Sunday, 11 October 2009

Apples, apples, apples.  And no photos, as I only thought about that just now!  I've made apple & damson cheese, spiced apple butter, damson & apple jelly, crumbles, pie fillings, apple & blueberry muffins & I've run out of apples!   I have yet more recipes for apples that I want to try, so I shall have to raid my friends orchard again, if there are any left that is.  Apples & plums were taken down to Mum as she's the chutney queen & I love her autumn chutney.  There's no point me making any as I'm the only one in the house that eats it! 
We've emptied the local trees of a bumper crop of sloes this year & have plenty of gin on the go.  I prick the sloes, cover with sugar & gin & forget about them until I need the jars the next year, then I bottle it.  I discovered some 2006 damson gin this year so instead of discarding the damsons, I removed the stones & covered them in melted dark chocolate ready for Christmas.  Waste not, want not. 
The biggest problem with all this food is that I'm having to watch my weight & I do not like not being able to eat what I like so I came to the conclusion I will just have to get yet more exercise to counter the effects!!
Actually exercise is readily available in the form of Dillon.  He loves to go out, doesn't always want to return home when I do but we go out every day for a good hour when I get back from work.  This leaves me just enough time to get a meal on the table before the anorak has to go to work.  I must get more organised!!  A slow cooker is in my future despite t'other halfs opinion that he doesn't reckon much to them.  I also want a dehydrator for next summer & maybe a food mill to help with the food prep. 

Today I was out walking with Dillon for a good two hours, would have been quicker but most other dog owners see him & want to talk to him.  He's such a sweetie.  Not to mention the fact I had to retrace my steps twice, once as I missed the footpath, & the second time I had to walk back half a mile as I didn't want to walk through a small field full of cattle on & around the footpath.  I was once chased by some young bullocks & knowing dogs can encourage them to show more than a passing interest I decided I'd rather walk back along the road.  It's fun exploring the local countryside.  The two dogs we had before, Sindy & Jess, didn't need so much exercise, so now I'm walking off the pounds & enjoying the fresh air.  Even if sometimes it's wet & windy.  It also means I get to pour over maps which I loved to do as a teenager.  We have some wonderful countryside here outside the Lake District.
Yesterday I happened to pass Oxenholme railway station with Dillon at the time lots of enthusiasts were gathering to watch a steam loco, the Royal Scot, pass through.  Later info revealed the engine to be the Duchess of Sutherland for those that want to know these things.  I rang home to get Joe up with a camera, (we don't live far away) but some bright spark had been messing with the camera & all Joe managed was a shot of a carriage.  I was busy keeping Dillon in check as this huge puffing monster went rushing past & boy did it move fast.  So I went back later to catch it on the return journey & was lucky enough to discover the new Tornado loco was due as well!

The last week of the month is Kendal Food Festival which I'm looking forward to.  We have some damn good producers locally, & it will be interesting to see just what will be on offer.

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