Margot tries the good life - embracing the changing of the season


- Credit: Archant

As the lambs make their final journey and the apples ripen for scrumping, Margot is embracing the changing of the season

The smell of autumn is definitely in the air. Didn’t take long, did it, dear Reader? Gone are the longer days, deckchairs and paddling pool, and it’s hello to anoraks, wellington boots and switching on the heating!

Desperately clinging on to the last days of summer, we did manage to squeeze in a day at the beach before the weather turned - albeit in jumpers and sipping steaming hot chocolate. Nothing says British seaside more than waterproofs and drinking from a thermos mug, at least that’s what Jerry and I convinced the girls anyway!

Still I ought not to complain, I do love the summer but when autumn begins to creep in, I remember how much I adore log fires and cosy evenings with sloe gin. There’s nothing more comforting than seeing little wisps of smoke curling up from chimneys on a late afternoon walk after one of those long Sunday lunches to make you feel like the countryside is all your own.

With the changing of the seasons upon us and Harvest done for another year, our daily watch for the combines and tractors trundling up and down the village lanes proved a winner with our two little wannabe farmers. It is definitely a real reminder of how much hard work goes into putting our food on the table. I could have kissed all the tractor drivers who’ve waved and honked their horns for a massively excited two year old Poppy, who dreams of owning her own tractor one day.

Pretty soon, the ladies in the village will be making industrial sized shepherd’s pies and apple crumbles ready for our Harvest lunch – possibly the best date in the village calendar. A bit of scrumping is on the agenda for us too. After the success of Jerry’s homebrewed ale, we thought we might take up a lovely offer of filling baskets full of apples from our neighbours’ orchard. With the trees groaning just a stone’s throw from our garden gate, I’ve got my wicker apple picker ready and waiting for apple D-day to go and pick plenty of fruit ready for pies, jellies, crumbles and more importantly, cider; the perfect accompaniment to a lamb pasty made from our very own stock. I’m afraid, dear Reader that by the time the cider will be ready for drinking; our lambs will have made their final journey. It will be a sad day but we are all resigned to their fate now and look forward to trying our first morsels of meat from Margot and Jerry HQ.

Local produce has been uppermost in my mind this month, and not just from our little corner of Hampshire! I’ve been playing a bit at mystery shopping as I gear up for judging the much coveted title of Best Farm Shop in the Hampshire Life Food and Drinks Awards. It’s wonderful to see how much is on offer in local farm shops these days, and even better that so many Hampshire food lovers are out in force choosing to do their weekly shops in these fantastic foodie paradises. I can’t wait to view the final shortlist and see all the foodie meccas you rave about in your neck of the woods, dear Reader. From what I’ve seen so far, it will be a tough category to judge indeed.

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