How dare I raise the issue of Autumn when August is not yet over? Well it is cool, and yes I admit to having put the heating on a few times, mainly to warm the house for Jenny who is over from Spain and is feeling the chill. It is raining on and off and light conditions are poor, so naturally one's thoughts turn to autumnal pursuits.
In my case these have been knitting and pickling. I'm knitting up a second pair of leg warmers for Jenny to take back to Spain. Although it was 35 C when she left, it does get cold in the winter and with marble floors, she just wanted to have some legwarmers similar to the ones I had knitted for Lizzie and which she had modelled. We chose the yarn from a wool shop in Warwick, as when we visit Leamington, Web of Wool was closed. Hope Anna forgives me. The yarn we chose had all Jenny's favourite colours and is knitting up just beautifully. The Manos Del Uruguay yarn in silk and merino wool is soft and warm and lustrous.
The yarn comes in a variety of luscious colours and we brought two hanks back, and spent a few minutes deciding which one to use. David who has an excellent eye for colour and design gave the seal of approval: the nutty earthy colours for Jenny, and the turquoise & blue ones for me. Yes, I shall also be knitting myself a pair ready for that time when the cool weather starts. Lizzie wanted some legging and though she would start a trend down under, well one is starting here!
My first pickles of the year are made and are maturing....well the ones that have not yet been eaten. I trawled through my recipe books and also the internet, and developed a hybrid recipe. Usually I make jams etc but this year the batches I have made so far are not up to the usual standard. I have tried various sugars available here for jam but wonder whether the beet sugar here is not as good as cane sugar which I used to get in Swindon.
David is not a pickle or chutney person, and has an aversion to vinegar. I try to get over this by starting my boiling early in the morning and getting the house as well aired as possible before he gets back from work in the evening. David does like Branston with cheese, and having run out of that served some superb well matured Green Tomato chutney made in 2006 by my friend Judith, the extreme knitter. I think the secret is good maturing.
David LIKES the beetroot chutney!