Wednesday, 19 October 2016
Chutney and cluster flies (fortunately not in the same room . . .)
I managed to get some better photos of the reverse of this lovely quilt, which as Sharon (Morning's Minion) suggested is probably a Postage Stamp quilt. As you can see, the materials are all satins and similar, even the little tiny checks.
The writing certainly looks Victorian period - ink written letters and other bits from magazines (e.g. W Brown, Nelson ).
I wish I knew a bit more about its history - but we were trotting smartly round Malvern, so my mind was already on the next stall.
Back to more domestic things, I bought a box of pears from Chris Thomas at Abergwili for £1 and they needed using quickly so I turned them into Spiced Pear Chutney. The recipe called for firm pears, and these were getting softer so made too much juice and it wasn't as syrupy as I'd have liked it, but smelt wonderful. My friend Dawn, from Doing It For Ourselves blog gave me lots of red chillis and some of those were included in the chutney.
The thing which looks like a large dead spider in the middle of the chutney is a Star Anise . . .
A nice colour in the jar, and they will be presents for friends at Christmas. I am being held to ransom by apples now - we must have a couple of hundredweight on the trees (I jest not). I am going to make some Bengal and Indian Chutneys later on today to soak up a few of them but I am low on jars so can't go too mad. Also I still have pickled onions to deal with . . . oh, and the autumn tidy up in the garden.
And speaking of spiders, there are cluster flies in the attic again. I must have collected an inch thick layer of dead ones when I vacuumed up there this week, plus letting out some live ones. There were also a hatching of (fortunately dead) wasp-imitators. I don't think they were wasps as they were too small and their stripes too close together.
Today is a catch up day. I have a live auction proceeding in the background here, as we have an item in it and also plan to bid on stuff later. Gosh, he's going fast today - we had to leave late afternoon yesterday and put bids on things as the auction looked set to go on until around 7 p.m.! It took us 4 hours to get there (Gloucestershire) as we got held up in a 2 mile traffic jam when we crossed the old bridge - all traffic waiting to join the M5 . . . That'll teach us to try and avoid the motorway in the dark. I had 3 minutes to view, so needless to say I didn't get far before they ushered folk out, although I did ask to see something later. You can't bid sight unseen. Anyway, we have viewed today's furniture and marked a few things off and will go tomorrow to collect anything we have bought and bring back an item we had in yesterday's sale which didn't sale. (NOT jewellery, hah, as some of that went sky high!) We need to buy at least one piece of furniture to cover our fuel costs.
I am still doing well with the Fitbit and am losing about a pound each week, weightwise. I would like it to be faster but there is flab going too, so I mustn't complain. Would you believe I clocked up a mile or so just around the kitchen the other morning when I was baking?! I was dashing around a fair bit.
Nearly forgot, here is a new-to-me Preserving book I got for just £2 recently. Lots of nice recipes in it, all divided up into monthly suggestions.
This sounds like a cheap chutney to make at this time of year and what lovely colours it has in it.
One last photo - one of the Shoot's white pheasants came calling with a couple of normal-coloured friends this week. Here she is sneaking round the back of the Bay Tree . . .