Saturday 3 October 2009

Changing Seasons


One of the first signs that the seasons are changing, before the leaves change colour and start to fall, are the garden spiders which appear in late August and Setember. They are festooned from every available plant and you have to walk through their webs every morning, just to get out into the garden! I hate spiders, but I don't like breaking their webs, even I can see they are a thing of beauty. I don't know what type of spider they are, my husband calls them 'shredded wheat' spiders! The spider photographed above had made his web right across the back door, reluctant as I was to break-up all that hard work, I had to do it eventually or remain trapped indoors!


Once the air starts to get cooler, my mind instantly turns to comfort food. I no longer want to eat salads, I crave pies, stews and cakes. One of the easiest things to bake is flapjack. I discovered this particular recipe on the internet, it's called 'chewy flapjack' because it contains mashed-up banana. I've never tried adding banana to flapjack before, but it was absolutely delicious.

If you feel like trying it out, here's the recipe.

Brown Sugar 80g
Butter 60g
Margarine 40g
Oats 250g
Salt Pinch
Banana One
Golden Syrup 2 tablespoons

1. Over a low heat melt the butter and the Margarine in a deep saucepan
2. add the sugar and 2 tablespoons of golden syrup and stir well
3. Mix in the oats. You may find it easier add them in gradually stirring and covering the oats with the paste
4. add a pinch of salt and continue to stir
5. Mash up the banana and stir in. This may take a bit of time to make sure the banana completely covers the mixture
6. spread the mixture evenly over a non stick baking tray. Smooth over with a knife making sure the mixture is even
7. Place the baking tray onto the middle shelf in a preheated oven (gas mark 5, 220 C) and bake for 15 minutes, checking the progress regularly. Take out when the mixture starts turning a golden brown.
8. Stand for a minute or two, then score the mixture with a knife into you portions
9. Cover the tray with something light such as a few pieces of kitchen roll and leave for a couple of hours


September and October are traditionally harvesting months. I seem to have loads of chillies at the moment and I'm planning on making chilli oil to store over the winter. We've also been eating rhubarb, peppers, the last of the tomatoes and green beans from the garden. I'm already thinking about next year, I want to try pak choi, carrots, more herbs and different varieties of potatoes.

I've also been very organised and made up three jars of pickled onions to eat at Christmas. I found the recipe for spiced vinegar in the Gardeners World Magazine it contains peppercorns, chillies, cinnamon, honey and mustard seeds. I've got a feeling they are going to be pretty strong!

Although it's sad to see the Summer end, I do love Autumn. I think it's because I'm a homebody and love to get cosy and eat lots of hearty, warming food.


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