Autumn Fruits

It’s been a chilly day today, the first day I’ve put gloves on when walking the dogs so it seemed a good day to make warm autumnal food for tea. Potatoes, broccoli and cheese baked slowly in the Everhot and while that was cooking I made a crumble version of Foragers’ pie. I had a couple of windfall apples, some damson pulp left from making damson jelly, a few elderberries and brambles picked on the lane near school this afternoon and some blackcurrant juice in place of sugar to sweeten the fruit, topped with crumble mixture and baked for 20 minutes. It was delicious. The apple cores and peels went into the pot with the remaining windfall apples to make some clear apple jelly tomorrow. Making jelly means that I will have some apple pulp to freeze for apple sauce … I do like how the fruit just keeps on providing new possibilities.

On the drive home from school I had to wait behind a police car while the driver was supervising the removal of a fallen tree from the road, I think I may have become slightly obsessed by jam making though as my first thought was to wonder if it was one of the plum trees (it wasn’t) and if so would there be plums all over the road too!

Talking of school, I was working with the youngest children today, the four year olds who only started school last week. They were drawing their favourite animals on the computer and I was typing their descriptions of the animals to be displayed with their pictures. After a few fairly predictable pictures of dogs, cats and rabbits etc doing fairly predictable things I began working with a small boy who told me he was drawing a lion digging up the road with a drill. When he finished his drawing I asked if that was what he wanted me to write and he replied “Oh no, he’s finished that now…he’s doing nothing, he’s having a rest.” He thought for a minute and then said “I wish I could have a rest now, I’ve been working all day.” Some of the children are so small, they still look like toddlers and by mid afternoon they do look tired. When I first started school I remember that we used to have a sleep after lunch, there were little pull-out beds in the first class and we would have to lie quietly for half an hour then we listened to a story before starting the afternoon activities. I suppose the pressure to teach children more is much greater now but I do think these little ones would benefit from an afternoon rest in their first year at school.

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