Autumn perspectives

I love summer, but Autumn is definitely my best season and I remember that every year when the weather changes and life settles into the comfortable groove of September. We still have a decent amount of daylight for now, the weather is generally pretty good (with some heavy, but very welcome rain), but the “too hot to eat” phase is well behind us. Batch cooking and comfort food are back on the menu, which is good for time, morale and the wallet.

My first gift of the season was a bag of bramley apples from a friend’s tree. She’s got a big tree and always has a glut at this time of year, which is brilliant for me. Fruit crumble is usually their destination here, cooked in the bottom of the oven while dinner is in the top.

There was a period of time right after we got married where we lived on yellow stickers and couldn’t afford to turn the heating on. It was a really tough few years, but it taught me a lot of lessons. I’m very, very appreciative that I don’t live with food insecurity any more, but I’ve still felt the prices ratcheting up over the last year. It’s an excellent time for a reset for us. Eating down the pantry/freezer, meal planning in earnest, and stopping that food wastage that’s slid in slowly over time.

The bramleys were boosted by a couple of pink lady apples with the bruises chopped out, and a punnet of blueberries that were too tart for eating “naked”. The result was a gloriously purple swirled crumble, and it’s been voted even better than rhubarb and strawberry, which is brilliant.

A head of starting to go yellow broccoli (that would have been completely rejected as a side dish), a few potatoes, an onion that had seen better days and some stock from the freezer were turned into a really delicious soup. We’ve eaten about half, and the rest is about to go in the freezer for next week.

The recipe is really straightforward.

Chop 1 onion and sweat it in a little oil. Dice 600g of potatoes into 2cm cubes – I used maris Piper this time. Add to the pot along with a minced clove of garlic. Give it a couple of minutes for the garlic to start cooking, then add about a litre of light chicken stock.

Separate a 350-ish gram head of broccoli into stems and florets. Dice up the stems and add to the pot. After about 10 minutes, check the potatoes. If they’re starting to get tender, add the florets and cook for another 5 minutes.Remove from heat, season lightly, blend til smooth, adjust seasoning. Delicious with some croutons and a good sprinkle of parmesan type cheese.

The fruit and veg drawers are looking a lot emptier after all of that as well!

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