I can't believe that this is the last day of September, a month which I love. Where has it gone? It feels as if it has slipped quietly away in the twinkling of an eye. I'm still feeling a bit under the weather after my cold, but the weather itself is wonderful. Since the weekend we've had misty mornings, blue skies, warm, golden days and chilly nights - perfect autumn weather. Last week we had a wonderful day at B's graduation ceremony. It was a very special day indeed, one which I will always remember. The university put on a fantastic ceremony - simultaneously formally academic and full of fun too. The celebrations took place in huge marquees and the surroundings were fantastic - champagne and canapes combined with glorious sea views. B was so happy and I was a very proud mum.
Once we were home again, it was time to cook the wonderful quinces which my colleague had given me.
I peeled, cored and chopped them.
Then put them into a preserving pan.
I then cooked them in water until they were soft, mashed them with a potato masher and strained them through a jelly straining bag.
I put the strained liquid back in the pan with equal amounts of sugar and boiled it for about 15 minutes till it was set.
I potted up the jelly ...
... and when it was cool admired its rose-gold colour.
Here it is with the late-afternoon sun behind it - I just love the amber colour. It's delicious on scones and brioche rolls, an appley flavour tinged with pineapple or rose, quite subtle and fragrant.
Outside, the garden is still producing blackberries and raspberries, although the rate is slowing now.
I picked the last of the apples this week and gathered the windfalls (I love that word!).
Our tree has never produced so many apples, and I think the poor thing needs a rest. In Keats' words it truly is 'bent with apples'.
I cored some and filled them with mincemeat, then baked them for an hour in a hot oven.
Here they are once cooked. I served them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but they were eaten so fast I didn't have time to photograph them looking artistic in a bowl!
Finally there have been some wonderfully colourful sunsets ...