Tag archives for Autumn

Autumn garden tidy-up

autumntidyup2

Well the garden was looking very much unloved (top left photo), mainly because the weather has been really bad for a while and I just haven’t had the time/inclination to be outside. So this weekend the weather man promised me it would be dry. Well it was dry and although the photos don’t really show it, the sun did try to shine.

Autumn is one of my best times of the year, the colours are great, the smells are fab and I do love wearing my wellies. There is a tree on the other side of the fence at the bottom of our garden and it has been slowly turning a wonderful shade of yellow. It’s so yellow, in fact, that sometimes I think the sun is shining.

We spent a good couple of hours clearing out my borders of the leaves, dead heading nad the old summer flowers. The nasturtiums I planted last year to fill in the bare ground and fence have all self seeded again and were quite thuggishly crawling over everything else. I know that with the first frost (which isn’t that far away) they will become mush, so it felt great to yank out those bruisers, even though they still had a few flowers left on them.

autumntidyup1

I did leave as many of the seed heads as I could for the little birds, and also for the texture they bring to the borders. I cleaned out the pots, finally putting the dahlias that bloomed their socks off over the summer, onto the compost heap. I will have to pop to the nursery to find some interesting winter colour for the deck.

The handy husband spent some time on his lawn, first cutting it, then scarifying it with a sturdy rake and finally sweeping up the thatch. It did look very nice and well tended afterwards. We eventually took three large builders bags full of leaves and dead stuff to the tip. I have tried to compost leaves before, but they do take a very long time, and I have never found it to be that successful. They compost the best when they are cut up with the lawn clippings, but large amounts of just leaves don’t rot that well in a compost bin.

Anyway, I hope you all had a good weekend outside, and felt productive. I thought I would leave you with a photo of this cheeky chap on one of our trees!

autumncolours

Emma x

Posted in Gardening | Leave a comment

Blackberry Ice Cream

So I was round at mom’s the other day and she dug out her cupboard an ice cream maker. It used to belong to my auntie who is a dessert maker extraordinaire. So my girlie and I were very excited by the possibilities. So far we have made vanilla ice cream with various additives. Oreos, cookie dough and so on.

blackberries

On a recent bike ride with my girlie I couldn’t help noticing how many blackberries there are at the moment. I can remember picking blackberries with my grannie (Vóvó) when she came over from Brasil. So we decided to make some blackberry ice cream, partly in honour of my grannie and also my lovely auntie and her ice cream machine.

I decided to branch out with my recipe, so far we have just used cream and sugar (and very nice it is too!) but ever adventurous I went for an egg based recipe below. It turned out quite well with a nice blackberry flavour, but I think next time I would add the sugar in at the end, as it is quite sweet… personal preference.

blackberryicecream

Recipe:

  • 375ml milk
  • 300g sugar (you may need less – I think it may be good to add it in at the end when you know how sour/sweet your blackberries are)
  • 375ml double cream
  • 4 large egg yolkes
  • half teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 480ml blackberry puree. (After blitzing the berries in a blender I passed them through a sieve to remove the seeds)
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

Method:

  1. Heat the milk till it is just scalding, the whisk the milk into the lightly beaten egg yolks. Return the egg and milk mix to the pan and heat until it coats the back of a spoon (basically making a custard).
  2. Pour this through a sieve into the cream, stir in the puree and lemon juice and then add the sugar to taste. Make sure the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Chill and churn in your ice cream maker as per it’s instructions.

With the left over egg whites I made meringues, of course! The perfect partner to ice cream!

I’d love to hear if you have any nice ice cream recipes I should try.

Emma x

Posted in Baking | Leave a comment

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