Monday, 31 October 2011

Strange going-ons

The Beautiful Girl has this... well, I'm not quite sure what to call it. A foible? An idiosyncrasy?Anyway, she has this personality trait which I find exasperating and endearing in  equal measure. She ascribes feelings to inanimate objects and then worries about those feelings. For example, we had a wonderful summer holiday with my family this year and on the last night we released some of those beautiful Chinese lanterns. Well, most of us did. The Beautiful Girl refused to, in case her lantern grew cold and lonely up there in the sky, on it's own. On a day out recently she couldn't choose between a pencil and a sharpener in the gift shop. After settling on the sharpener she had to whisper "I love you" to the pencil before she put it back, so it didn't feel rejected. And our lovely family tradition of choosing a Christmas tree on the first day of the school holidays became a traumatic experience for us all when accompanied by heart-wrenching sobbed apologies to the trees we didn't pick. All of which serves as an explanation as to why ours are the only pumpkins on the street to look like this.......
Apparently it would be unforgivably painful and cruel to actually carve a pumpkin. The irony of her returning from trick-or-treating to tuck into hot dogs and pumpkin soup is, thankfully, lost on her.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

More spicy seasonal baking

The Lovely Husband doesn't really have a sweet tooth, yet he loves all things gingery. So, with him in mind, I made a ginger traybake... To be honest, it wasn't my greatest success. The icing was too fudgy (I know, how can that be a bad thing, right?) but it lacked a strong enough ginger hit to cut through the sweetness. My fault entirely - I hadn't bothered to check my spice shelf and didn't have quite enough ground ginger. But when my sister and her children came over for the day and we went out here it did well enough as a mini-picnic to keep the energy levels up. The kids made Hallowe'en cards, dressed up, and explored the Tudor house on a ghost hunt, then we sat on benches in the beautiful autumn sunlight, enjoying the gorgeous garden and tucked into our foil-wrapped treat.
I wish half-term was longer...

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Continuing the theme....

I baked a cake yesterday - English apple and cinnamon. It's a favourite of mine and I make it often at this time of year. Particularly loving this one though, because it's made with the apples I brought home with us on Sunday. And because I added a crumbly, buttery, oaty topping. And because it's served on my new vintage cake plate.

Monday, 17 October 2011

An Apple (a) Day

One of my favourite autumnal rituals is our trip here, to Ryton Organic Gardens, for their annual Apple Day. Each time we go we are blessed with one of those beautiful crisp, clear autumn days that, for me, are one of the reasons why this is my favourite season. Yesterday was no exception. I love visiting gardens and this one, with its woodland walk, orchards and covetable vegetable gardens is wonderful. First though, we strolled through the Rose Garden, enjoying these beautiful late bloomers.

And this last one is a newly-discovered favourite. Named, "The Generous Gardener" in celebration of the NGS Open Garden scheme, it seems apt, for it's glorious scent - and beauty - really feels like a gift.
Stars of the day, though, had to be the apples. I've blogged before about how much I love apples in the autumn so getting to taste the dozens of different varieties on offer, making an apple bird feeder with the Beautiful Girl, drinking warm spiced apple punch and pressing our own apple juice was a little slice of autumnal heaven!