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The Autumn Break


After a week of rain and more to come, the autumn break has officially arrived.  Weeks of handwringing end as empty dams start to fill, muddy puddles replace dusty roads and the river flats start to flood.   Our summers are pretty dry here, and it's not until the autumn break arrives, that is to say weeks of rainy weather in autumn, that we all breath a sigh of relief.

Outside the air is damp, tinged with the scent of woodsmoke. Mushrooms emerge under the birch trees where the odd stubborn golden leaf clings to the almost bare branches.  The mist seems to permanently settle in the nooks and crannies of the hills and forests.









Things may be slowing down outside, but inside the wood stove is on overdrive as we preserve what's left of the autumn harvest.  Every surface in the kitchen is cluttered with trays of quinces, bowls of hazelnuts, pumpkins and wild pears. Medlars ripen in boxes and green tomatoes reluctantly turn red on the windowsill.  Garlic bulbs, stored in a basket under the sink, optimistically start to sprout green shoots, reminding me to get those cloves planted in the garden now.   

There are pastes drying in the warming oven, pear or apple or damson.  While the cupboards groan with the weight of jars filled with pickles, jam and sloe gin.  It's a time of abundance coupled with cosiness, of hearty stews, damson puddings and roast lamb on Sundays.  The days are shorter, the nights are longer and winter's closing in. I start to worry if we have enough firewood.

But for now, favourite holey jumpers are on and so is the kettle.  And that's the autumn break. 




16 comments:

  1. It sounds wonderful Michelle. The rain has yet to land in Perth yet. We had a little whisper of it last month but not good soaking rain, the rain to wash away Summer & all her dust. Fingers crossed soon.

    x

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    1. Fingers crossed the rains come soon! x

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  2. God I love where you live.

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  3. Gorgeous Michelle..thank you for your inspirational posts x

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  4. Melissa Louise13 May 2015 at 18:17

    Oh your kitchen is so lovely! As are your words xo

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  5. Who has time to do all of this while you launch a book!

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  6. My pantry is filled to the brim with kraut, and fermented veggies and jams and so much goodness that I have no choice but to smile at my immense luck at life. Beautiful post, this season is just my favourite. Woolen jumpers, tea, hot meals and cosy cuddles. Good things. xx

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  7. Are they medlars in your pictures? What do you do with them? We have a tree and I am not sure what to do. I was also given a bag of persimmons by someone as I walked past their house. They were gathering bags of them to give away. I am not to sure what to do with these either (can only find suggestions of muffins on the internet...) Any inspiration is much appreciated!

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    1. try Sally Wise'Year in a Bottle recipe for persimmon jam ... its called Sunshine jam in our house an we all LOVE it!

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    2. Thank you! I even have the book - I didn't think to look there. Also found a recipe there for a bag of persimmons I was given the other week. :)

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  8. Such beautiful words and images. Autumn is my favourite season, and while I'm enjoying the spring-like changes in the UK at the moment, this post does make me long for mushrooms and brightly-coloured leaves and roaring fires.

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  9. Such beautiful words and images. Autumn is my favourite season, and while I'm enjoying the spring-like changes in the UK at the moment, this post does make me long for mushrooms and brightly-coloured leaves and roaring fires.

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  10. I brought a copy of your book yesterday and I'm really enjoying it! ALMOST makes me want to leave gorgeous NZ for Tassie.....I have to ask did you solve the egg conundrum?

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  11. Medlars! I'm not sure how but before today I'd never heard of them and now, this is the second post I've seen them mentioned in half an hour.
    I adore Autumn in all of it's shapes and forms, (especially a wood smoke scented one.)

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