30 September 2010

autumn apples

Moving on to things more autumnal, the old orchard in Langdon Park is once again groaning with apples, which means there's plenty of opportunity for picking,

and even with the schoolboys using them as missiles (!),

there's more than enough for batch after batch of fresh applesauce:

This year, I've been using the recipe from Forgotten Skills of Cooking, which has worked perfectly. The ratio of apples to sugar is just right, unlike in my old American recipe, which wasn't written for cooking apples.

Such a super book in general. Though I haven't forgotten the skills--I just never knew them!

26 September 2010

falling for kew

Before Tracy and I purchased our Kew memberships, I never would have dreamed of going on a damp day. Kew visits were reserved for sunny days, which meant G and I rarely went, as those were also our allotmenting days!

But having cancelled our last Kew visit due to threatening rain, which never actually fell, Tracy and I decided to brave it this time. The rain did come, but between showers we walked and walked and observed Kew shifting into autumn mode: horse chestnuts bouncing along the paths,

the colors changing on the trees,

and autumn crocuses emerging through the leaf litter:

And while our last visit was memorable for the plethora of blossom, this time we encountered berries in every color, from the familiar red to pink,


and green:

Now if only the red berries hadn't put me in mind of a certain December holiday, which I'm definitely not ready to think about yet!

22 September 2010


Here I am! Back in England and back to blogging after an unexpectedly long time away.

But before beginning the inevitable essay on what I did on my summer vacation, I'll start with what I did before my summer vacation, because the day before I flew home to America, I met Tracy and Diana for tea and coffee at Petersham.

Unfortunately, the Teahouse had been taken over by a fashion event, and as much as the models looked like they could use nice big slices of cake, there was not a slice to be seen. So we had no choice but to wander round the shop,

where we happened upon Petersham Nurseries' Murano Glass Collection. Tablefuls of gorgeous paperweights and elegant vases. I fell head-over-heels in love with this one,

but sadly not its price tag, so we continued on toward the front, where I discovered Petersham plimsolls!

But even such fabby shoes couldn't make up for the absence of coffee and cake. So we drove on to St Margarets, where a good hour of yarn smooshing at Mrs Moon and a long natter over ham and cheese croissants set all to rights.

At least until the next morning and my flight--arghhh!