Friday, 4 September 2009

Autumn colours

The autumn colours are just starting to appear in the garden. The leaves on the grape vine are always some of the first to turn. The grapes are darkening but they are still sour, a few more days of sunshine needed. I will know when they are sweeter because the birds will start to eat them!

Less flowers in bloom now but the nasturtiums and geraniums are still going strong

and coordinate nicely with the tomatoes. These have been slow to ripen this year and there will be plenty of green ones for chutney.

The crab apples are ripe and I've picked most of them, about three washing up bowls full! The crab apple tree was one of the first things I bought for this garden when we moved in eighteen years ago. It is still quite a small tree but over those eighteen years I must have picked many pounds of fruit.

The apples have been stewed and are now in the jelly bag, by tomorrow morning there will be a lovely jug full of pink-orange juice. I make jam adding a pound of sugar to a pint of juice. I always use the traditional pound to a pint ratio when working out how much sugar to use, its easy to remember and its nice to think that generations of jam makers have done the same. I wonder if it will survive when the next generation uses metric measurements, 454g of sugar to 0.568 litres doesn't have quite the same ring to it!

Tomorrows jam will be blackberry and apple jelly. I picked blackberries after work tonight. It was a perfect way to wind down after a busy couple of days. Tomorrow I will cook them and filter the juice to add to the crab apple juice. Its a very easy jam to make, the crab apples have loads of pectin so setting is not a problem.

I love jam and chutney making, preserving some of the autumn colours through the winter.


Heather L. said...

Such lovely things. Your crab apple jelly will look so beautiful. And I'm envying you your blackberries. I have found none to pick. There was a man at the farmer's market last week who said I could come down to his farm, but he is 1 hour away and I wasn't sure what price he'd ask....someday.

Simply Authentic said...

Such vivid beauty surrounds you Willow---those colors are amazing! Please enjoy all that good fresh produce for me--I'm so guiltily jealous every time I read of someone having such easy access to fresh fruits especially. I'm sure the jam tasted delicious! Hope the transition into fall is a good one. I know it will be an adjustment with the 3 of you instead of 4, but what an exciting time for your eldest also!