I'm really getting in the preserving mode now, it feels we are on the cusp, the cusp of the new season and yet we are still in August, it should feel like Summer. The mornings are cool and damp, the sun rises slowly sending it's rays over chicken world first thing each morning and burning off the dew on the long grass, the fields all around are about to have their final crops cut and the evenings descend swiftly, earlier and earlier each night. Where the chickens used to retire at ten o'clock only a couple of weeks ago they are now heading for home at 8.30, jostling for their positions in the houses.
How obvious this jostling and taking up of normal positions has been in the last couple of nights, the gaps where others used to sit not yet claimed. The pecking order and hierarchy not yet quite sorted out, lonely Fudge, waits in vain for her sister to join her. Bournville's body is the only one we didn't find, I hope her end was swift, she was a big powerful bird.
In the house yesterday to take my mind off things I made a batch of Plum Jam, we don't have any mature plum trees yet, but a lovely person at Lovely Hubbys' workplace had harvested their bumper crop and brought all their excess in for others to help themselves to, when not many people did, LH asked was it okay to take the lot and was told it was fine. I sent the generous donor a pack of our lovely eggs as a thank you the day after. So I set to and made Jam, how rich ruby red and jewel like the colour and how sweet the taste. Seven lovely jars for us to eat through Winter, give as gifts to friends and family, and to admire while they nestle in the larder.
Am I the only sad person who opens her home made stores cupboard and just admires?
Then, the bug had bit.....I spied the previous days harvested tomatoes and chilli peppers on the windowsill, I chopped up the larger ones, added a couple of fat (homegrown) cloves of Garlic and some herbs and left the tray all day in the bottom oven of the Aga.
By teatime, all I had to do was whiz it all together in the food processor, with a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper and now I have two jars of rich roasted sauce, a similar colour to my Jam, so first priority this morning is label writing.
Yesterday this beauty arrived, okay so it's not truly beautiful, (unless you have a wood fetish), but it's practicality outweighs any boringness of colour. It's our brand new Apple Store, we've wanted one for ages but always held off, was it really necessary, would it do the job, would it ever pay for itself, would it last. When we finally reasoned that the answers to all those questions was YES we decided to bite the bullet and get it. The only thing was I didn't realise how BIG it was going to be, now WHERE DO WE PUT IT?
I see us being like Tom and Barbara Good, with our spare bedroom storing all the harvest of Summer, after all the huge chest freezer lives there already and that is the only space left that we can keep cool and dry enough so the produce will last well. So up the stairs it's going, and now comes the fun part....filling it up!
I hope you all have a lovely weekend, after the shock of the past couple of days we are settling back into our routine and I'm off to the Farmers Market tomorrow to peddle my wares, so I better go up to my little workroom and make some wares to peddle!!