Apples and Autumn

This time of year is Harvest-festival time; Friday was Michaelmas.

According to British folklore, Michaelmas is the end of the blackberry season. An old story about how, when St Michael threw Satan out of heaven, Satan landed in a blackberry bush. Satan cursed the blackberries; he stamped, spat and urinated on them, thus making them unfit for consumption.

I was going to write about my first chocolate trip since July, which was to Haiti, with an 80% bar from Waitrose, but I can’t now remember how it tasted. Well, certainly. It had the bitterness of cacao; it melted smoothly on the tongue, and snapped cleanly. I don’t recall the underlying flavours. I’ll have to return.


So, instead, it’s apples. Home-grown, windfallen Bramleys. We went home at the beginning of September, and returned with about 25lbs of apples. They filled two and a half carriers. A few went bad and were thrown, but I stewed the rest. Had a crumble and Belgian hot lightening pie out of the first lot, with two extra servings set aside for freezing; another crumble and three more servings from the second lot.

Last year, we basically lived on apple cake and crumble for a month. This year, I’ve frozen it.

I tried something different for the second stewing. I found a recipe for Swedish apple cake, in the ScandiKitchen recipe book, which calls for apples stewed with butter, sugar and cinnamon. Swedish apple cake is one of the best apple cakes I know, so I thought I’d try stewing the apples in this manner. I already had a couple of servings of normal stewed apples, anyway.

I’m glad I’ve got three lots of spare cinnamon apples. So delicious. I’m saving one lot for my Christmas cake this year.


How to Have Fun in Autumn…

Is there any noise more satisfying than the scrunch of autumnal leaves beneath your feet? Other, that is, than the pop of bubble-wrap when there’s enough to jump on.


(Also, I never noticed before how much the little mushroom looks like an owl!)

There’s something wonderfully gleeful about jumping in a pile of leaves. I think it’s one of the best things about autumn. I find it so disappointing when fallen leaves are swept aside and removed, don’t you? I know there’s all the health and safety in case someone falls over and breaks a leg or whatever, but crunching leaves is one of life’s small pleasures.

Maybe it’s the crunching. Some years ago, I went through a phase where my comfort food of choice was an apple. Or six. Because of the crunching when you eat them. (It only wasn’t chocolate because at the time I was practically living on Maltesers, one of my all-time favourite treats. Again, they crunch.)

Like the soft crunchy noise of tightly-packed snow when you leave footprints in fresh snow. Oh the joys! I know. Simple things and all that. But it’s the simple things which make life such fun. Makes it easier to have fun, too, I think. (Splashing in puddles is good fun too…)

What’s your favourite thing about Autumn?