The first step to wood smoke, mists and blankets

In total denial, but it’s too difficult to keep up the fight and finally am beginning the embrace. Checked blankets, wood fires and lovely woody colours lit up by dashes of bright.  It’s so beautiful. The garden needs a lot of work, and one of these days am going to put a fat line through the week and go no where but there, but for the moment it is not yet total grim decay and actually am quite enjoying the relaxed atmosphere…

IN FACT the cosmos are still flowering and the verbena has fanned its knobbly fingers through the fennel and they are clutching each other; holding each other up like a couple of bejewelled old lady’s that had a nice shot of gin before lunch. There is a solitary lupin bud and a few roses looking a bit forlorn but nothing can disguise their pedigree and joy! where it’s still green it is sooo deliciously green. An autumnal bonus.

In between becoming hunched at my drawing board it is essential to unfurl and walk the dog and it feels so good to breathe in deep and march along. Have been eyeing the chestnuts for a bit. Always you get the first load down, puny and small and worthless.. even the squirrels aren’t interested but then they properly arrive, blown down from the top at last by wind and rain, bulging out of their lethal encasements.

Do you even get those men who used to sell them in London on those portable stoves any more? Probably not.

Have you ever tried chestnut soup? It is too delicious for words and completely fits the need vs. the time of year.


Chestnut and Chorizo Soup

Fry onions, celery, carrots and chorizo together in a lovely big pan until they soften and caramelise then add garlic, cumin, thyme and chilli and tomatoes. Add generous amount of stock and water and simmer and after 5 mins, add the chestnuts. Let everything simmer for a while longer or as I do but in a pot and leave in the warming oven. Just give it a rough mix with a potato masher (to keep the texture) before serving with some delicious crusty bread.

If you too are struggling to let go of the summer, then maybe this will help….?