taking enough photos and not recording enough.  But I am just trying to enjoy life generally and not worry too much about the endless recording, I don't want to miss the real thing!
Today however is glorious sunshine and I have been sitting in the garden feeling like summer has only just begun!
How do you feel about Autumn, dread or look forward to?

Here are some photos from past Autumns and Winters: