w/c monday 28 September 2020
This weekend I walked through the lanes and across fields on the outskirts of our village with our slightly daft, 14 month old labrador, Daphne. It was freezing cold, blowing a gale and raining at times. Not my favourite conditions! I am definitely a fair weather dog walker by preference and I have been thoroughly spoilt by the long, warm, sunny days of the seemingly endless summer of lockdown (and by having my husband at home who has done more than his fair share of the wet & wild walks) so it was quite a shock to the system (and a wake up call that Autumn has firmly taken hold).
But, Autumn has its benefits. Apples, blackberries and damsons to name but 3. Our apple trees produced an entire car boot full of enormous apples this year. Some must have been half a kilo each! Most have gone off to be juiced but I have saved a tray or 2 for cooking. Some will become chutney, some will be stewed for pies and my granola and I have decided to include some in this week’s menu.
Our 2 hedgerow damson trees have also excelled themselves this year. I have never seen so many damsons. Enough to make 33 jars of damson jelly, 22 jars of damson cheese (my new absolute favourite accompaniment for a home baked ham & cheese platter), 5 tubs of compote to serve with yoghurt & granola or to make into desserts) and I have 3 litres of damson gin and an experimental litre of damson vanilla vodka infusing away slowly in my barn store. I am now well and truly “over” damsons!
I haven’t picked any blackberries yet but I will go back this week to pick some for this week’s menu. Even in the gloom of my weekend battle against the elements, they looked deliciously ripe and juicy. Daphne absolutely loved them too so I used them as treats to encourage good behaviour.
So with all this nature’s bounty in my mind, even though today is a much nicer day, I was drawn to an Autumnal menu for this week.
Soup: (£5.50) Creamy leek & potato with thyme
Salads: (£6.50 large/4.50 small)
(1) Leon “snip-it” autumn salad of shaved parsnips, leeks, apple, walnuts, chives & watercress in yoghurt, maple syrup, walnut oil, cinnamon & cumin dressing
(2) Tabblouleh – a bulgur wheat salad packed full of herbs (including the last of the mint from my herb garden), Green Tye tomatoes, spring onions & lemon
Tart: (£16 whole/£9 half) the ever popular Ottolenghi sweet potato, goat’s cheese, pumpkin seeds and chilli tart
Supper: (£12 for 2, £22 for 4 or £5 per head for more) Baked butcher’s sausages, apples & blackberries with mustard and maple syrup.
Pie: (£6.50 per individual pie) Vegetable Harira – Moroccan spiced lentils, chick peas and loads of vegetables including sweet potatoes, tomatoes & carrots.
Energy bars (£1.50 each)
Redcurrant Jelly, Damson Jelly and Damson Cheese (all £7 per jar)
Please order in your usual way by 8pm on Tuesday 29th. Everything will be ready for collection or delivery on the afternoon of Thursday 1 October or on Friday 2nd. Deliveries to Duncombe School or in the Hertford area will be made on the morning of Friday 2nd.
Please notify me of any allergies or dietary requirements at the time of ordering.