in my kitchen – October

Welcome to my kitchen, joining Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial once again.

In my kitchen … blackberries and apples. The recent rain has meant that ripe blackberries are quickly going squidgy, resulting in some spectacularly purple hands by the end of a picking session, but we still have plenty of unripe blackberries around here. Michaelmas Day on 29th September is the day that the devil spits on blackberries, if you believe in such things, but Old Michaelmas Day* is nearer the mark for a final picking for us. We’ve had blackberries in cakes, blackberry & apple betty, crumble and pies …

… and blackberry and apple steamed pudding, smothered in custard because it’s wet and miserable today.

In my kitchen … sourdough bread. Successful, risen, light and tasty sourdough bread. I’ve been making sourdough bread for a few years but it’s been very hit and miss. Apart from my sourdough fruit buns, most of it has been more miss than hit. Dense, heavy loaves that haven’t baked properly or loaves so full of holes that there was nowhere to spread the butter have been my sourdough trademark. I forget to feed the starter, baulk at throwing away perfectly good starter as instructed and finally throw it into a bag and leave it in the freezer. Clearing out the freezer recently I found a bag labelled 2010 sourdough starter and thought I’d reactivate it. I remembered to feed it, instead of throwing away the surplus starter I used it to make cheese and sweetcorn pancakes and perhaps most crucially, followed a different recipe to normal. Things looked promising when I came down one morning to find the starter had pushed the lid off the container and dripped down the side of the kitchen cupboard to form a pool on the floor and indeed the bread turned out particularly well. The starter is still bubbling away so maybe I’ll persevere this time.

In my kitchen … raspberries. Yes, we’re still picking raspberries though the rain today may finish them off. I’ve been mixing the raspberries with apples and blackberries and quite frankly am running out of ideas and enthusiasm for dealing with them. These little lemony raspberry buns work well with blackberries too and using granulated sugar for the icing gives them a crunchy topping.

In my kitchen … a hand made cupboard. This tiny cupboard was made by my sister and nephew from recycled bits and pieces and inside it is my nutmeg grater and the last couple of nutmegs brought back from holiday years ago.

It’s difficult to believe that the little boy who daubed his initials on the back was the same young man whose 21st birthday party we went to last week. Where did those years go?

Through the window … the garden on an overcast day. the sweetpeas are still flowering, the runner bean canes are on the lean, the leeks are growing strongly and the artichokes in the back corner are enormous. Does anyone know when we should harvest Jerusalem artichokes? The leaves on the trees are just beginning to change colour and the window is firmly shut. I must learn that before taking photos, I should do the weeding and clean the window.

What’s happening in your kitchen this month? Why not join in with  Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

*Old Michaelmas Day is 10th October. It’s all to do with Great Britain switching from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar in 1752, when eleven days were lost as 3rd September became 14th September.

15 thoughts on “in my kitchen – October

  1. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial says:

    Anne, I’m always excited when you post an IMK, as I know I’m going to look out over your garden from the kitchen window. It’s like watching a monthly diary of your garden beds. Your windows look perfectly clean to me (who cleans windows these days anyway?), and I love your old stone walls too.

    The recycled cupboard is beautiful, your steamed pud made me moan out loud, and your SD loaves are magnificent – can’t understand why you wouldn’t be happy with them? I have never had any luck with freezing sourdough – it always dies on me. But a friend told me recently (I think it was Jane at Shady Baker?) that chickens love old sourdough starter, so if you have surplus, maybe you can feed it to them? We use our excess to make pancakes! 🙂

    Thanks for playing! xx


    • Anne @GtSlamseysFarm says:

      It was Jane at Shady Baker who inspired me to make cheese and sweetcorn pancakes with the old starter. The dog was reluctant to clean the overflowed starter from the floor (and we all know what disgusting things dogs will eat) but maybe the chooks will be less fussy.


  2. Jane @ Shady Baker says:

    Hello Anne. Once again your kitchen looks like a happy place to be! I agree with Celia…that pudding is magnificent! Also agreeing with Celia on your SD, it looks beautiful. I am always so excited to see fellow bloggers having SD success! Your raspberry buns looks delicious too.

    Your kitchen window is always lovely. I think I say every time you post a photo of it…it looks like a postcard 🙂 Thanks for sharing.


  3. Glenda says:

    Hi Anne, Yes, I agree, those loaves look great, well done. I also love your shot through your window. It was that shot that first caught my eye on your blog. I thought, ‘How English!’


  4. Thomasina Tittlemouse says:

    I love this – blackberry heaven clearly in your house! And those cakes with raspberry centres … but my favourite thing of all in your kitchen this month is that cupboard – what a wonderful feature for your kitchen. I love the commentary inside too. Am going to suggest something similar to H as a little half term project – is the flattened baked bean tin tacked to the door? I think it’s just delightful and the fact that it’s made out of recycled materials just adds to its charm. Going to have a little raid of D’s workshop before he gets home to see what raw materials I can snaffle to one side although he usually detects I have been rootling around for a screwdriver or hammer or whatever! E x


  5. Thomasina Tittlemouse says:

    PS Meant to add that your sourdough loaves look absolutely splendid – I have experimented with making my own sourdough starter form scratch and found it was great and the flavour got better and better as the months went by but I didn’t want only sourdough bread and if you don’t keep on using the starter it’s rather wasteful keeping on feeding it and throwing out part of it. A conundrum! E x


  6. bizzylizzycooks says:

    I, too, love seeing the view from your kitchen window! Thank you for taking us to your part of the world in such a beautiful way. Your pudding looks delicious! Apples and blackberries are such a lovely combination. And your bread…. wow!


  7. knitsofacto says:

    Now where was I … ah yes … I think Old Michaelmas Day is always the better guide. I’m off out tomorrow in hopes of picking enough blackberries for a last batch of jelly.

    That view from your kitchen window is wonderful, never mind the weeds!


  8. heidiannie says:

    I’m enchanted by the blackberries and the Michaelmas Day history. What happens to the blackberries when the Devil spits on them, I wonder?
    I love your window garden shots as well, and the SD is beautiful- I’m a bit slapdash with my starter as well- though it responds well to a good feeding!
    Thanks for sharing- I always enjoy your kitchen- and I LOVE your tiny nutmeg cupboard!


  9. sophiezest says:

    Lovely post and the sourdough looks magnificent! Like you, I am always sceptical about throwing away part of the starter. If only I had a pig in the back garden. Surely a pig would eat sourdough starter, but the spaniel probably won’t.


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