Hedgerow Harvest.Autumn food for free.

Elderberries

Went for a wander down some country lanes at the weekend to see what I could gather to make a crumble. : ). There is already an abundance of fruit in the hedgerows. I found a couple of elder shrubs bearing clusters of reddish black berries. These can be used in pies and crumbles when added with other fruits such as blackberries. I have found an even better use for them however : ). Check out this blog link http://willowswoollyworld.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/elderberry-vodka.html
;Rose hips
The fruits of the Wild Rose known as ‘Hips’ are actually a major source of vitamin C and contain twenty times more of the vitamin than Oranges.WoW! I remember drinking rose hip syrup as a child….and I also remember the scratchy effects of homemade itching powder made from the prickly seeds : (, However the fruits can also be made into delicous jams and jellies.http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/rose_hip_jelly_and_jam/


I also stumbled upon a plum tree but the plums were way to high to gather without a ladder.Here is a link to a recipe for a yummy Plum upside down cake ( I will check to see how many fall off!)http://www.spadespatula.com/2012/7/27/local-plums-call-for-upside-down-cake/
In the end I played it safe and picked a few blackberries which I decided to put in a crumble with some apples one of my friends gave me from a tree in her garden.


I used Sophie Dahls autumn warming Apple and Blackberry crumble recipe.

Ingredients

1 cup flour
Half cup rolled oats
1 stick butter plus one tbsp to add to fruit
Half cup brown sugar plus 2 tbsp to add to fruit
8 oz blackberries
8 0z apples cored & chopped

Mix the flour, oats and butter in a blender or with your fingers in a mixing bowl so it looks like nubbly bread crumbs.Then mix in the brown sugar.

Put the fruit in a pie dish and add 1 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp of the sugar.Cover with the crumble mixture.Bake 30 mins until golden brown.

Serve with creme fraiche or custard

Serves 6

Look out for more posts featuring Autumn food for free. : )

Autumn days

Ok a tiny part of me is still holding on to an Indian summer : ), but many of my fellow bloggers are already writing about the changing season,hunting in the hedgerows for blackberries and sloes, walks in the country wearing skinny jeans,woolly jumpers& boots and baking apple crumbles.MMmmmmm I’m feeling all Autumnal already!
Thinking back to my childhood, having grown up in the countryside on a farm and attended the local village school, the different seasons all had their own attractions.Autumn was such a lot of fun! I remember playing conkers with my friends,picking damsons and crab apples for Mum to make jams and jellys,waving goodbye to the migrating swallows and running from cheeky schoolboys bearing itching powder made from crushed rose hip seeds mixed with flour. Hmmm I wonder if today’s kids know how to make Itching Powder??
I also have been thinking about a hymn we used to sing in school assembly and harvest festivals called Autumn days which has brought back to life those memories of Autumn for me, and it had a catchy tune too. I looked up the lyrics and so here they are:

Autumn Days Lyrics

Autumn days, when the grass is jewelled
And the silk inside a chestnut shell
Jet planes meeting in the air to be refuelled
All these things I love so well

So I mustn’t forget
No, I mustn’t forget
To say a great big thank you
I mustn’t forget

Clouds that look like familiar faces
And a winters moon with frosted rings
Smell of bacon as I fasten up my laces
And the song the milk man sings

So I mustn’t forget
No, I mustn’t forget
To say a great big thank you
I mustn’t forget

Whipped-up spray that is rainbow-scattered
And a swallow curving in the sky
Shoes so comfy though they’re worn out and
they’re battered
And the taste of apple pie

So I mustn’t forget
No, I mustn’t forget
To say a great big thank you
I mustn’t forget

Scent of gardens when the rains been falling
And a minnow darting down the stream
Picked up engine that’s been stuttering and
stalling
And a win for my home team

So I mustn’t forget
No, I mustn’t forget
To say a great big thank you

I mustn’t forget

Autumn days by Estelle White

What are your memories of Autumn?

Tea Cocktail Party

It was a friends 30th birthday recently and she decided to celebrate by holding an Afternoon tea style party ….. with a twist : )
Of course there was the usual sumptuous sandwiches cut into triangles, sweet and savoury scones, delicious home made cakes and a cakestand full of yummy cupcakes.

What a spread !

She decorated the house with lovely cath kidston style bunting and she borrowed some beautiful vintage teacups to serve the tea in as well as several teapots.Much to everyone’s delight the tea was actually iced tea cocktails! I had lent her ‘The Vintage Tea Party book’ by Angel Adoree which is packed full of fun ideas on how to create your own Vintage Tea Party.

My favourite tea tipple was ‘The Green Tea & Pear Cocktail’.It is light, refreshing and really delicous. Warning! It is quite lethal! Other heavenly cocktails in the book include ‘Teana Colada’,Tea Tini and Tea-Quila Sunrise.: )

Getting tipsy off Green tea and pear cocktails


Why not put on your tea dress and have a Tea cocktail party yourself!

Breakfast at Tiffanys on the Big Screen

One of my fave all time films is the fabulous Breakfast at Tiffanys. But I have never seen it before at the cinema. So I was super excited when some girl friends invited me to a Ladies Night film screening of this wonderful Audrey Hepburn classic at our local cinema ‘The Grand’ in clitheroe. The Ladies Nights are on the first Tuesday eve of every month and they include a yummy two course meal and a movie for the very reasonable price of £12.50 per head.

Amazingly Some of the girls had never seen Breakfast at Tiffanys before. Incase you haven’t, the film is a 1961 romantic comedy concerning a kooky naive New York socialite Holly Golightly ( Hepburn ) and a struggling writer ( George Peppard-Remember him from the A-Team!) who live in the same apartment block. Here are some fab images from the movie: )

Holly singing Moon River.

Holly being woken up by her flatmate ‘Cat’

Holly and Paul larking about in cat and dog masks. Love this part of the film!


I love so many of the fabulous accessories Holly uses in the film. I am quite inspired to purchase a lovely blue eye mask , some big shades, a little black dress and er maybe even a young George Peppard. : )

Tuscan Inspiration

check out my lovely friend Scarlets blog and her heavenly descriptions of the tastes of Tuscany.X

The Adventures of Moonie

This is my entry to a competition run by Tuscany Now which offers an extensive choice of holiday rental villas in Tuscany .

“Inspired by Tuscany”
What do you think about when someone says Tuscany to you? Is it the beautiful landscape? the weather? or the lifestyle? Does it inspire you?

To me the most inspiring part of Tuscany has to be the food, although I have never been lucky enough to visit that part of the world is has always been and always will be at the top of my list. In this modern world with internet, television and a food retailers that import food from far and wide we can experience another country at our dinner table, but I see so many people not take advantage of the lessons that can be learned.

Tuscany celebrates food and celebrates with food. Food is honored in many ways from the…

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Camping in Wales.

Just got back from a few days camping at Manorafon farmhttp://www.manorafon.co.uk/ near Abergele in North Wales. This basic family friendly and dog friendly campsite was just the thing for us ( 2 adults, a tent and a dooog) with its hot showers, distant sea views and only £13 a night.

I don’t know about you but I always like to take a good book camping–especially one I’ve been meaning to read forever and never got round to. The crumbling ruins of Gwrych castle looked over the site so my choice of Mary Shellys gothic horror ‘Frankenstein’ proved to be an inspired choice : )

On our first day we headed over to Anglesey. The beautiful fishing port of Beaumaris is definantly a must visit with its lovely castle and gorgeous craft shops and tearooms.

Then we went over to Benlech with its gorgeous and happily dog friendly beach. Jakey was very happy to go for a paddle. : ) Someone had even carved this welsh dragon in the sand.

The following day we drove inland to the mountains of snowdonia National park. Betws-y-Coed is a picturesque mountain resort crammed full of outdoorsy shops and gift emporiums as well as a railway museum and minature steam train.

My favourite place that we visited was the delightful Conwy ,a harbour town encased in the ancient city walls of Conwy castle.We loved the Quay area especially the ‘smallest house in Britain’. How cute! Being a shorty i could actually live here quite happily I reckon!


Kids and er Bigger kids will love crab fishing from the Quay. A bucket and bait can be bought from Conwy Mussel Museum for £3. Its such good fun and very addictive. : )

Food in wales is yummy too. Two of my favourite places to eat this week and both are short drives from the campsite are The Old Stag at Llangernyw http://www.theoldstag.com which has a very olde worldy decor and The Tides cafe bistro based at the Beach caravan park inbetween Abergele and Llandulas.

All in all we enjoyed a fab camping trip in wales. : )

My Bank Holiday Wknd.

Yay a Bank Holiday Weekend. What a great way to start a whole week off! Friday night we went to a friends wedding do.The bride and groom looked so happy and everything looked perfect. My beautiful sister had been a guest there all day and she looked so elegant in her pretty blue Jane Norman dress.


The Wedding cake looked absolutely divine. And tasted good too. : )
On Saturday we headed to a craft fair and then to the Castle grounds where we were supposed to be treated to a world war two Spitfire flyover. Unfortunately the rain put a stop to that. Nice yarn bombed tree though.

In the Evening we were treated to a torchlight procession through the town with lots of brightly decorated floats and the castle was all lit up. The Ribble Valley is home to two Olympic medalists John Schofield and Samantha Murray who braved the rain to lead the procession. Despite the weather there was a brilliant turnout.

Our Very own Olympic Medalists.


On Sunday we headed back to the Castle grounds to the annual proms in the park which is always an excuse for a few glasses of wine and a picnic. : ) I sometimes forget what a beautiful place we live in and its times like these I really appreciate my home here.


So a great time was had by all!

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