Happy Tuesday all, and brrrr..... are you feeling a bit of a chill where you are? There's a smell of Autumn in the air which I love but it feels a bit too soon for it to arrive. I do love this time of year because it gives me the chance to go foraging for 'Free Food'. I seriously believe it is (wo)man's natural instinct to gather and preserve food for the winter months as soon as the temperature begins to drop. This week I have gathered Blackberries and Cob nuts, along with Elderberries. The blackberries, I have noticed, are not as good quality this year for some reason. There have been a lot of grubs among them too which has been a bit off-putting. But I have begun the process of preserving as for the first time ever I made Chilli Jam. OMG, why have I never done this before? I LOVE chilli jam with a nice chunk of cheddar cheese and freshly baked crusty bread - mmmmm comfort food at it's best. So began the process. I followed Nigella's recipe online and it was so unbelievably simple that I cursed myself for not having made it sooner.
I need to experiment with different chilli's now. These were just standard red chilli's from Morrisons, but I think I need to seek out other types and see what happens. Also this week I have made and bottled crystalised rose petals, and dried other rose petals (they shrink so much!!) for cake decoration. I am also trying to get hold of some damsons, as I used to be pretty adept at making pickled damsons and I have a penchant to do it again. I have also promised my boys that I will make my own tomato ketchup. Oh yes, I am looking forward to the autumn!
However, the coming of autumn does mean saying goodbye to the summer, and that's why there was a tinge of sadness in my heart as I made this piece for the current Midweek Magnolias challenge, which is to decorate a gift bag or box. I chose to make a Pocketful of Memories of Summer 2014:
Here is the project in it's entirety - I think it's really cute and I'm going to go and make a couple of Christmas one's now! My frugality has extended to Christmas cards and I have gotten into the habit of buying mine in the post-Christmas sales, so there will be very few handmade cards from me, but I do intend to make as many gifts myself as possible.
I am sharing this also with Stamp and Create with Magnolia for their For a Teacher challenge as a copy of this and future ones will be given to my colleagues at school.
Enjoy the rest of the week and thank you for stopping by! xxx