Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Mellow fruitfulness

It is that time of year when the grass growth is slowing, and the apples are falling, along with the rain.  Two Saturdays ago, there was good weather for the Barton wedding of the year.  This was a medieval handfasting in full dress, complete with jester, held at Barton Camp.  We were not invited, but Sue and Chris Sanders were there for the full do and we also heard a little from Anne and Bernie Tarleton.  Sounds as though it was a grand event.  This last weekend, Hilary and I picked some of the Bramley and Sunset apples.  The Sunsets, which are like Coxs, are not quite ready, but they will be soon and keep well in our apple store.  Likewise, the Conference pears are burgeoning, but are not ripe yet. However, the Beurre Hardy pears are just about there – juicy and slightly scented, they are delicious.  The Comice pears are also doing well, but not quite there. It looks a good fruit year – and we have already had plums – just four left to eat now!


We have also been picking blackberries and have made the first brew of Barton Blackberry Brandy, yum, yum.  Will you be lucky and get some for Christmas?  We also harvested some more lovely toadstools – tasty parasol mushrooms. Nothing quite like a little foraging.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Fungus foray

After taking Hilary to Bristol Airport for her trip to Glasgow to see grandaughter Abbie, Michael and Karen, I took the dogs up on the hill (the Mendips) behind our house. On the headland, I didn't find any giant puffballs, but lots of the ordinary puffballs and the orange waxcaps are up in the short grass.  Thinking I wouldn't find much to pick, I was pleasantly surprised to come across some horse mushrooms on the National Trust ground and picked one good one - my first proper use of my Opinel mushroom knife.
Further along the hill, I found the first parasol mushrooms of the year! Fried in butter with garlic, they taste lovely, but don't tell anyone, after all they are toadstools.
On the bluff overlooking Barton, I also found a colony of autumn lady's tresses, smart little cream orchids. What a lovely place to live.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Grandfather's towel

I noticed this morning that the green bath towel I am using has a label that reads: BOMBAY DYEING & MFG CO LTD, BOMBAY. It is perhaps a little thin, but dries well and has the initials EFM embroidered on it.  I deduce that this must have come from Sri Lanka and once belonged to my Grandfather Ceylon, who died in 1972 or thereabouts.  Quality, or what.