The summer is fading fast... it's getting colder and the hens are off to bed at 7pm!
They don't seem to lay less in the winter than in the summer in spite of what the text books say, so it's hard to believe that there was a time when eggs were seasonal... but apparently there was.
I recently came across a recipe for storing eggs (!) which involves setting them at a very gentle simmer (water barely trembling) with some onion skins for a whole 6 hours. After which you shine up the shells with olive oil or fat and then store them away in the dark. Apparently they will keep for up to 40 years!! I freeze mine if I have too many. Oh yes, you can freeze eggs. You crack them into freezer bags (I do them in two's or threes as these are good quantities for recipes) and pierce the yolks with a skewer. Then pop them into the freezer. Of course they are only useful for cakes or scrambled once defrosted....
I have managed to store some produce from the garden this year. I made a lot of 'green soup' from my courgettes and froze it ready for the deep dark days ahead. I also have some pickled vegetables and some bottles of spiced pears in cider as well as a large jar of chutney put by along with some blackberry jam.
On the way back from France we made a rest stop and I discovered a long hedge of the most beautiful ripe rosehips. I, of course, could not resist picking them.
When we got home I decided to make syrup but somewhere along the line I got distracted and what I ended up with is a very very thick syrupy, gloopy - honey like substance that tastes of rosehips...
....it's fab on my porridge in the morning so I have labelled it Rosehip Honey and popped a jar away in the back of the cupboard. Not sure how long it will last but we shall see.
It's always a little sad to see the end of summer... even though I love autumn for it's colours. There is always that one last beautiful day of warm sunshine and birdsong and you want to just capture it and keep it forever but you know that it would be wrong and you have to let it go.
This year that feeling is more poignant for us. Our lovely, 14 year old cat Bella, has been diagnosed with an inoperable tumour. At the moment, although she is very thin, she is not in any discomfort. She has a few weeks at most... we hope the last of the summer sun continues a while yet as she can be found during the day in her favourite spot - the carpet that covers the compost heap, and even though the leaves of the apple tree are falling around and on top of her she seems quite happy sleeping or watching the goings on in the garden.