On Saturday we said goodbye to Nana and Grandad who returned to old Blighty after a 3 week stay. Apparently warmly inviting your relatives to stay by stealing their passports and removing them to a remote location is termed as ‘kidnapping’ (damn you Lady Justice, damn you) so we reluctantly let them leave.
It was brilliant having them here, they helped us massively with work on the house and with the boys so that we could get a seemingly never ending list of errands done in half the time. But it wasn’t all work, there was a bit of time for some cooking, chatting, tea drinking and a little shopping. And what does a gel with a new kitchen in the works shop for?
This little beauty is my new (highly reduced in price) kettle. I chose to get a stove top kettle rather than an electric for a couple of reasons, 1) My stove top is on the island and I wanted to be able to boil water right there as it is the main prep and serving space and 2) They are much cooler and come in better colours.
I chose this retro yellow and this 50’s style shape because it fits in with the feel we want for the kitchen, a modern spin on vintage style. In addition my Mother-In-Law Kath, helped us buy a whole new set of pans! Granted ours were 12 years old and the worse for wear but we needed to replace them regardless as our new stove top is an induction so all pans require a conductive bottom to work (insert own joke here). Again we were able to find a set with a retro styling feel which made me exceptionally happy!
The set we bought (again on sale) is by Lagostina and as well as having practical sizes that I will actually use, they have Bakelite handles and lids on the pans. They actually really remind me of some pans my Mum had when I was little, which was reason enough to buy them; I know I’m going to enjoy cooking in them for years to come. Something of the new and something of the old. Lovely.
My favourite season is in full swing with root veg galore and apples everywhere you look. With all the mayhem of the house build I don’t feel able to fully appreciate the bedding in that autumn inspires, that feeling of settling, preparing, cosying up. Instead we are gearing up for our second move within a year, making the final decisions on the house (I think we are approaching serious decision fatigue) and trying to find the energy for that final push.
But one place where autumn can certainly be felt is in the kitchen. Salads are making way for roots and squashes, the roasting tins are in full use and a pan of beef stew promises nourishment and comfort after a long and busy day.
Beef stew, roasted parsnips and beets, crunchy orange sweet potatoes and crispy, fluffy white potatoes; apple and blackberry pie, glazed with soft brown sugar melting into bright yellow eggs. That is what is in my kitchen on this autumn day, what’s on your stove?
Last week we had the most spectacular sunset, the sky looked like it was on fire. It was a little scary and awe inspiring to see the sky changing to a dark orange/red, with glimpses of blue between the spaces in the clouds. It didn’t last long but I managed to snap a few pictures of this sky on fire (none of these pictures have been altered at all).
Now that’s just showing off.
Like a switch being turned on, October brought with it some typically autumnal weather. Cooler days, rain and winds that remind you what your coat is for, have brushed away memories of the late summer weather we were recently basking in.
I have to admit I love it. There is something British in me that revels in the colour of an orange leaf against a grey sky, perhaps it is genetic, or the years of living under overcast skies but this feels comforting to me. I can be outside without overheating, I can bundle up and get cosy. The woolens are coming out and the socks are getting an airing; cords and denim and layers.
In true autumnal style we enjoyed a brisk and breezy day (for any Non Brits that translates and cold, windy with a good dollop of rain) at the local agricultural fair. Although, meanies that we are, we eschewed the joys of the rides and deep fried treats, we did get a good look at some gorgeous animals, vintage tractors and steam powered amusements.
I had a lovely chat with a lady at the Rare Breeds Canada stand, admired some llamas and gazed in admiration at the beautiful draft horses. At home we refer to these giants as Shire horses and I remember seeing them and their shining brasses, along with steam engines and fair rides, at similar fairs when I was a child the same age as Huwyl.
Some things are brilliant no matter how many times you see them.