Autumn colour

Hello again, been meaning to get back to the blog for a couple of weeks now.  Life goes on in much the same way from day to day, with me trying to improve my nutrition and stamina, to help with mobility. Had a bit of a breakthrough yesterday as I walked the length of the house unaided by sticks or frame! Yay, it was a great tonic to feel I can now do that, albeit looking like a toddler learning to walk with my arms in the air trying to balance :)

Over the past couple of weeks we've had the nearest we ever get to an Indian summer, with bright sunshiny days and overnight rain bringing out stunning colours in the garden and landscape. Coffee in the garden in October is definitely a plus, even more so on a grey day like we've got today :(
Abundant inspiration here!
Couldn't resist these irises in the market
- such fabulous intensity
Was very struck by these thistles a friend had picked
from her garden for the table  
Beautiful texture and colour
These pears were crying out for me to take them home - even if they won't
be ripe for a couple of weeks the colours will light up the kitchen and I can
look forward to poaching them in red wine with lots of star anise and cinnamon
As the autumn gets underway, it always seems to bring with it an urge to cook, bake and preserve, so we've been doing quite a lot of that recently. Today I made cheese and herb dumplings to go into a root veg stew Philip is cooking up on the hob.
Philip's root veg and courgette stew
Cheese and herb dumplings ready to go in the fridge
before going in the stew
Pomegranates are a favourite at this time of year too, taste great in
autumn salads and add a welcome splash of colour

We're lucky to have lots of lovely friends who have apple trees - I love
making apple chutney , which makes a nice thankyou for donated apples,
as well as being delicious on lunchtime ploughmans
There's nothing like a delivery of logs to make you feel cosy and ready for anything the impending winter days can throw at you, so I was delighted when ours duly arrived the other day.
Makes me feel so warm and secure to see the logs all stacked
outside this window
One of our neighbour's cats must think so too. Jo's family have been away quite a lot recently and I suspect he gets a tad lonely, so on a couple of occasions he's joined us (and Arlo and Django) in front of the woodstove.
Outside the backdoor on the bench in his favourite daytime spot

He's a lovely boy and comes every day to do a bit of cleaning up
after Arlo and Django - he always makes sure their plates are
completely empty and clean before he leaves! :)
That's all for now, thanks for dropping by xox


  1. Jean, what richly beautiful autumn colors you've shown us! Lots of inspiration to be found in your photographs. I paticularly love the bouquet of thistles.

    It is good to learn that you are making progress on the health front. I can imagine your happiness to be taking those steps on your own.

    Let's see what else...oh yes, of course, I wish I knew how to make wonderful dumplings like yours. We're definitely now entering into soup/stew season.

    Best wishes, xo

    1. Good to hear from you again, Frances. I'm never very good with recipes, but I can give you an idea of how I made the dumplings, though quantities will be vague. I used half organic plain white flour and half organic self-raising flour. I added a large pinch of salt and several grindings of black pepper and enough margarine to make everything look like fine breadcrumbs. Then I added a large handful of grated cheddar cheese and lots of chopped sage and thyme. When these were mixed in I added enough water (not very much at all) to make a dough and then made the dough into the small spheres that you can see in the photo. I heard that some people bake their dumplings, but I put them in the stew three-quarters of an hour before it's ready and they soak up all the lovely juices and puff up all light and fluffy. I do love dumplings and am looking forward to finishing off the stew today at lunchtime. Stay well, Jean xox

    2. Dear Jean, thank you so much for letting me know how you made those dumplings. I have a splendid memory of a lunch, many many decades ago, at my great auntie's house. She served chicken with dumplings. Those were the first dumplings I'd ever tasted and delicious. It's grand to now have this inspiration from you. Cool weather might just get me making some dumplings myself. I will update you! xo

  2. Hello Jean,
    Your veggie stew and dumplings look yummy. I am inspired by your positive attitude and encouraged to push myself a little more as I too heal. Your photos are lovely. Thankyou for sharing your thoughts and the beauty of your garden. I have been busy making homemade soups and knitting socks for Christmas gifts. I think of you often and am pleased to know that your health and mobility are improving.

  3. Thanks for your lovely message, Eileen. I remember you telling me about your health issues and I do hope that by now most have resolved and that for those you still have, the healing is speedy.

    You put me to shame on the knitting front. At the moment I'm knitting fingerless mittens as little gifts for some of the many people who have been so kind to Philip and I whilst I've been unwell. I haven't even thought about Christmas yet, as we have many birthdays in the family between now and then. Keep well xox


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