Winter is Coming…

I realise that I’ve been absent for ages now, if you read my other blog you’ll know life has rather been getting in the way, but it’s all nicely settled down and I hope to get back to regular blogging.DSC_0192 The garden has pretty much ground to a halt.  There are a few splashes of colour hanging on,DSC_0194 the zinnia sprite is still going strong in the cutting patch, as are the cosmos and some marigolds.DSC_0188 The borders are looking less pretty, but I was totally thrilled to see the Japanese anemone that I planted last year has taken, I did have my fingers crossed when I saw a few shoots earlier in the season, but I’m so pleased to have at least one bright spot amongst the green and browns.

DSC_0187 I’ve managed to keep up with the lawn, sadly since I took this photo (I’d just trimmed the hedges of the vegetable patch, which are finally filling out) it has got a bit out of control, but too late now as it’s far too wet for any more mowing.DSC_0176 With the promised cooling of the weather, I brought the remaining chillies and red pepper plants indoors to rippen. The greenhouse is still full of tomato plants which appear to be hanging on in there!!  One frost and they will sadly be gone.DSC_0179 The squash were also brought indoors, the gem/rolet need eating soon, but the others are scattered around the house looking pretty for Halloween before they get added to a Sunday roast.DSC_0181Indoors, I felt like cooking, so I cracked on with Christmas cake.  I can now cook cake with alcohol again, I did try one year without but it was dry and didn’t keep very well, perhaps it was the wrong the recipe I opted for….anyhow I’m going for it this year and I’ve made Delia Smith’s Creole Christmas Cake, the above bottles were required for the pre-soaking!!!  I’ve made it, as I always do, in October so I can ‘feed’ the cake over the coming weeks with a little more liquor, no idea which of the above I should use so I’ll have to read up for advice there.DSC_0028 It got me thinking that I never did post about some of the Christmas gifts I bought last year.  I had a kind of food and drink theme going on, I was trying to source drinks made in Britain.DSC_0032 There was Chase potato Vodka, Edinburgh Raspberry Gin (which I was told was very nice) and my favourite, King’s Ginger.DSC_0033 The Cherry Brandy (which is partly what had started the idea as I’d had a chat with my Brother about our getting a glass of Cherry Brandy at Christmas when we were older teenagers) came from SLOEMotion in Yorkshire, I even bought a bottle for myself and the Sloe Port and Truffles from the same, were given to my Sister.DSC_0035I bought some fun skull shot glasses to go with it all.  I was quite pleased, as I find it hard to buy for the men of the family, but I figured I couldn’t go wrong with a basket each of British bottles.

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As I had all the fruit out, I figured I may as well make the pudding (using my Gran’s recipe, as always) and some Mincemeat (the Delia version).  I can feel my fingers twitching to keep going but I’m not eating flour at the moment and ideally no sugar, so most regular baking is out.  Annoyingly, there is a Sticky Parkin recipe in this month’s Country Living that I’m not sure I can resist, so that might be my one baking treat this month.  As for the garden, it’s not in bad shape, I did get out there and do a quite tidy the other day and since then it’s mostly rained.  I’m not sure where we will be living next year, which puts a dampener on my usual joy of planning, but I think I’ll still browse seed catalogues and get some lists together and for now there are a few crops still in the ground (chard, kale, beetroot and spinach) so I’ll try not to abandon those as I often do when the weather turns.

Hopefully, it wont be such a long gap before my next post!!