Thursday, 10 September 2009

Indian Summer

I was wishing for an Indian summer, and now it has arrived -thank heavens. I had such a stressful day yesterday, when Snowy had to have his checkup following being dabbed in the eye by one of the fluffy black horrors last week. It wasn't healing as well as the vet or I expected and it looks like his ear cancer is returning. I had psyched myself up for him having to be pts yesterday but he has been given another few weeks so we can see how things are panning out.

Anyway, today it was so warm and summer-like, I decided to walk for my free range eggs, which we get from a neighbour. I had bartered a large jar of my Queen of Jams for some. It was a wonderful walk, with butterflies (even both the Tortoiseshells were in evidence and I have seen more today than the whole of this year and last put together, so there must have been a hatching, which is good news after they were victim of a parasitic attacker ). My neighbour had an elder bush which I was able to pick from so I now have enough for my sauce making. I picked some more blackberries too- this late sunshine should produce a few more for the freezer. I had a chat with several of my neighbours, but otherwise had the lane to myself and the butterflies, with the river chuckling across the stones in the valley bottom, three Red Kites soaring high above me on warm thermals. On the far side of the valley a blue tractor droned up the hill as it cut the hedgerow.

I have been busy in the kitchen and got some pickled onions bottled today (in an old glass Horlicks jar.) The phasing out of glass Horlicks jars are much lamented in this household. I did a mini roast using some lamb breast from the freezer with potatoes from the garden as roasties, and yet more runner beans to accompany them,and then stewed up some windfall apples and put a layer of mixed frozen fruit (blackberries/redcurrants/raspberries etc) which had been on special offer in the supermarket this summer and I had bought several packs then. One pack will last us three pies, used that way and it gives a sharpness to the pie which my husband prefers. A small piece of pastry was rolled out and spread with bramble jelly I made recently and became a jam roly poly for two small appetites!

I am typing this very slowly and not at all fluently on my daughter's laptop as my computer is still in being mended and my camera is with it as it won't automatically load the photos. Needless to say I have not got access to any of my photos . . . Hopefully normal service will return tomorrow.


  1. Lovely post and very desciptive. I can almost imagine being there! No photo needed as I can picture the scene from your words.

  2. Reading your post in the midst of stress--what a joy to think of your walk and the creativity in your kitchen. Give the dear cat a cuddle for me.

  3. I am so sorry about Snowy ...this is the time to pamper with his favoutite treats. We did this for our oldest cat,a couple of years ago but when the time is right you know ... so I was able to hold her as I said goodbye. I do hope you get a few more weeks.

    Breast of lamb brought back memories ...I used to score a couple of sheets still on the bone them on a rack in a roasting tin...pour vinigar over and rub a little salt in before roasting them til the bones were about to fall out. These served with mash were so yummy and fun to eat. If you dont mind fatty things ..remove the rack and just lay the sheets on a bed of onions and potatoes.

  4. I had to read this again for the pleasure of imagining myself as a companion on your walk and berry picking outing. Indian Summer is such a wistfully beautiful time; the slant of the sun, the smells, the messy but satisfying work of putting up the harvest. Your descriptions take me back to a way of life that I miss.

  5. BB~I find it really hard going from my laptop keyboard to dads big pc keyboard,the layout is different & the size as well!
    I hope Snowy stays as well as he can x x Its been lovely here the past couple of days,late summers are very welcome!
    GTM x x x

  6. Glad you all enjoyed the walk. I really find it difficult using a lap top - because it's flat I suppose - imagine me propped up like the princess and the pea atop several cushions on one of our low farmhouse chairs, and then with a space bar which only works on the right side and I am used to using my left thumb . . .

    Not fixed yet, but I have got the computer back over the weekend - believe me, this is BLISS!

    Oh, and MM especially, I forgot to mention the gossamer threads of spiderling silk hanging from the trees as young spiders set out on their new lives, made almost phosphorescent with the sun shining across them . . .

  7. "spiderling silk"---what memories you have evoked with that telling phrase--surely your powers of observation and choice of words rank up there with the Welsh poet!

  8. Thank you for that MM - natural inspiration has been thin on the ground in recent months, but hopefully it is returning . . .