Monday, 1 October 2012

Slow Living 2012 - September

I remember getting all excited for the start of Autumn in my last Slow Living post. As I type this, the wind is whipping the the trees and hedges into a proper Autumn day. There are still plenty of blackberries and enough haws and rosehips as to lend the hedgerows a reddish tint as you drive by. I've been continuing to try live a slower life, along with plenty of other people you can find on Christine's blog, Slow Living Essentials.


The cake tins here at The Hookery have been as full as they usually are. As I type, there's a batch of banana and peanut butter buns cooling on the side. A good number have already been sampled. Quality control is so important, don't you think?

Thinking back, I do seem to have gotten through a lot of risotto rice this month too - I put it down to the cooler weather.  I think a stew could be in the offing in the coming days too.


I don't usually have anything for this heading. I barely have space to accommodate the day-to-day necessities, so there's not much option for stockpiling. With the hedgerows so full of free food though, it felt a bit rude not to gather my bodyweight in blackberries. Having eaten more than was probably good for me, I had a crack at apple and blackberry jam. The aforementioned problems with storage space meant making it in a saucepan though. Not quite the success it should have been.

Post-jam horror
Better luck was had with rosehip syrup and green tomato chutney. I am already running out of both!


I started the month with a rash of DIY-ing. A set of shelves which I really didn't like was turned into a set of shelves and a planter which I do like. I am ridiculously proud of having cobbled together something useful out of something that I secretly wanted to throw out but couldn't justify so doing. There was also the hotel-shower-cap-bowl-cover, the stocking-jelly-bag and the milk-carton-jam-funnel. It's been a good month for reusing and repurposing.

A milk carton with the bottom and top cut off. Surprisingly useful.

I'm still using homemade rosemary hair rinse instead of commercial conditioner, white vinegar instead of fabric softener and the post-jam saucepan was rescued with a sprinkling of bic. soda and a dash of elbow grease.  I am just about out of washing powder, so I'm on the hunt for a recipe for a homemade alternative. More about that next month I guess.


I sowed a late batch of spinach and rocket earlier and rather than thin out the seedlings, I've let them grow just big enough to eat.  I am now thinning them out by adding baby leaves to sandwiches, salads and risottos. The borage plant has gone berserk and every sandwich now has a little floral garnish. Long may that continue!

The recalcitrant tomato plant was stripped of it's lazy green fruit and chutneyed. Let that be a lesson to it. Possibly as a result of rumours heard from the back garden, the strawberry plant at the front has started to put fruit on again. This has never happened before. I'll have to have a chat with it and see what's going on.

I need to eat more spinach!

In preparation for Spring, bulbs have been buried and seeds have been sown. I think I have about 25 daffodil bulbs left to find homes for though. I haven't got a clue where those will end up.  Anyone want a daffodil?


It feels like it's been a month of sewing in ends. I rounded up a few blankets that are in various stages of half-done-ness with a view to finishing them off and using them over the Winter. I think I'll manage it for two out of the three. I've ordered enough yarn (I hope) to take on holiday with me in a couple of weeks' time. Fingers crossed I'll finish one of them then.

Christmas crochet has been bubbling away gently in the background for a while here, but now I'm starting to pull everything together and see what still needs to be done (not much) and listed (just about everything). I also finished a cushion cover which has been on the go for a couple of years!

And, I finally wrote up a pattern for some of the chunky yarn I have in the shop. It was sweltering on the day I made the twisted tweble scarf, but I could quite easily wear it today and feel nice and snug. And smug.


I feel like I have been reading chutney recipes all month. Also, advice on post-jam pan-cleaning. I have also been mooning over the September issue of Country Living Magazine, but nothing new there. The upshot of all this is that I look at all veg with a view to simmering it with vinegar, sugar and spices and keep a healthy stock of bic. soda in the cupboard.  Can anyone recommend a good chutney book? There seem to be so many to choose from.


It's been a quiet month here really. But I like quiet. Next month will be busy with work and although there's a holiday in there too to look forward to, I'll be trying to cram twice as much into the day job to accommodate the week off. A quiet September has been wholly enjoyable.

How was your September?


  1. Your posts are always so funny. :-)

    I really like the color repeat in your wavy blanket.

  2. I really enjoyed this post. I love all the things you are growing and preserving. Great month!