"With Pomp, Power & Glory the world beckons vainly, In chase of such vanities why should I roam?While Peace & Content bless my little thatched cottage,And warm my own hearth with the Treasures of Home."*Beatrix Potter

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Autumn Mellows into Winter


We have quietly slipped in to November, the misty magical mornings are upon us and beautiful low sunrises and sunsets surround the countryside.
All around the village the fields have fallen silent, leaving freshly ploughed fields with some having their tiny wheat seedlings planted. 
There is a quietness in the thickets and the tall spinney at the end of the garden.  Birds have flown leaving a stillness in the garden.
The grand old Oak tree's in the village are the last to see their leaves fall. While most have lost theirs, the oak stands tall with their covering of deep green. I watch them when I hang the laundry out waiting for signs that they will fall. Once that happens Winter will be truly upon us. The pheasants are back with their high sharp cry a true sign of the year coming to an end.
Life has been busy at the cottage with preserving as much as we can from the garden. The freezer is full with pies and crumbles, dessert cakes made from apples and pears. The pantry shelves are laden now, beauty is all around us.
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Apples have been going in too many different things, all my cook books have been well used finding new idea's.
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Getting ready for Christmas.
I have just finished this Christmas tea cosy, it was a fun knit and brightens the kitchen up on these dark days.
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We have had two birthdays lately, our two eldest Sons.
This is a Cherry and Almond cake baked for Dene's birthday.
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Fresh bread to go with homemade soup.
You can't beat it on these chilly days.
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It has become a tradition to read Pumpkin Moonshine every Halloween.
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Some of the books the postman has brought this month.
They will be well used.
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More ways of using apples.
Our trees have been truly abundant.
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The twins wearing their poppies to remember.
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The chickens have just got a new home.
It is lovely to watch them from the cottage walking up the little ladder.
The are happy hens.
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This is another new recipe given to me from a lady on Instagram.
Cherry and Oat Slice.
We have made it many times since.
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Changing colours in our village.
I love this time of year.
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The last of the gardens produce has been going in to chutney.
Green tomatoes, pears, apples and beetroot.
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Fruit Chutney Recipe.
2 to 3 onions.
3lb of mixed fruit.
1 teaspoon of salt.
1 teaspoon of dry mustard.
1lb of brown sugar.
1 pint of malt vinegar.
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Chop up onion small, then chop fruit. Peel and core the apples or pears and take stones out of plums.
Add everything to a jam pan and boil until mixture goes thick.
Boil roughly for an hour.
When you drag a wooden spoon over bottom of the pan and it separates it is done.
I idea is to boil of the vinegar.
Bottle up and don't eat for about 6 weeks.
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This is the recipe I use every year and it uses up so much fruit, I put green tomatoes in too.
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Cold Tea Cake is one of my favourite cakes.
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I started a new blanket for George, he does love to be cosy.
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This is an upside down pear cake that went in the freezer for Christmas.
The freezer is well stocked mostly with apple goodies.
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Pear Jam.
This is the first year I have made jam with pears and thought it was a nice way of preserving our pears.
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George is always somewhere cosy this time of year.
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Our hens are still laying wonderfully despite the misty mornings and shorter days.
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Beautiful berries on the holly bushes surrounding our cottage.
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Homemade Christmas Puddings.
The twins made their wish when stirring them.
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The colours are stunning this time of year.
Its lovely to walk through the countryside around our village.
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Chocolate Cake made for Harry's birthday.
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These are apple and mincemeat pies that were bound for the freezer for Christmas.
I put a layer of mincemeat in the bottom then layered cinnamon sugared apples over the top and then covered with a crumble mix with pastry stars to finish.
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Christmas is creeping up on us so we had a trip to an antique centre to hunt for vintage items for the twins, they love the out of print Enid Blyton stories.
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One of the pretty stalls at the antique centre.
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This is a pretty thatched cottage on our way to a lovely market town we go to quite often.
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I hope everyone is enjoying these beautiful Autumn colours.
This time of year is so beautiful.
~
Fondly Michelle 
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51 comments:

  1. Warm. cosy and inviting your posts always are. Wow you have been busy those cakes all look and sound amazing especially the cherry and almond my mouth is watering at the thought. Beautiful photo's Autumn really is a pretty time of year and you would very well stocked up with the food for the colder months. Best wishes, dee x

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Delia for your kind words.
      I just love this time of year when the garden has produced so much.
      Fondly Michelle

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  2. Please would you give the Cherry and Oat Slice recipe? It looks delicious.

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    Replies
    1. I'll write with it tomorrow.
      Fondly Michelle

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    2. Good Morning,
      I have written the recipe out on a following comment, the comment from Monique.
      Hope you enjoy it.
      Fondly Michelle

      Delete
  3. Warm greetings from the coast of Maine! Your blog is always such a lovely place to visit...like stopping by at a friend's for a cup of hot tea on a cold wintry day! I just love your new coop...may I ask how many "ladies" live there? We are contemplating building a new home for our hens...much smaller and higher off the ground...like yours...
    Have a blessed day,
    Laura

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    Replies
    1. Hello Laura,
      We have 7 hens at the moment so this house is a little large for them. We bought it second hand.
      Thank you for your kind words.
      Fondly Michelle

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  4. Love your posts here. Following your Instagram, I have seen most of the photos before. But they are so very lovely, that I love seeing them again. And having seasonal photos, of your part of the world, here in one place.

    Since my husband loves both Apple Pie and Mincemeat Pie, I must try your combination recipe!

    Gentle wintering-down hugs,
    Tessa
    (Upper New York State, US)

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  5. I have seen you mention the grand old Oak tree's in your village, before. Love that you treasure them. But it brings a sad memory, back to me.

    In the neighboring yard, stood a very old and grand Oak Tree. It was there of course, when we built our home, near half a century ago. Always seen, from the south side windows of our home. Out my kitchen window... And the den windows... The hearth room windows... Our south facing bedroom window upstairs.

    And I featured it many times, on my blog.

    About a year and a half ago, the house/lot where it stood, was sold. To make a long story short, the new owner cut down the grand old Oak Tree.

    We tried to save it, but the local committee which deals with such, could not do so. It still hurts to remember all of this. -sigh- Especially watching them dismembering it and cutting it down. I'd not want to have been any of them... Responsible for this awful happening.

    And to compound the sadness, she has now sold the lot... ("Funny" thing is, she's had lots of trouble, trying to develop this lot... And now, wants to be rid of it. Interesting, hmmmmm???)

    But she wants to sell it to a local builder, who does value old trees!!!!!!! And who, we feel, would not have cut it down.

    A very depressing comment I know. And I am sorry for that. But I finally just had to say it.

    Please love your grand old Oak Trees, even more!!!!! Thinking of how stupid people, in other places, do not.

    Gentle hugs,
    Tessa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so sad but sometimes you can't change things.
      I feel like we are just caretakers of the land and we are here to care for it.
      My plan is to start using my camera again so there will be more new photos on the blog.
      Fondly Michelle

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  6. Warm and cosy post. I love the Christmas Tea Cosy!
    Blessings to you, ♥

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Anne.
      Blessings to you too xx

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  7. Michele, I was excited to see your post today! It always reminds me of our visit to your lovely country. I'm afraid I miss it so! Your baked goods are beautiful all ready for Christmas. Your daughters are really cute with their rememberance poppies...Thank you so much for showing the lovely antique shop with the blue and white..sigh.. What a lovely cozy for George to enjoy...I must return to this post when my heart wants to be in England. xoxo ♥

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Martha Ellen.
      I must admit I love to go antiquing.
      Maybe you will return to England one day.
      Fondly Michelle

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  8. dear michelle,
    what a lovely post.your baking looks wonderful and makes me hungry.i love the christmas tea cosy.thanks for sharing!
    wish you a wonderful time,
    hugs regina

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Regina for your lovely comment.
      Fondly Michelle

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  9. Lovely pictures of daily life, Michelle. All those delicious pies are making my mouth water! Thank you for the visit:-)
    Warmly,
    Suzanne

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Suzanne.
      I hope to use my camera more again then there will be different photos on the blog.
      Fondly Michelle

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  10. That looks so wonderful. You have been so very busy ! The town looks so sweet.
    I would love to try the cherry oatmeal pie. Could you please share the recipe ?
    Have a wonderful day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.
      I will write the recipe tomorrow.
      Fondly Michelle xx

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    2. Here is the recipe Monique,
      line a 7 inche tin round
      oven 180
      mix 5 ozs self raising flour with 3 ozs of rolled oats and 3 ozs of light soft brown sugar.
      Then rub in 4 ozs of margarine.
      Press half the mixture in to the tin then scatter with chopped cherries. Cover with the other half of mixture, press down firmly.
      Bake for 20 minutes until pale, dont over bake.
      Sprinkle with sugar whilst still hot.
      Leave to cool in tin and slice.
      Fondly Michelle

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  11. Hello Michelle it looks as though you have had a busy time of things baking your socks off but you have produced some lovely goodies. I am still busy with the preserves have some more pickling onions to do this evening as well as some sweetcorn relish and some apple chutney and dried fruit chutneys. I tend to do in the evenings when I get home from work or deal with at the weekends. You can never have too many apples. I used to be able to get a regular supply of crab apples both yellowy green and red which produced the most marvellous jelly for eating with roast pork. Its also equally nice on toast. There is also a spiced version which is lovely too. I am happiest when I am preserving and squirrelling something away for the pantry. I have all of the books apart from Miss Read's country cooking. I particularly like the Farmers Fare one - I have two different versions of this book with very different recipes in and one of them has a very old recipe for Mincemeat in. You ferment the apples and spices - the old way but you do have to keep a close eye on it. I do so miss being in the villages at this time of year when everything is on the change again. Love the tea cosy. Glad you are all okay. Is your pantry now filled or do you have room for much more. Take care. Pattypan (aka Tricia) x

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    Replies
    1. Always more room Tricia.
      I also have a 1940 version of the farmer Fare, so full of recipes with pounds and ounces.
      Lovely to hear all that you have been doing.
      Fondly Michelle

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  12. Thank you for sharing the peep into your kitchen, I had been wondering where you had got too.
    We have a row of big oaks close to us and some lose their leaves much later than others - as you say winter is really here when the late ones lose their leaves.
    I have 3 of those books and always use the recipe from Delia for my mincemeat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Sue,
      I know I have been a while, our laptop is on its way out and will not play sometimes! It just takes so long to load so I use my phone mostly.
      I just live old cookbooks.
      Fondly Michelle

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  13. What a lovely post, as always. Like us, you have lots of apples to use up. I store mine down in the pantry, which is built into the hillside so keeps cool.

    I looked at that stall in the antiques centre with a professional eye! - some nice stuff there, well displayed.

    I think George will love his new blanket. I am in crochet mode at the moment too.

    You will love, love, LOVE that Farmhouse Fare book. I've had it since the late 1970s and it's my Desert Island cookbook! I return to it over and over. I have the Alison Uttley cookbook too - she wrote SO beautifully and just transported me back in time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't had time to read the books properly, pre Christmas is always so busy.
      I seem to give myself so much to go but then that is how I like it.
      Your pantry sounds wonderful.
      Fondly Michelle

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  14. I always enjoy your musings at the beginning of each post--you write so eloquently, Michelle. I'd like to know the secret of how you stay so trim when you bake so many cakes and pies! I suppose it helps that you have a large family to help you eat them all. :-)

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    1. I,m running around all the time I guess plus I think I have my Grandfathers genes.
      Thank you for your kind words.
      Enjoy this beautiful day.
      Fondly Michelle

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  15. Hi Michelle.. So nice to see you post... It is sure a busy time and I certainly am not blogging very much.. Your post was wonderful as always and your baking is beautiful.. That Cold Tea Cake looks awesome.. I would love to make it but I don't know if I would have the proper tin to bake it in.. When you get time could you email me the recipe and size of pan.. Of course, our measurements are different, eh? Perhaps, it wouldn't work.. smile.. Take care, my friend.. xo

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    1. Good Morning Faye,
      I am the same, just dont get the time to sit and write at the moment, life is busy but then I dread when it will slow down, another chapter in life.
      Of course I will send the recipe, I might have posted it before as I can remember putting a photo of it on. I will check. It is a simple cake and I think it would work in Canada, its so soft.
      Fondly Michelle

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    2. Cold Tea Cake Recipe.
      When you make this you can use any cup, a tea cup or a mug but keep to the same cup all the way through.
      1 cup of cold tea.
      4 ozs margarine
      1 cup of sultanas or raisins.
      1 cup of chopped dates.
      1 cup of soft brown sugar.
      2 cups of self raising flour.
      1 level tsp ground mixed spice.
      1 level tsp soda.
      Put tea, margarin, fruit and sugar into a large saucepan over a low heat and bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer for 3 minutes then remove and cool.
      Stir in the flour, spice and soda. Put in greased and lined 8 inch round cake tin and bake for 1 hour at 180 o / 350 of
      Enjoy.
      This is such an easy cake and keeps so well. I love that it is all done in a pan, less washing up.
      Fondly Michelle

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    3. You are a dear.. Thank you so much.. xo

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  16. Hello Michelle, We are enjoying a cool spring here in our part of Australia. Our colours are so different to yours just now as everything is looking very colourful. Our roses are looking wonderful. Thank you once again for a lovely post. I do so enjoy your writings and those lovely pictures.
    Blessings Gail.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Gail for your lovely comment.
      Enjoy your Springtime in Australia or is it nearly Summer.
      Fondly Michelle

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  17. Hello Michelle it's always a joy to read your posts as I feel I'm transported back to an idyllic time and place. I love your photos and seeing all the delicious baked goods you have made. Thank you for the recipes. I've asked for a 7" cake tin for Christmas. My best to you, Pat

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    1. I hope enjoy baking the cold tea cake, what a great Christmas gift.
      Thank you for your dear comment.
      Fondly Michelle

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  18. What a beautiful post, you certainly have been busy. All your Christmas preparations are a real inspiration.

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    1. Thank you so much. I do love Christmas.
      Fondly Mixhelle

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  19. Goodness! Such bounty!
    I have a little Enid Blyton fan as well (in French and English depending on which languages and names she got used to first!). She also adores Alison Uttley so may have to find that cookery book. The other day I was looking for books and found one by her; my little one had the widest eyes and exclaimed, "She wrote other books??!" (besides the Little Grey Rabbit ones)
    Off to bake some bran muffins (though I'm tempted to make marble cakes soon judging from the comments on your IG).

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    Replies
    1. Lovely to hear from you.
      We love the little grey rabbit here too.
      Fondly Michelle

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  20. What a really lovely post! It has left me with a smile and the urge to do some more baking :)! Have a lovely November Sunday. Pam in Norway xx

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    1. Thank you.
      Hope you enjoyed your baking.
      Fondly Michelle

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  21. I have just discovered your blog and am enjoying it greatly. Do you know where a copy of the pattern you used for your tea cosy could be obtained.
    Kind regards
    Kellie

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    Replies
    1. Hello,
      I bought the pattern on EBay UK.
      Fondly Michelle

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  22. The holly bushes and trees around your home are beautiful with the red berries and fruit. I also love your handmade red tea cosy and the green holly topper came out so nice. Red is a favorite color of mine. I love visiting here and seeing your pictures of home, family, baking, and George. Very sweet life. Enjoy the day ~ Lynnea

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    1. Thank you very much Lynnea for your kind comment.
      Fondly Michelle

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  23. I'm trying to catch up with the posts I've missed, because I'm living a quite busy time lately, and I've left your post for last, I wanted to enjoy it quietly !!!
    I wished to ask you to post the recipe of your cold tea cake, but I've seen it in your answers, so I'm going to copy it in my recipe book and try it, it looks so inviting !
    Yes, Autumn is in his full here in Northern Italy too, but we still have temperatures typical of September, it can't be possible, I say !

    Sending blessings on the remainder of your week,
    with dear love and deep gratitude for your always gorgeous posts
    Dany

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    Replies
    1. I know what you mean about finding the time, I am struggling to find the time to sit at the laptop to do posts.
      Life is so busy & that is how I love it.
      Thank you for your kind comment.
      Fondly Michelle

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  24. Hello Michelle! I came over from Instagram ( I am sweetpickle02 over there ) to have a peek at your blog. It is so delightful! I am excited to try some of your recipes!

    All of your baked goods look so yummy! Your twins are so adorable! You know how much I love your tea cozy! :-) I have the yarn to cast on mine, I am just trying to finish some gifts first.

    We had a George cat growing up! He had white on his throat, but otherwise they looked the same!

    I will definitely be back!

    Love, Heather

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    1. Thank you Heather for your lovely comment.
      So glad you popped over.
      Fondly Michelle

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