The weekend passed in a hum of seasonal productivity. Saturday was good. After a tedious morning we decided to salvage something from the day and went bramble picking. We walked along the old railway line and were rewarded with plentiful fruit and a huge improvement in everyone's mood. Sometimes all you need is to get out of the house for an hour and do something like pick brambles.
Inspired by Sue's post about jellies I decided to have a go at making bramble jelly, rather than bramble (or blackberry) and apple jam as I usually do. I washed and weighed my fruit (not quite as much as I thought, annoyingly) then added two chopped apples and simmered it for twenty minutes.
Then came the straining bit. I don't have a proper jelly strainer so I rigged up an old piece of fabric (I did wash it first) on the clothes airer with some pegs. The only place for it was by the kitchen door, next to the muddy trainers. I'm pretty sure Nigella does exactly the same thing.
I left it overnight to strain, then on Sunday boiled the juice with some sugar until it was set, then poured it into my jars.
I got one and a half jars. Actually, I like it when I have half a jar as that one doesn't count and can be eaten straight away.
It has the most beautiful deep, jewel-like colour.
Absolutely delicious. I think this will be good on top of rice pudding, which I plan to make this week. It was also very good on top of bread.
I've been working on few little crochet projects. The small flowers will eventually become a garland for a friend's birthday.
And the squares, which are from this fantastic book, will be strung together into a sort of bunting/garland affair. Trust me, it works.
I've also been slowly making more squares (of a different pattern) which I forgot to photograph. I started this project on holiday and it will eventually become a big blanket for our bed. Probably by autumn 2014, at the rate I'm making them. 36 down, 160 to go... But that's fine. I am finally learning that it's about enjoying the process, not rushing to complete.
The weather is still cool. There is a nip in the air and blankets and throws are coming out of the cupbords and going onto beds and sofas. We been lighting the fire in the evenings. I say lighting, when I really mean turning a switch, as we have one of those pretend coal gas fire type affairs. When we installed it we both wanted a wood burning stove but we said to ourselves no, it will look silly in our 1940's three bed semi, too "faux country", let's get something low maintenance and sensible. But every winter when my friends place their orders for wood deliveries and talk about the pleasure of lighting that first fire of the season, and I see so many cosy images of stoves and open fires on blogs and instagram...well, I wish we'd gone for the stove every time. One day we'll have a stove.