8 September 2015

Time Flies

Wow, where has the summer gone? I can't believe it's September already! Not that we have had much of a summer where I live, the days have been mostly gloomy and damp with the odd sunny day here and there but not enough to make me feel like I have actually had a summer. Although, we now seem to be having a bit of an Indian summer so I'm now writing my pre-cold-weather-check list while the weather is still fine. I need to get the boiler serviced, get the chimney swept, clear the garden of all the summer annuals and I need to start stocking up on coal and logs. The house gets very cold in winter. It's an old house with very, very thick walls and somehow, it always feels a little damp.

The gardener came today and attacked everything with a strimmer, hedge cutter and lawn mower and the garden is looking scalped! Still, it will mean that from now on, rather than having the gardener come every two weeks, I can slow it down and move it to every month. The veg pots have been emptied and stacked and the logs left over from last year are being brought close to the house ready for the cold weather.

I also got a job!! Sadly, the sewing wasn't giving me enough of a steady income to make it worthwhile, probably because I wasn't able to devote as much time to it as it needed so, the time had come for me to look for gainful employment. It's only part time and it's not ideal but for now, it will do just fine. That is the reason my posts have been a bit sporadic lately but, now I'm getting the hang of this going out to work lark and I'm starting to get into a routine, I will be able to post more often.

Oh, and I actually managed to stand my lovely apple tree back up. After I had removed a gazillion apples from the branches that were weighing them down, I heaved it back into an upright position and stomped the roots back into the ground nice and firmly and re-staked it. Fingers crossed, it will now be ok.

And finally, for my next post, in honour of my new job and what will be my 250th post, I'm going to do a giveaway. I have no idea what it will be yet but it will be open to everyone, wherever in the world you are so ......... watch this space :-)

27 August 2015

Apple Tree Disaster and a Question

The weather has been very wet down here in my part of Cornwall and as a result, the ground is saturated and the water table must be really high because the pond in my field has got plenty of water in it which is very unusual for this time of year. My apple trees this year have been really heavy with fruit and I now realise that I should have done something about it, probably by picking some of the fruit to stop the trees getting damaged.

 Sadly, I was too late and one morning last week, I woke up to see this.

One of my poor apple trees had fallen over in the night. It's a Christmas Pippin tree so the fruit is nowhere near ripe enough to pick and eat as eating apples so I'm hoping to use them as filling for crumbles and pies that I can freeze. I'm sure it will be ok but I'm guessing it might take quite a bit of sugar to make them sweet enough to taste ok.

Today, in between the rain showers, I set about the task of lopping off the branches and taking all but the smallest apples off in readiness for a day of apple peeling and stewing tomorrow. I'm certain it's the wrong time of year to prune apple trees but I want to try and save the tree by standing it back up, firming down the roots and re-staking it ..... the stake that was there has snapped in two. 

It was a pretty hazardous task though, taking the apples off the tree, because I have recently discovered a wasp's nest in the low dry stone wall which is the boundary to my property and it seemed as if every one of the little buggers was feasting on the rotting, fermenting apples that have dropped off the tree. There were drunken, angry wasps everywhere and although I'm not allergic to wasp stings, I was tested at the hospital when I had my first bout of spontaneous urticaria, I don't want to push my luck and get stung just in case. 

This is my other apple tree, variety "Katy", which is also heavy with fruit but happily, just about, still standing 

So, my question to you all ......... now that I have a couple of big trays of apples, what am I going to do with them? Does anyone have any good apple recipes, other than pies and crumbles? I don't want to waste the apples but there are only so many apple crumbles a girl can eat!