I love autumn.
There’s a desperation to it – desperately hanging on to the last of the summer day, the last BBQ, the last late night in the garden around the fire. But there’s no denying the wonderfulness of the season of autumn – the changing colours in the leaves falling off the trees, the last fields being harvested, the birds migrating to anywhere warmer than here, the fading daylight getting less and less each evening, the decision to turn the heating on – surely the most monumental decision of all: the one that declares ‘summer is over’.
The best thing about autumn must be the fruits that are suddenly, plentifully available. Plums, apples, pears, raspberries, wild brambles, elderberries, rosehips – and, if you’re really lucky – sloe berries. I have very kind neighbours who gave me their plum glut and I made plum chutney and also several chocolate & plum cakes. I have a lovely customer who gave me kilos of rasperberries – large, delicious and so tasty (the raspberries, I mean). I’ve made jam, cakes and raspberry gin from them. (Can’t wait for the last one to be ready to drink!!)
Every day when I walk home from work I see more and more brambles and elderberries, all ripe and ready to be picked and made into something delicious. My freezer is bursting with all the goodies that nature has provided, mostly without me noticing. And the gin bottles are all quietly maturing in the cupboard, turning something ordinary into the extraordinary.