Well what a week, rain rain and more rain. Even today although we have had a far better day the sun has been out, but we have had another heavy shower this evening. Our weather seems to be changing and we seem to be getting all the weather in one hit and sort of nothing in between. Ah well we need the water there have been large cracks in the land where we walk the dog and not just small cracks quite large. Its a firm fact that without water we don't eat or survive, so we really do need it.
I had a bit of a lay in this morning, until 10.00 a.m. then I have been pottering getting the washing done etc. The past two weekends I haven't been home so its very much lots of work to do this weekend.
I have been busy as usual paid a visit to the veg shop this morning had my usual Saturday morning chat with the ladies. They report that the farmers local to them are having trouble getting the grain in - from going to very dry weather and then to torrential rain has caused havoc. So much so that the charges for flour etc may well go up astronomically. The grain feeds the animals that are reared for our meat, the meat then goes up - its a viscious circle and it hits everybody somewhere down the line. Prices go up but they never ever seem to come down when there is a good harvest or plethora of goodies. If meat goes up, people don't buy as much and pad out their meals with stuffings, and lots of vegetables, but if the prices of both go up, it becomes a little harder, especially when you are on a limited budget and we have to do the best we can with what we have. That's why I am bottling fruit etc as padding a meal out with a pudding is another way of feeding people and making sure that they are getting their vitamins. It can also be served with yoghurt for breakfast as well. So there are a lot of potential uses. What is worrying is that after Christmas next year the VAT goes up again, which yet again is going to impact on everyone, but more so on those of lower incomes. So if you can afford to put up a few extra bags of bread flour or ordinary SR or Plain flour, it can always be stored in the freezer in polythene bags to stop the flour grub spoiling your store.
There was a very good programme on during the week about the food that is wasted from the supermarkets and four top chefs were commissioned to create a menu out of products salvaged from the supermarket waste bins etc. It seems crazy that there is so much waste why can't it go to the local charitable trusts that arrange the soup kitchens etc or like they do in the states, pass it on to those on a lower income so that everyone gets to eat properly. Theoretically no one should go without in this day and age, but sadly this is still a big fact of life, so when you see waste on this scale it really is unacceptable especially when there is all the effort that has gone into growing the raw materials in the first place, and then secondly the processing and cooking costs involved as well. Its nonsensical. Right better get off my soapbox before it gets ugly!
Well at the Veg shop I have bought 3kg Victoria Plums, 1kg of Apricots, 2 kg of pears, some leeks, cauliflower, carrots, apples, cherry tomatoes. They didn't have much available today as they are going away for two weeks, but I bought enough to be going on with. Will have to go to the City market at the end of the week to top up on the fresh veg and fruit from there for the next few weeks, will just have to take my shopping trolley with me to bring the goodies home in. Yesterday I bought back another couple of kilos of gherkins for pickling for Christmas. I decided it would probably be fairer to OH to do some to eat shortly and then have some still for Chrimbo as well.
This evening we have taken Missy out to stretch her legs - I took my foraging pack with me as well - I wanted to pick some blackberries, elderberries, haws, rosehips and hopefully a few plums but OH wasn't having any of it. So I will hit on those tomorrow. I did come back with half a bag of rosehips which I intend to dry for use later on for winemaking, tea, etc. The hedgerows are very full this year and I have lots of recipes that I want to have a go at including popping a lot of fruit down in the freezer as well.
The evenings are starting to draw in, have had to put a sweatshirt on today to keep warm, so I think autumn is with us early so far. I just wish I had a proper open fire so that we could burn logs and fir cones etc
I am having a week off work from the end of this coming week. I am in need of the break as have only had two days off so far this year. Hopefully then I will be able to take full advantage of nature's bounty in putting up goodies for the pantry and making some extra's for Christmas presents. I have already spotted a couple of places to get sloes from, (last year couldn't get any) now need crab apples think OH may be able to get hold of these for me from where he goes fishing. I have never come across any exotics like quince, purple bullace, wild damsons, mulberries, medlars yet. But I keep hoping.
Here's looking forward to "playing" tomorrow.
I am hoping that the weather is okay first thing as that is when Missy will be stretching her legs again and when I intend to do a touch more foraging. I am hoping to get a good quantity of blackberries and elderberries in order to make my friend Leanne's hedgepick pie filling which is processed in kilner jars with apples and then put into pies or sponges etc. I also want to make some wines, as well as bramble jelly, elderberry and blackberry jam, rosehip and apple jelly, rosehip syrup etc.
I also need to go to Farm Fresh to stock up on butter and some other bits and bobs. I have also asked OH to take me to Lidl to see what they have. Its been a while since we have been there and I need to start stocking up now so that we have plenty of options for the winter months.
We have a nice piece of roast beef for lunch tomorrow so am looking forward to that. Well better get on still have lots to do.
Take care everyone