Ok, I know I said I was going to focus on sewing, but autumn can be very distracting.
First, I would like to stress that I am not a gardener. So it comes as a bit of a surprise to me that there is one plant that grows prolifically in my back yard.
Regrettably, rhubarb is not one of those items of garden produce that can be eaten without considerable processing (unless it is eaten very fresh, and dipped in a saucer of sugar between mouthfulls. But I think you need to be under the age of 10 to really indulge in this manner).
But it looks so lovely - that brilliant pinky-red is just divine.
Time to harvest. I made rhubarb cakes. I made rhubarb muffins. I poached rhubarb in sugar syrup with a slug of Cointreau (served with King Island yoghurt on pancakes - bliss!)
And still the rhubarb kept growing. (why aren't the blueberries as prolific? They are so much easier; just pick them into a bowl and eat while walking back to the kitchen!)
Jelly. Of course. Undertaking a bit of research, I decided I would need a bit more acid and pectin to get the rhubarb to gel properly. No problem - a few nice green apples and some lemon juice should do the trick.
The rhubarb and apple looked magnificent in the preserving pan.....
but after simmering for a while, looked a little less lovely.....
and by the time it was finished, it was an unappetising grey sludge.
After dripping through a cloth, the liquid held the promise that I had hoped for, with the lovely blushing colour that rhubarb can impart.
I managed to resist the temptation to squeeze the fruit pulp. Apparently it makes the jelly cloudy.
So this lovely pink juice was then cooked up with sugar until it reached setting point, and put into jars.
Despite my concern about the colour of the sludge, the final product was crystal clear, and a fantastic jewelled ruby colour. Apple jelly has a nice colour, but the rhubarb adds an addtional depth that looks just lovely.
I was very pleased with myself. None of my recipe books had the apple and rhubarb combination for jelly, so I felt quite smug. Until, sorting through some very old issues of Gourmet (before it morphed into Gourmet Traveller and had stories of journeys to exotic and unaffordable destinations), I found a recipe for rhubarb and apple jelly. Had this memory lurked somewhere in the recesses of my mind for the past twenty years? Pehaps.
But a lovely jelly anyway.
Having got some of the autumn harvest out of the way (including the honey harvest, with a sticky residue on the kitchen floor that has defied numerous washings)......I'll be getting back to sewing before the end of the weekend.
I enjoy reading blogs, I enjoy commenting on blogs. So why has it taken me so long to actually do entries on my own blog??
Two years after setting up this blogsite, and still nothing has been written. Not enough to say? Or perhaps too much? And what to actually write about?
The blogs I enjoy fall into two categories - food and sewing. I'm sure that other people share both these interests, but there don't seem to be many blogs that combine these passions.
I decided to focus on one, at least for this year, and see where it takes me. But which to choose?
By way of background, I would like to be able to say that my twin passions are a reflection of inspiration from someone - perhaps a home economics teacher from school? Regrettably, this is not the case. In fact, I suspect that both Miss F and Miss M (names disguised to protect the guilty) would be stunned to discover that I ever picked up a sewing needle or ventured into a kitchen again after the two years of tuition (before I was able to pick other subjects).
In retrospect, it should probably surprise me.
But which to pick? A difficult choice. A girl still has to eat, so I will continue to follow some of my favourite food related blogs, but for this year, I will focus on sewing and fashion.
I am not sure if this is a smart move. Computers, and paddling in the world wide web (surfing doesn't seem to be the right verb for what I do) can absorb so much time, which is a commodity in very short supply in my world. I have, however, enjoyed browsing a few local blogs, and thought it might be fun to have a go myself.