Season of Mists etc etc.....

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 22 October 2019

This autumn smells sweet. I collected a pile of fallen chestnuts, put them in my pocket till I got home, then sliced a cross in them and bunged em in the oven. The smell of Christmas wafted through the house.

There are fields behind our cottage, a walk down the hill and turn right and you could think you were in France. The fields have been dug over, watery tracks in the dark, brown earth. The dog runs for her life. Sliding to a halt, making sure we're there, and off she goes again. As I write there's an owl hooting down by the wood.

There was a mechanical lift in the avenue, and the farmer lopping high branches off one of the Beech trees. His farm manager, always wearing a cap, his head always bent to the right, was standing grabbing the branches as they crashed down. On the way back from the walk they were sitting in the front of the farmers van drinking tea from thermos cups and having a chat.

The farmer comes from an extremely wealthy family his farm-hand doesn't. They live next door to each other in an extended, renovated farm house. The farmer has chickens, and two children who are now grown. Both sent off to boarding school as their dad ploughs the fields and scatters the good seed on the land. The chickens recognise us and we feed them artisan bread when we remember. They have a good life until they dont when they end up on the farmhouse kitchen table.

When we moved here the farmer - he was new to it then - put a padlock on the kissing gate leading to a pond with ducks. I wrote a stiff letter to the council saying it was on common land and I hadn't moved from the East End of London to find myself hemmed in. The padlock was removed, so now we can slide through the kissing gate and listen to the woodpeckers.

The dog is 21 weeks old, when she jumps on a body it hurts. She is heavy. She has her second puppy training class this Thursday, her sister attends as does a black Labrador and a Cocker Spaniel. Suki Sioux is noisy and undisciplined but we were reassured that she would learn. She'd better otherwise she'll be cited as the reason for our impending divorce.

I made an Ayurvedic soup today, with turmeric, rice, mung beans, carrots and two green beans from the garden. Cooked in ghee and cumin and coriander it tastes rather good and is perfect for autumn. I've gone off sugar and flour so The 'Great British Bake Off' is unadulterated food porn. The dog will lie chewing a chew, the old git will stoke the stove, and I'll sit drooling in front of the telly box waiting for the technical challenge.

I'm on the radio all next week so this week is all about watching the news - PLEASE GOD SPARE ME - and practicing being impartial.

Tomorrow I will go for another walk, collect some more chestnuts, and reheat my Mand soup. In 64 days time we will be sitting down for our Christmas dinner, this year its vegan for our guests, and turkey free as a tribute to our neighbouring chickens and as a protest against President Tayyip Erdogan.

Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes

Comments

1. At October 29, 2019 2:47 PM Joe wrote:

Totally awesome!
My world is back to normal again!
You’re back on the radio and you’re blogs are of the ‘avenue’!
Thank you Mrs Jeni Barnett.

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