Sugar and spice…

Sugar and spice…

…and all things nice. It’s been a good September looking back. The welcome rain is now with us which means not only is the garden and veg patch being watered but time inside to deal with the autumn fruit crops. First up the figs.


Enormous, plump, honeyed, delicious, it’s a great year for the figs. There are loads of trees near us, green and purple, we are spoilt for choice. So fig chutney tick, fig and sesame jam tick, fig cookies tick, fig and oatmeal flapjack things tick, fig and vanilla tart tick, and soon roasted figs with crème fraîche not forgetting Nigel Slater’s wonderful fig and mascarpone tart. We also have pears, not enormous and plump. Small, hard but perfectly formed, just right for poaching in red wine and spices. Then the limes, loads of limes, from our little lime tree in the courtyard.


So lime marmalade and, when the chickens start laying again, key lime pie (although I always think of mojitos when I smell them). There’s blackberry and apple jam in the pantry too, plus a freezer full of apple cake. Finally, there’s a handful of stanley plums. These I may well bottle with brandy and allspice for a winter treat with ice cream.

Along with visitors and lots of days out we also managed to get away for a week – a wonderful road trip north to Porto, Santiago do Compostela, Viana do Castelo, Ponte de Lima and then on the last day Figueira da Foz. A trip about seafood, swimming and sight-seeing.


And not a dog on the back seat! We found a great couple to house and dog sit through and can’t recommend them highly enough. Our first real holiday in four years! Now it’s time to plan the autumn sowing and planting, but maybe another cup of tea and cake before heading out…

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