Monday, 29 September 2014

I like Tomato and you like Tomahto … today is "Haf Bach Mihangel"


… that ubiquitous fruit … the red berry of the nightshade family, Solanum lycopersicum, commonly known as the tomato plant … is having a bumper year …

 
Tomatoes or Tomahtoes
… as too are the hedgerows … full of blackberries, damsons, sloes, rose hips, hazel nuts et al …


… the orchards are carrying heavy, heavy loads … hops are hopping happily … bumper harvests for the beer crew, the cider and perry lads and lasses will be well satisfied …

 
Tall growing hops
… misty fields curve into the horizons hold ghostly runs, creative webs glistening with dew, ripples of tall grasses, thistles, red fescue grasses … weasel runs, vole ‘twittens’, dormice hidey holes …


… following on from Marine Conservation … our fields also need protection … surveys have found that hundreds of species of plant and invertebrate live within the space of just one human footprint in rough grassland –bears thinking about and remembering.

 
Berries, fruits and hips
Our fields, lands and seas hold a dynamic, complex and ancient web of life …


I’ve written about an oak tree being a veritable haven for wildlife … but how about the humble spiky thistle … offering a rich source of nectar for butterflies – painted ladies, peacocks, red admirals, meadow browns, small tortoiseshells and large white and small coppers all feed on these prickly purple bristles …

Thistle with Meadow Brown

… this same thistle will support more than one hundred species of invertebrate, including moths, hover flies, beetles, aphids and snails … every part of the plant is used in every stage of its life cycle …




We here in Western Europe have had a glorious summer, which I’m happy to say is continuing … bliss – our temperatures are what we had in August – and that was a warm month …



… the mists of mellow fruitfulness draw in … John Clare’s poem “Haymaking” (1793 – 1864) remind us of times gone by – two hundred odd years of them …


‘Tis haytime and the red-complexioned sun
Was scarcely up ere blackbirds had begun
Along the meadow hedges here and there
To sing loud songs to the sweet-smelling air
Where breath of flowers and grass and happy cow
Fling o’er one’s senses streams of fragrance now
While in some pleasant nook the swain and maid
Lean o’er their rakes and loiter in the shade
Or bend a minute o’er the bridge and throw
Crumbs in their leisure to the fish below
-        Hark at that happy shout – and song between
‘Tis pleasure’s birthday in her meadow scene.
What joy seems half so rich from pleasure won
As the loud laugh of maidens in the sun?


Our Indian Summer is not an Indian Summer I understand – this occurs in late September to mid-November ... and is usually described as occurring after a killing frost – we may have had some gentle frosts … but not down here on the south coast.


John Constable's The Hay Wain (1821)
It used to be called St Martin’s summer, referring to St Martin’s Day, November 11th – though that day now has another name: Remembrance Day … an alternative was “Saint Luke’s summer”, whose saint’s day falls on 18 October.


Perhaps appropriately I shall call today’s post in Welsh ‘Haf Bach Mihangel’ or “Michael’s little summer”, as Michaelmas, the feast of St Michael the Archangel occurs today the 29th September.

Hoverflies - various

This will be a misnomer this year … as this week wanes to a close … the weather, here in the UK, is changing and we’re in for more seasonal weather: cooler with some rain.  It had been 5 degC higher than normal!



Ready to enjoy your autumnal harvest … English Bramleys for apple pies … thick and buttery laden pastry (home-made), balanced perfectly with the tart of the apple and the sweetness of the brown sugar … to be smothered in double cream – after a hard-day’s work clearing leaves: just what we need.



Take your pick ... 
We’ve 2,000 varieties of apples (over 7,000 world-wide) growing in our gardens, orchards and hedgerows … and we are planting trees at our homes … a crisp apple from the tree – a slice of cheddar … and a pint (or half) of beer of the 46 million craft-ale pints that are produced from one farm … bumper is the word, this year .. enjoyed in these last of the warm sunny days.


Roast pork with apple sauce and trimmings

A Sunday roast – fragrant roast pork with curried apple relish … followed by ricotta pancakes with sticky maple apple to finish off that lunchtime feast ..


Supper dishes … creamy roasted tomato soup with some herby buttery bread, baked tomatoes with a game sausage or two and mustard mash, pizza with home-made tomato sauce …


Tomato pizza
Baked fruits of varying sorts … pears or apples, damsons tucked into a frangipane tart, blackberries gently stewed served with ice-cream …




Our abundant crops must be made the most of ... bottled, canned, frozen, pickled … yet we must remember our wildlife … which we need to protect, to leave some of our bounty … as the hymn says …



'Lost Count' birthday celebration - chocolate roulade, with
blackberry frangipane tart as another choice
We thank thee, then, O Father, for all things bright and good,
The seed time and the harvest, our life, our health, our food;
Accept the gifts we offer, for all Thy love imparts,
But what Thou most desirest, our humble, thankful hearts.


It is a wonderful bountiful year … we can gather, we can leave some for the wildlife, we can be guardians to our lands … and remember to waste not want not.


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

82 comments:

Kim Van Sickler said...

We have had a wonderfully temperate summer and early fall here in northern Ohio, USA. Not a great year for tomatoes but great for my snow peas and zucchini. I've made more than my share of zucchini bread and zucchini pasta and thrown snow peas into just about anything you can think of and frozen more. Food tastes better when you walk outside to pick the ingredients. I'm also visiting to tell you that I've awarded your blog the Versatile Blog award. http://swaggerwriters.blogspot.com/2014/09/by-kim-van-sickler-it-all-started-here.html . Congrats! Have fun passing on the love.

Mason Canyon said...

I never realized there were so many variety of apples. Our garden did fair this year and we're still getting a few tomatoes off and on. Now I have to go find some lunch after reading about all this wonderful food. :)

Lisa said...

Our summer was hot and HUMID. I would much preferred yours! Though I am thankful for the rain this year. We've had such a long drought that the rain in the spring and beginning of summer this year was more than welcome... You made me hungry reading this! I pictured walking UK fields while reading this and loved every minute of it. What a nice way to have a quick trip over the ocean...

Julie Flanders said...

Love the Lost Count birthday cake. Funny! Fall is my favorite time of year and this post reminded me why - the harvest, apples, cool temps... I love everything about it. And like others your post made me very hungry!

mail4rosey said...

That pizza sure looks good!

My son and his class just learned more facts about apples than I've known in my whole lifetime. Did you know if you cut them horizontal there's a perfect little star inside? :)

The thoughts on the berries made me smile. Everything benefits someone (or something) in another way, even if it we don't know exactly what it is, yes?

Have a great week!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Seven thousand types of apples? Whoa...
And for the record, I say tomato with a long a. (Long or hard - been so long since school I don't remember which.)

Lisa Moles said...

Sadly, it is back in the 90's here...I am so ready for fall. And apple pie and roast pork and applesauce and pumpkin spice cookies...good heavens, it must be time for lunch! As always, a wonderful post that took me away. I love coming to visit you! You have just the right way of saying things.

Paula Kaye said...

This is my favorite time of year for fruit...apples!! We love the Galas. And red delicious. And Granny Smith! That pizza looked amazing. Hope your week is goo

Al Diaz said...

I do have blackberries in my garden! I love them. I wish I had a single apple tree, let alone all those types. I do have a fig tree, though. And that Sunday roast looks really tasty! Yummy. Someday you should invite the dragon over to dinner. :) Dragon Hugs!

Janie Junebug said...

Now I'm hungry. We might have Indian Summer for Christmas here in Florida.

Love,
Janie

Clarissa Draper said...

This post was making me hungry! I can't believe there are so many varieties of apples. Your posts are so educational.

J E Oneil said...

I had no idea tomatoes were in the nightshade family. That's hilarious.

I love apple season. There's a tree outside my house, but unfortunately it hasn't provided many good fruits this year. At least they're plentiful elsewhere...

Jo said...

What a blissful picture of England you are painting Hilary. Makes me feel homesick especially with the abundance of fruit which is available. I hope there have been plenty of bees buzzing around all these flowers - one of the critters we really need to look after. Bramleys we don't get unfortunately, there is nothing here which tastes like it. And then the double cream, ooooooh. We didn't get a very good summer here this year although the last week has been delightful so I guess we too have had a Haf Bach Mihangel.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

It's nearly 5 pm here and after your post I will have to think about dinner.

I wish I liked apples more. I like apple cake, muffins, apple sauce everything made from apples but not apples. Well except I love eating the peelings.

Susan Kane said...

My mouth was watering as my eyes were rejoicing...what a bounty.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Hilary. What a lovely post. I could feel the English weather. Have heard you've been having quite a nice summer. You certainly made me hungry--I haven't eaten today...yet! And thanks for sharing the lovely poem. So right for your post.

Denise :)

Sue McPeak said...

Like everyone else, I am amazed at the variety of apples. What a great post full of wonders of of the land. I really enjoyed learning about the habitat of the Thistle which is a favorite of mine since it has an interesting part played in my Scottish Family History. I also loved the Thanks giving table prayer. Well done, as always.
Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

Inger said...

What a lovely post. We still have lots of green tomatoes on our plants, so hubby built a little greenhouse for them and some pepper plants he's growing in containers. Then he hooked up a heater for the nighttime cold. Immediately flowers sprouted. I didn't know there were so many different kinds of apples. Our town is known for its apple orchards.

Chatty Crone said...

Oh my goodness Hillary - all those fruits and veggies look so wonderful!!! I especially love the tomatoes - there was just something so beautiful in those big ripe ones!

Diana Wilder said...

Just lovely, Hilary! What a feast, figuratively and literally!

...*polite cough*...

...Some bloggers do post recipes...

Diana

Trisha F said...

Over here, we didn't have much of a winter, which in Australia is generally very mild compared to an English winter. I guess that's why I love my winters - because they are a respite from the horrible scorching summers that sometimes seem like they'll never end. But this year I missed out on a proper winter, which makes me sad. And now we're going into summer again. 6 months of being overheated. Not looking forward to it ;) But at least I will be able to swim in the late afternoon/evening, in our very refreshing ocean!

Trisha F said...

By the way ... I now want to eat an apple pie with a lot of cream! ;)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Hilary,

Another lovely post! SO cool I stopped by on St. Michael's day... how appropriate. LOL.

Sounds like you had a wonderful summer and the autumn is continuing to be lovely. YAY...

Thankfully our weather has been quit nice the past few weeks. The beginning of September was FREEZING with temps dropping into the 40's F at night. Brrrr. Even our heat kicked on. We never have heat until mid to late October.

We will be dropping again with a new cold front coming through, but as long as the sun is shining, I don't mind the crisp days.

LOVE APPLES I eat like three a day! It is amazing how many varieties there are.

I find that thistle amazing. To take care of so much wildlife in one flower/shrub.... Nature is truly amazing!

Enjoy the rest of you week! And thanks for stopping by my blog. I have be so busy lately I can't seem to keep up.

D.G. Hudson said...

That was like walking through a farmer's market, Hilary! Bounty is good, and yes, enjoying foods in season is best.

Blackberries have always been a fave with me, wild ones rather than cultivated. I love the smell of tomatoes that comes when you touch or brush against the vine.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Kim – thank you for the Versatile Blogger award .. I really appreciate the thought – but I’m very bad at dealing with these – appreciate them though.

Your garden sounds as though it’s giving you lots of produce, even if the tomatoes aren’t that prolific .. and you’re making good use of the freshly picked veggie …

@ Mason – apples are an amazing tree – with so many flavours too ... glad your garden has been productive ..

@ Lisa – hot and humid – not sure I’d like that! Ours was hot and being by the coast we get the humidity sometimes. We’re waiting for our rain – though some parts have had a deluge …

I was thinking about being out and about on distant paths gazing over our tiny fielded land .. it is gloriously pretty … delighted you’ve enjoyed your trip o’er the pond!

@ Julie – isn’t the “Lost Count” birthday cake a great idea. The Fall colours are glorious as too the harvested crops – the farm shops are buzzing …

@ Rosey – I haven’t had pizza for a while and have been craving some. Fascinating to read what an excellent teacher your son has .. and how she engaged with the kids in learning about apples .. fun …

… life abounds all around us and so often we don’t appreciate why – I found the thistle life and death story, always providing, such an interesting aspect of one tiny plant … I love berries too ..

@ Alex – apples are an incredible source of food – and can be grafted so easily, creating new varieties …

For the record – is that ‘a’ as in Ma or as in May?!

@ Lisa – back in the 90s … well I’m sure glad we’re not at 90 – but we are having temperatures in the mid 70s – which is very warm for this time of year.

Pumpkin spice cookies are now a favourite over here .. we didn’t used to have pumpkins – but now we have plenty … and Thanksgiving is coming isn’t it … Thanks so much for the compliment …

@ Paula – I know you eat well in your house – fresh produce for the grandkids … and pizza always goes down a treat doesn’t it …

@ Al – the Dragon has blackberries growing – how wonderful … yes one apple tree would be good wouldn’t it … an invitation to the Dragon for a good roast … well that would be fun – I wouldn’t need to light the oven!! It’d be good to meet up … especially if I get a Dragon hug!

@ Janie – certainly Florida seems to have lovely weather most of the time … I do enjoy the change – but would like to know if it’s going to be a hard winter, a terrible soggy one as last year … or a couple of months of cold and then Spring springs … but it will unfold in its own time!!

@ Clarissa – sorry about the rumbling tummy – hopefully you’ve satisfied it … I’ve written quite often on apples and they are an amazing fruit …

@ Jeanne – it’s strange what we eat, and what we cannot eat .. the herbalists in those early days were amazing at what they found out for us by trial and error …

Sorry that you haven’t got a prolific source of apples from your tree .. next year with luck there will be lots …

Thanks everyone - next batch coming up .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

2nd part:

@ Jo – we seem to be in a purple patch of English delight at the moment … there are some bees buzzing – but as I mentioned before no wasps … but I expect they’ll return next year …

I know Bramleys are a particularly English variety – developed by a butcher in the early 1800s … strange but true! I do love a Bramley baked apple, hollowed out and filled with butter, brown sugar and a few currants – so good!

@ Teresa – well at least you timed the reading of the post about right … then if you’re eating the peel – that’s very good for you … you could gentle stew the apples … that’d be good …

@ Susan – many thanks … we have had a glorious summer … lots of bounty and the harvests are being happily brought in …

@ Denise – sounds like you are similar to me ... I don’t eat til later in the day … I’m glad you enjoyed John Clare’s poem … and it does combine the typical Englishness we have with the plentiful fields – reminding us to protect them – in 200 years that hasn’t happened – we are now realising how necessary all plants and animals are …

@ Sue – I have to say I hadn’t realised there were that many varieties of apples; but am glad about the thistle ringing its purple head for your Scottish family history. I love that hymn – so had to put one verse in … delighted you enjoyed reading it …

@ Inger – thanks so much – just glad you’ve been transported back to this little land for a brief while; Gosh hubby has been busy – and ingenious … I would love a hubby like that!! Apples are just an amazing fruit – and I hope you get to enjoy the fruits your town offers from their orchards ….

@ Sandie – harvest time is fabulous isn’t it .. so much on offer from our plant life … I love tomatoes too – as all fruits and veg …

@ Diana – delighted you enjoyed the post … I’ve thought about posting recipes – but I don’t really cook any more … no children and I visit others’ houses … so I know what I’m talking about – the flat is full of cookery books … which I enjoy having round me … but I don’t bake properly any more – as I’m cooking for me! So some bloggers do post recipes … but not this one, usually … sorry about that!!

@ Trisha – you’re lucky with your mild winters … our Jo’burg winters were quite harsh – lots of sun, but freezing as it’s so high (5,600 feet) … I’d have been happier if they were milder. Still I’m here now – back in the land of Blighty with unpredictable weather conditions …

I did enjoy coming back to the UK to get away from the searing heat of South Africa – then we had a hot summer here! I could go down to our beach to swim – but it’s something I’ve never done … used to as kids! Enjoy your swims … and then that apple pie with cream!

@ Michael – I know you’ve been so busy … and good to see you here on St Michael’s Day … Summer was amazing … and Autumn has started well … I read about your freezing temps in early September … our weather is about to change this weekend – we need the rain, but if it would hold off for another week I’d be grateful!

Three apples – well they are good for you and take those hunger pangs away … I manage one usually … the thistle has much to offer, doesn’t it … and you are so right Nature is amazing …

@ DG – delighted you enjoyed the post … the centre of bounty, and the outskirts with the hedgerow offerings …

You mentioned the thing I forgot – to eat seasonally … and I love wild hedgerow blackberries .. so much nicer than cultivated ones – quite agree. That tomato smell is lovely isn’t it …

Cheers everyone – so glad you enjoyed the visit to our harvest countryside … have happy weeks … Hilary

Nilanjana Bose said...

That was just sumptuous! Feast for body and soul both. Autumn is my favourite season, and not just because of the harvests. Your post summarised my reasons much better than I could have articulated.

Fil said...

It really has been a blissful summer - we've lots of sloes and blackberries along the hedgerows here and they're juicy and sweet. The cider is going to be fabulous down your way Hilary - you're making me hungry reading this post lol Have a great week. Fil

Adura Ojo said...

Hi Hilary. It's a lovely feeling...your post of summer. I dunked myself in it and savoured all I could of the berries - and the sun. I will remember this post and come back to read as it gets colder.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Hilary--I am suddenly so hungry! :)

The tomatoes look amazing, as do the apples. What a wonderful season!

Karen Lange said...

It has been a bountiful year here too, and for that I am grateful. Will be going to get apples soon, and will make applesauce and pies and other delicious goodies. Your post is bountiful too, sharing all sorts of good things. I was just thinking about Indian Summer the other day, wondering what its origins and all were. Good to know, thank you! Enjoy the rest of the week!

Stephanie Faris said...

How wonderful. Fresh fruits are the BEST. This is my favorite time of the year--it never lasts long enough.

rosaria williams said...

What a great feast you provide in this post, for all our senses to be satisfied, even our curiosity.

Bish Denham said...

A beautifully written post, Hilary. I was right there with it all. The harvest, the meals... making my mouth water. What a blessing to have a bountiful harvest!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That pizza looks delicious. I love anything with tomatoes.

TexWisGirl said...

i like to hear of good harvest years - no matter what the crop. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nila - just so glad you enjoyed your feasting here ... there is so much going on at this time of year - the garnering in: we're all doing the gathering - humans and the humble beasts or crawlies ...

@ Fil - the sloes and blackberries are weighing the hedgerows down - lovely to wander along reaching out for a new berry; We have vineyards here ... the cider orchards tend to be in the west (I think!!) .. we have hops in Kent ...

@ Adura - I'm just glad you could spend time with me, here in the post, enjoying the remains of our summer ... and I'll be delighted to see you again - anytime ...

@ Elizabeth - sorry about the hunger pangs ... it's a glorious time of year - reddening tomatoes, and ripening apples ...

@ Karen - I'm glad you've had a good year your side of the pond ... and yes apple sauce for pies, or pork ... just what we need in the depths of winter ...

I'm glad I've enlightened you on the origins of an Indian Summer ...

@ Steph - lovely to see you .. fresh is best ... and the warmth of the autumn sun is special ... before it starts to get cooler and the year winds down ...

@ Rosaria - I'm just glad you're happy to read and be here ... and then to go away senses satisfied, curiosity fulfilled for now ...

@ Bish - delighted you were with me along my trek of autumn harvests and years gone or going by .. we are lucky with our bounty.

@ Diane - well I'm happy you enjoyed the look of the pizza with your vegetarian choices ... tomatoes are so good for us ...

@ TWG - you're right there .. no matter what crop - bountiful harvests are wonderful to share together ..

Cheers and thanks so much for joining me on my bounty journey of harvesting time .. Hilary

loverofwords said...

Rain, rain and more rain here in Colorado but with lightning and thunder almost every afternoon and evening. One of our close neighbor's homes was struck by lightning, so I do get a bit nervous. Your photos make me hungry and the frangipane tart looks especially good. I too have lots of cookbooks on my shelves, but do mostly modest cooking these days. Tomatoes and apples, what a gift to humans (and others, I guess)

bazza said...

My goodness I feel hungry now! I need a beer too!
Listening to The Boswell Sisters from 1932!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Silvia Villalobos said...

Tomatoes or tomahtoes, are some of my favorite fruits (vegetables?) in the world. I can just eat them (bite after bite) and be as happy as one can be. But everything you posted here -- all the foods -- look delicious, and the beer, of the beer. Europe makes the best beer, there I've said it. Glad you had a nice, warm summer. We're still trying to get over our 103 degree (highs) temps here. If you could, please do send some rain. :)

Manzanita said...

Thank you for sharing all that brilliant color and the sweet dream of tree ripened fruit and berries. Everything is bulging to it's zenith and will soon drowse into a blissful sleep and wait the waiting game until the rebirth is here.

Brian Miller said...

mmm i would take fruit any day...raw, baked, however you want to fix it...i think it will be an interesting winter...we had a cooler summer...so i wonder if our winter will be a bad one...that is what they are saying...that said i got a sun tan on saturday...ha...

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

What an overflowing cornucopia of fruits and vegetables you've given us in this post! Our tomatoes have been quite bountiful this year, too. When we returned home today, I pulled quite a few from our garden, and we had some with dinner... still warm from the sunshine. (It doesn't get better than that!) I'm kinda sad to see the end of the fresh summer fruits I love so much, but there's a lot to be said about a crisp juicy apple... or PIE... too.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Nat - gosh lots of rain and storms .. sounds quite frightening. The frangipane tart was good .. and yes cookbooks are reassuring for some reason! Tomatoes and apples thank goodness for the yearly bounty ..

@ Bazza - too late for food and a beer? Today you could enjoy them ... Boswell Sisters sound good ..

@ Silvia - they are good fruits aren't they .. our artisan beers are very good and we're getting lots of new micro breweries ... Surprisingly it makes it over 103 here too and I'm sure did this year - though I didn't take that in .. it was hot though. We need rain too - but if it could hold off a week I'd be grateful ... but I suspect by the weekend we'll have some rain ...

@ Manzanita - the land is amazing isn't it ... how it rests and rejuvinates producing its fruits next year ...

@ Brian - fruit is delicious isn't it .. I just hope our winter isn't as wet as last year, but isn't too cold - still we'll soon find out. Good for you and the sun tan on Saturday!

@ Susan - good to see you here after your sojourn away. Your tomatoes sound so delicious ... nothing like fresh from the bush or vine ... warm with the sunshine and that scent too ...

Apple pie, any pie .. soon be cool enough for plenty of those ..

Thanks everyone - lovely to see you cheers Hilary

Elise Fallson said...

We've had a glorious and warm September, unfortunately, August was colder and the rains turned most of my tomatoes and grapes to rot. Hopefully next year will be better. Hoverflies are fun to catch and show people. You should see their eyes widen when they think you've caught a wasp. Hope you have a wonderful autumn, enjoy the colors!

L.G. Smith said...

I love the fall. So much bounty. It's the only time of year I actually enjoy cooking. Made some apple pies yesterday. :)

Elsie Amata said...

I'm all about the warm months. I love the fresh fruit and veggies I see in the store (and at a reasonable price from our local farms!) I don't look forward to our first frost. It's a sign that the bright colors of spring and summer are near an end. Boo!

Elsie
co-host IWSG
♡♥♡♥

Beate said...

I love all kinds of veggies and fruits right out of the garden. I'm very lucky that my landlords have a big garden and I'm allowed to have anything I want. This year was amazing with all the strawberries, tomatoes, zucchinis, raspberries, apples.... :) Looking at all the amazing pictures gets me hungry again ;)

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Hilary, our youngest is in UK with his wife and babies, near Stonehenge for one year. They go out every weekend and then post the pics on FB. I hope to visit in May. I'll let you know.

Christine Rains said...

We had a lovely mild summer this year. We'll be going apple picking this Friday. It's one of my favorite autumn activities. :)

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Hilary. I had no idea that there were that many varieties of tomatoes. That's a lot!

I like that lost count cake. : )

dolorah said...

It is now way past breakfast time, thanks to your bountiful post. Autumn is my favorite time of year :)

Crystal Collier said...

You know, it's been a while since I ate apples. As you age your body does strange things and demands you feed it different food. But oh, tomatoes...

I'm happy you've got an extended summer. I've got one too, but I supposed that's to be expected in Florida. =)

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

Hopping over from Lisa Buie-Collard's site and happy to hear your hops are happily hopping, Hilary! Your photos of berries have my mouth watering.

If memory serves, Indian Summers in Wisconsin were cause for celebrating a few more pleasant days and sadness for the bone-chilling months ahead.

Murees Dupé said...

Excellent post Hilary. That roulade looks delicious. I am happy that the summer is treating you well.

Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words on my blog. I am grateful.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Completely lost in all those pictures of food! My dad grows the most gorgeous cherry tomahtoes :-)

Susan Scheid said...

John Clare was a fascinating fellow, wasn't he? Do you know the novel "The Quickening Maze," by Adam Foulds? It's been a while since I've read it, but I remember enjoying it and being quite intrigued. The poem you offer here is just perfect for the season, isn't it--and not the usual that's chosen, good on you!

SittieCates said...

I didn't know there were various varieties of apples! :-) If we had that here, too... Oh gosh! Yum!

Loved the prayer.

Cheers to a bountiful year!

Tammy Theriault said...

I live in WA where the apples are rapidly growing as we speak. it's the season!!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Elise - I remember the continent (France) having lots of rain .. I'm sure we had some in other areas of England .. but here we've had very little. Great thought about catching hoverflies ... and fun showing them to other people ..

@ Luanna - there really is so much bounty to harvest .. and glad you made some apple pies yesterday ... I can smell that aroma now!

@ Elsie - well all seasons are good aren't they ... and the Fall colours are just lovely. Glad you're using the farm shops - just that much fresher ...

@ Beate - good to see you ... you are lucky if your landlord allows you to wander around their gardens enjoying the produce on hand .. lucky you!

@ Joylene - delighted to see your son and family are using their time here having a good look around. FB is great for keeping in touch .. if you do come over - definitely check in! Hope to be able to meet you ...

@ Christine - the little one will enjoy apple picking and perhaps playing some of the apple games ... it is wonderful being outside enjoying the fresh autumn air ..

@ Susanne - well I need someone to tell me about the many varieties of tomatoes - plant life never ceases to amaze me ...

Isn't the "Lost Count Cake" fun ...

@ Donna - sorry if it took you sometime to read .. but enjoy these fruits of Autumn ..

@ Crystal - we do change eating habits don't we .. and you will now with the baby coming. I've been eating apples in my salad ... with tomatoes ... all good. I cook with them too ...

Florida I guess never changes much daily temperature-wise .. enjoy it.

@ Gail - good to see you via Lisa's site. Apparently the hop season is going to be very prolific ... and our berries have been stunning this year.

Indian summers - well we do bless them when they stick around, as we know winter is a-coming ... and Wisconsin has freezing winters .. ours aren't as harsh, usually

@ Murees - the roulade is delicious .. good thing we don't have birthdays too often! Glad my words encourage you along your authorship path.

@ Annalisa - it's so easy to get lost in food! I could do so very easily ... and cherry tomahtoes! from your Dad must be lovely to tuck into .. lucky you ...

@ Susan - lovely to see you ... when I read up on John Clare - like you I was fascinated by him ... and his times. I chose this poem as it fitted my words more appropriately ...

I'll look into the book by Adam Foulds .. as John Clare looked at life as being part of nature and recorded the devastation the Industrial Revolution was having on the land ... and I'd like to read more ... thanks for the suggestion.

@ Cates - I'm sure you've got different apples to choose from .. there are so many. We plough the fields and scatter is one of my favourite hymns ... so appropriate for this time of year ...

@ Tammy - it is the season ... and our apples, pears, walnuts, hops, vines etc are getting ready for harvest ...

Cheers to you all - thanks for visiting ... Hilary

Gattina said...

We also have summer now, what we didn't have in August ! I love apples and eat at least 6 per day ! And tomatoes I love too ! I am getting hungry after having seen all these delicious plates !

Susan Scott said...

O my grief, I am positively salivating! Over 2000 varieties of apples??? All those blackberries and tomatoes. Double thick cream with apple pie or blackberries, or both I say, with a double helping of cream, glorious cream. And the poem brought a knee jerk sense in my abdomen ...
We do indeed thank thee Father for our bounty.
Delicious post Hilary thank you.

Lynn said...

Love the bountiful photos - I'm salivating now. Love that "Lost Count" on the cake - I'm going to remember that. :)

The tomato crop has waned here - I do miss them already, but still have the grape tomatoes at the market.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Thank you for my morning inspirational prayers. And now I'm hungry because I haven't eaten breakfast!!!

rosieamber said...

Another delightful and delicious post Hilary, thank you.

Cherie Reich said...

Whoa, those are a whole lot of different types of apples! Great pictures! Those berries look delicious!

Suzanne Furness said...

We have had some truly lovely weather this year. I hope that does not mean we will pay for it during the winter! It is cooler here, and we have had some rain but the sun is out now and it is just after 5 in the afternoon so that can't be bad.

Picked some apples off our trees last weekend and had a delicious crumble. Will probably do the same this weekend.

Suze said...

Hilary, this was an absolutely glorious post! I've reached the end of it with a singing heart and tears in my eyes. First of all, wonderfully, lyrical prose but, more importantly, such substance. Such heart and gratitude, and wonder and keen, observing intelligence behind these words.

Thank you so much for all of it. My best compliments.

Sara said...

This was a "bountiful" post full of yummy descriptions and I don't mean just the food ones.

I loved these words, "misty fields curve into the horizons hold ghostly runs, creative webs glistening with dew, ripples of tall grasses, thistles, red fescue grasses … weasel runs, vole ‘twittens’, dormice hidey holes..."

Your writing is so wonderful. This whole post was a delight to read and so descriptive!!!

I also was surprised by the idea of what one human footprint might contain!

And all of this was before getting to food. Once again, it's almost suppertime here and by the time I finished your post, my stomach was growling:~)

I'm happy you've enjoyed your "Haf Bach Mihangel."

Happy day to you, Hilary!

TALON said...

Ah, the beautiful bounty of my favorite time of year. The apples are gorgeous here, this year, and I just picked the last of our tomatoes yesterday. There's something about this season that makes the early darkness a little easier to take with the scent of woodsmoke and the need for a light jacket. You've made it even more amazing with your great post, Hilary.

Marja said...

Woow all that abundant fruit and what a choice of apples I dind't realise that a thistle supports so much live. Nature is amazing. I have a soft spot for hay bales especially the round ones So pretty as is the poem. The food looks delicious Just an outpour of luxery
We enjoy spring here Everything just starts to bloom. The weather is still changeable but it should soon be warm

Rhonda Albom said...

Sounds like you are having a wonderful season, full with fruit and flowers. We are just in early spring, and I am waiting for that bumper crop of fruit. I did recently learn how many species of apples there are in the world, but I had no idea the UK had that many.

Empty Nest Insider said...

You really should have your own cooking show, Hilary! You make each dish sound better than the next. I didn't realize there were over 7000 types of apples! How I miss going apple picking on a beautiful autumn day!

Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Gattina - I hadn't realised August on the continent was not a good summer month .. wow you're enjoying so many apples, but glad tomatoes get a look in .. writing about food is never easy!

@ Susan - it's surprising isn't it .. how many different types there are - thankfully they're recording them now. Apple pie with blackberries and then cream - too good and yummy -

I was pleased to find the poem and remembering the hymn - we are so lucky ...

@ Lynn - isn't the "Lost Count Cake" fun .. and definitely worth using the idea ... The markets are wonderful aren't they - at least we always get the seasonal fare ...

@ Cathrina - I'm glad you enjoyed the hymn and thoughts ... I'm still on coffee - but reading food is always tricky ...

@ Rosie - glad you enjoyed the post ..

@ Cherie - it's incredible what nature will offer us - even in one species ...

@ Suzanne - yes I bet Cornwall has been glorious ... and I'm thinking along your lines of what will winter hold for us .. this weekend it turns doesn't it .. still beautiful here this morning.

Apple crumble is the best .. enjoy your next crop of crumble tomorrow!

@ Suze - thank you so much for your kind words - I'm always grateful when people can 'move' into my world through my posts ... this time of year offers so much, while our language can help us describe and draw pictures of this very lovely land more easily ...

Thanks so much - it is just glorious here this morning ... our last golden warm morn for a while ... still it's been fantastic while it's lasted .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sara - wonderful to see you and thank you for these really kind words. It's good to be able to describe things, so we can 'see' them isn't it ...

One human footprint covers so much life we so easily forget about ... and I loved the thought of the thistle holding so much through its life cycle ...

Food at this time of year is just too delicious - we see it in the orchards and farms - while tables full of goodies are just so lovely to share. Yes the "Haf Bach Mihangel" was a fund find ...

@ Talon - it's so lucky living amongst the heavy boughs before they give us their ripened fruits ...

I'll think on your words as we move towards the darker nights and the scent of woodsmoke ... while I remember our fulfilling days of Autumn, with the jam and pickle aromas from the kitchens ...

@ Marja - it's been an amazing year for the fruits ... the thistle, perhaps something we call a weed, does support so much - I was intrigued by that ...

I love hay-bales sitting in a field with the high sun, warm air and beautiful scenery ... set off in a golden hazy glow. Delighted you enjoyed the poem and hymn ... you'll be having your Spring growth burgeoning out soon ...

@ Rhonda - you too in NZ, as Marja above, will enjoy your new shoots as Spring down under appears. We have some very good archives here .. which are recording as much of our and the world's flora and fauna as possible.

@ Julie - thanks so much .. I enjoy food and cooking - but the tv ... I just don't think so ...

Thanks everyone - today looks like the last of our glorious 'Indian Summer' morns ... a warm sunny glow ever rising in the morning sky ... puffy clouds and a cooler air heralding a change in weather ...

Cheers from the last of the summery Eastbourne! Hilary

Munir said...

I wish I could bring some Ginger Gold apples for you. They are delicious. We are lucky to have beautiful apple orchards in the state of New York.

Julia Hones said...

I used to grow very nice tomatoes not too long ago.
Interesting post, Hilary.
Thank you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Munir - thanks for your thought .. the name Ginger Gold - sounds just delicious ... I'm glad you've got orchards in NY state.

@ Julia - fresh fruit is so worth while isn't it .. I bet you enjoyed their taste.

Cheers to you both - good to see you - Hilary

Deniz Bevan said...

Such a lovely post, Hilary, celebrating the wonders of autumn. I tried red currants for the first time this week, can't believe I'd never eaten them before!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deniz ... thank you .. and I love redcurrants - so sharp and fresh .. they can just add that something extra to a delicious creamy sweet desert ...

It really is Autumn now ... cooling down and giving us drenching showers, before the sun shines through once again ...

Cheers Hilary

Juliet Batten said...

What seasonal richness! I love the poem.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Juliet - it was a particularly rich time .. before the Autumn set in ... and the poem is great isn't it ..

Cheers Hilary