Sunday, 31 October 2021

October: pumpkins and baking

Some of the more interesting things I did in October:

Finished my cotton crochet top. Intended as a summer top, I have worn it lots this autumn over a long sleeved t-shirt or denim shirt. It's loose, versatile and easy to wear.

I sorted and aired all my knitwear in anticipation of colder weather. I examined my crocheted jumpers (the orange one, the yellow one, the cream one) and looked at which I wore the most (the orange one, because it's lighter weight). Then ordered lots of yarn in different colours to make this jumper which I think will be one I wear a lot. 

I discovered the baking blog Jane's Patisserie and baked these incredible cookies: ginger and white chocolate. I am not normally a fan of a dark or milk chocolate chip cookie - I prefer oatmeal and raisin or white chocolate cranberry - and I love anything with ginger so these were amazing. I did slightly reduce the cookie size though, so that they might last a bit longer in the tin and not be eaten in one day.

I had another go at a pumpkin-shaped sourdough loaf and was really pleased with how this one came out. All you do is tie four lengths of string around the dough before putting it in the oven. Next time I might try adding a little pumpkin to the dough, and maybe some spices. I don't vary the flavourings of my sourdough loaves - I like the sourdough flavour as it is - but it might be fun to try something different. 

I love butternut squash and cook with it year round, but I do like it when all the other squash varieties start appearing in the supermarkets in the autumn. I like to roast squash until it's really caramelised around the edges and sweet, then add it into soups, salads, curries etc. 

Quite often I mix it with a grain and other vegetables and eat it as a warm salad. This one is roasted squash with cherry tomatoes - added half way through the cooking time - bulgur wheat, pine nuts, feta and some chopped herbs. It's nicest warm but still good cold. I make loads and then put it in the fridge in individual containers ready for my lunches at school during the week. 

More interesting squash varieties are currently scattered around the house. They will become soup next weekend I think. 

I have been working away on my Stitch a Day sampler for October, really enjoying all those warm golden and orange colours. 

And there are the walks. So often I struggle to find the time but always feel better for being out in the fresh air, even if it's just for an hour. We've had blustery beach walks, humid and overcast forest walks and rainy pavement ones in between. The weather has yet to turn really cool here, and it has been a pretty mild October so far. I think we've lit the fire twice and only put the heating on a handful of times. 

We've had a good half term overall, the highlights being a trip to London (more on that later) and the lows that both John and I have had really horrible head colds, the kind that linger and leave you feeling really wiped out. Over half term too, typical. But lots of pottering and reading has helped and I'm feeling a lot better which is just as well as it's back to work tomorrow.


  1. what a lovely pumpkin display, your home looks so welcoming :)

  2. We live Jane's patisserie blog. Meg asked fir the book fir her birthday and everything we have made has been a knockout. Good call in the new jumper design. Jo x

  3. I love your pumpkin shaped bread, I'm going to try that! Thanks for tipping us off to Jane's Patisserie blog. Can't wait to see your new jumper. Have a great week!

  4. I made a granny go round jumper and love it

  5. Are those surf kites at the end of the post> Ihave nevr sen so many so close together. Such expertise!

    Lovely post! I was relieved the orange veg is squash not pumpkin, so much tastier. I made stuffed delicata squash for Halloween, quinoa, bulgur, cranberries, slivered cabbage, apple cider instead of broth.

  6. Jane's patisserie is fantastic. So many lovely recipes to try out. love the Pumpkin shaped bread, what a lovely idea.

  7. Pity of being down and out but legally again, in your holiday ;>p Cookies! A good cookie recipe is worth gold. Love all the pumpkins in your house and food.

  8. Your recipes always look so delicious! I have to remember to start making more soups - the weather is chilly now and soups will be perfect!

  9. Could you tell me what size your Stitch a Day is please? I'd love to start (hopefully finish too) my own in 2022!
    Thanks for such a great blog.

  10. Somehow my first comment (yesterday) didn't get through - trying again...

    I love your autumn deco. Well, I love your house, full stop!
    The sourdough loaf looks great, as does your stitch-a-day and the collection of jumpers.
    Walks are soooo important for our wellbeing, even if they are cut short in inclement weather, or if they are on familiar paths.
    Now that the clocks have been turned back and sunset is so early, I need to fit in walks during my lunchbreak if I want to catch any daylight at all. And there are, of course, always longer walks on weekends.


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