A little late summer warmth

I am adamant that it is still late summer and not yet autumn!  Trees are still very green, apples not yet sweetened, and butterflies are still having a feeding frenzy on our Verbena bonariensis.  Oodles of small tortoiseshells, and a single Painted Lady, who was a a bit camera shy. 


Squally Sunday

The forecasters predicted wild and windy weather today, but after breakfast the storm hadn't yet arrived so we struck out for a walk on our favourite hillside, kept moving at a clip as we could see the blanket of rain closing in on us, and the wind ruffled the trees.  Arrived home for a coffee as the first fat drops of rain came.
I'd planned a cook day with the threat of bad weather so got to work making lots of lovely tomato sauce for the freezer, and pear chutney.  We have 2 ancient pear trees, variety unknown, but both wonderful prolific, the pears aren't lookers - a bit lumpy, but their flavour is sweetly almondy, and their flesh is lusciously juicy.  Even though I can eat the most prodigious quantity of fruit, they defeat even me, so chutney is a good option.  I researched various recipes, then amended to make a version to our taste with toasted cumin and coriander seeds.  Here it is below;

Pear chutney - September 2013
2kg pears, when peeled and chopped
3 cooking apples
3 onions
400g raisins
Goodly amount of following spices toasted; cumin, coriander, mustard seed. Bashed.
Chilli flakes 1 tsp.
2 tsp salt
400g sugar (granulated)  (could be a bit less?)
300ml malt vinegar .

Put in pan, boil, stir intermittently, when soft, bottle in warm sterilised jars.
Store for 3 months – if possible to wait!


Raspberry Mivvy

Favourite dahlia which I grew from seed many years ago has been flowering for over a month.  I am giving away seeds to anyone who would like to grow them next year.  I sow dahlias early inside and don't plant them out till danger if frost is over - or if before I have to be ready on a daily basis to protect with fleece in case it gets chilly. 
If anyone is interested in growing some; send a self addressed envelope with stamp on to the address below and I will send some seeds.  It really is a very pretty plant reaching about 3-4' in height, its leaves are rich green and its flowers crimson, on dark reddish stalks which it puts out very freely.
F.A.O.  R. Barker
30 Lydbury North