Autumn is my favourite time of year. Absolutely nothing compares to it!
Winter is beautiful, but can cause many issues with eczema and the central heating being on.
Spring is the start of hay fever season, and Callum sneezes and has streaming eyes constantly.
Summer brings the hot temperatures and sore, dry, itchy skin, more hay fever, and also increased issues with asthma.
Autumn however, still has warm enough temperatures for the days to be enjoyable, sunny enough for the kids to still want to play outside, and the countryside turns into a beautiful picture, as the leaves turn their wonderful shades of red, orange and gold.
You wake up in the morning to mist, and as the sun burns through, the days become glorious.
The fruit and veg that you've been cultivating all summer become ripe and ready to eat, and quite scrummy! (a cheeky greengage off a tree, or a plum, or a newly ripe late tomato - yummy!!)
And on top of that, you get the extra fruit, the stuff that mother nature nurtures and gives back to us as an extra surprise.
Bet you're smiling as you're reading now! :)
So, the best way to keep that smile, is to make some scrummy things with those extra delights! I've been playing around with a recipe for a blackberry cake, which I promise to share another time. Then there's the crumbles, oh the crumbles!
And the stews and casseroles. You know the ones, where you can put them in the slow cooker at the start of the day, with all the root vegetables in season, and come home to a house smelling simply amazing!
Yep autumn is fab!!
A recipe which is a huge hit in our house, is simple blackberry jam. It's so quick and easy to do, and it tastes soooo good!
This recipe will make around 6-7 jars.
You will need:
- around 900g fresh blackberries (washed!)
- 1kg jam sugar with added pectin
- a tablespoon of dairy-free spread (I find the stork bar is the best)
Add the blackberries to a large saucepan, and crush with a masher (or blend until smooth) - depending on how smooth you like your jam!
Add the jam sugar and cook over a gentle heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Stir continuously to ensure the jam doesn't stick or burn. (Do not allow the jam to boil!)
Add the tablespoon of dairy-free butter and stir in until dissolved
Increase the heat, and stir continuously, until the jam is boiling itself into a roll (it will roll and bubble and can't be stirred down!)
At this point, boil for 4 minutes.
After the 4 minutes is up, remove from the heat and then pour carefully into warm sterilised jars.
Cover, label and leave to set!
(This jam is wonderful on toast, in cakes, on pancakes or even stirred into porridge!)
NB: Try it and let me know what you think, I promise you'll never buy shop bought again!