The sound of a pin dropping

Can you hear it? Yes, the house is so silent I can hear a pin drop. I will take a week or two to settle back into the rhythm of my days. My cherubs went back to school today, I should have sat down, taken tea, read, blogged, knitted but in fact the day was over in a blur and none of those things completed. They went off excited, full of plans and resolutions, returned home tired and happy. We had a lazy afternoon with Milly Molly Mandy and Somerset Apple Cake.

I have long "to-do lists", there are quilts to be fi
nished (one of which is unbelievably overdue), quilts to be started, Tilly's autumn wardrobe to be sewn, knitting magazines to be thumbed through but this week's priority is preservation.

Of sanity yes, but mainly of blackberries, onions, apples and plums, some of them mixed up together and some not. I only began unravelling the mysteries of preserving a couple of years ago and along the way there has been both success and failure. Thankfully the successes are good enough to help me forget the failures, even those spectacular failures which prove rather hard to clean off saucepans, muslins, jars and so forth.

My particular favourites are a Spiced Apple Chutney with an Onion Jam hot on its heels. At this time of year there is nothing to beat blackberrying in the hedgerows and turning the bounty into jam, without doubt a recipe for domestic smugness.

I would love to hear of any favourites amongst you or any special, secret ingredients and most especially, can anyone recommend a recipe for a really fabulous tomato and ginger chutney?


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