There’s been plenty to stir the senses again this autumn, so as we head into winter I thought I’d share a few of the things that have been fun to do over the past couple of weeks. There was the usual collecting of goodies and making them into something tasty. The blackberries are still filling up a large part of my freezer and the apples are still being picked from our tiny, but very fruitful tree. Lob both ingredients into a pan with a tablespoon of sugar and you get this pinky-purple scrumptiousness…
…just waiting to be turned into a blackberry and apple pie. A yummy breakfast made yummier with fresh apple slices and a bunch of grapes from the vine. Most of the grapes are fermenting gassily in a big tub ready to be turned into Chateau Holmes 2015 wine but there are a few more bunches left yet, for the blackbirds and me.
One of my favorite snacks for this time of year is roasted pumpkin seeds and with lots of pumpkins to get through there’s been no shortage of these crunchy nibbles for salad and soup sprinkles or just for plain old snacking. Here they are before and after they got a good roasting.
I think these were my tastiest yet. The secret is to leave some of the pumpkin flesh on – don’t rinse them clean first. I swooshed them around in a little olive oil, and a pinch each of celery salt, smoked paprika, cumin and turmeric. I think that’s probably not a totally bona fide authentic spice mix – more along the lines of some weird and totally made up ‘fusion’ cooking, but it worked for me!
The glory of roasting pumpkin seeds is you can have fun experimenting with whatever is in your spice rack and see what you prefer. Better than a packet of crisps to munch on, any day!
To satisfy my sweet tooth I made a couple of pumpkin pies too. My favorite being a recipe by Abel and Cole which was more of an egg custard type thing but with a very definite pumpkin hit to the tastebuds.
Now I will be the first to admit it’s not going to win any awards for its physical beauty, but just like people, true beauty is more than skin deep and in the light of that observation this pie is a cracker. What it lacked in looks it more than made up for in taste!
Treats at the ready I got a little bit of knitting time in at the kitchen table. As it was a Friday night I ditched the cup of tea and indulged in a glass of Chateau Holmes 2014 wine instead – for inspirational purposes of course.
A very good homemade wine for washing down homemade pumpkin pie while knitting homemade mittens!
I’ve been really enjoying knitting these mitts and have even attempted to write up the pattern, but oh my! It’s a whole different ball game to writing crochet patterns.
I think I’ve got a lot to learn yet. I’ve been so obsessed with crochet for these past three years that my knitting skills have become a little rusty to say the least, but practice makes perfect. These mittens were intended as an accompaniment to my Autumn Berries Poncho. The green is a new addition to contrast with the pinks and purples and adds an extra bit of oomph.
A colour combo that was inspired by the yearly show of gorgeously coloured leaves on my grape vine along with the original blackberry and raspberry theme.
I even managed to squeeze a bit of knitting in during a very chilled out day at a local spa to celebrate a friends birthday. Of course it’s impossible to relax entirely unless there is some yarn involved somewhere! It was quite lovely to sit and knit a few rounds in between swimming, reading, having a slap up lunch, (undoing all the good work from powering up and down the pool!), lolling in the jacuzzi and sweating out the toxins in the sauna. I could get used to this!
The mittens turned out pretty well considering my hands are more usually bent into a shape that accommodates a crochet hook rather than four double pointed knitting needles!
Love, love, love the colours and I especially like the way the yarn gently fades from one tone to another – just like autumn leaves do – giving each mitten it’s own distinctive look.
I did make a few mistakes with this method of knitting in the round. I found it quite difficult to keep the stitches even at the point when you swap needles. I did OK on the knit rounds, but the purl rounds were a bit trickier. I was also pretty good at dropping stitches here and there but I picked them up and fudged them back into the knitting with a semi haphazard kind of technique so maybe no-one will notice except me!
It’s just a case of finishing off the border on my poncho next. That shouldn’t take too long, a few evenings this week ought to do the trick. Hmm, I think I need a matching hat next. But that poses a big dilemma – to knit or to crochet? I’d better go and have a mooch around on pinterest and see where the inspiration takes me next!
November 13, 2015 at 4:08 pm
I loved your poncho colours before but now I love them even more! The green really enhances the purples and your mittens are a great match. I have just started knitting and it has opened up a whole new world of possible projects. Most of them beyond my basic skills of course but I can hope!
November 13, 2015 at 5:48 pm
Knitting does pose a whole new set of challenges. I’m keen to do some fair isle colorwork soon as that is one of the areas that crochet can’t really compete with so well. It’s good to be learning new stuff though. Keeps our minds sharp 🙂 I’m sure you’ll soon be up to speed with your new skills!
November 16, 2015 at 7:47 am
Your nature inspired colour choices are wonderfully inspirational. We are in the opposite hemisphere to you, it’s mango season here in Malawi and hot, hot, so orange is my inspiration this month! Thanks for your post. I love the details and photographs. Makes me look at things with fresh eyes! 🙂
November 17, 2015 at 8:12 pm
Sounds very wonderful to be surrounded by fresh mangos, while we are enduring a huge gale at the moment and hunkering down to long dark chilly nights! Enjoy the sunshine!