Apple time

How can they escape your notice when they are so big?

How can they escape your notice when they are so big (1.3kg)?

It’s good to make plans, but in life sometimes you just have to respond to the situation. This seems to have been particularly so this year in the garden – our warm winter followed by an early spring and hot July seem to have combined and delivered us to a premature autumn. Currently there are blackberries to pick and apples to harvest. Normally I would not expect to have to deal with bags of cooking apples until September, but mum gave me the first bag from her tree on 10 August and so the great apple processing event is underway, whilst still having to deal with mounds of courgettes/zucchini (I found the one pictured snaking its way under its parent plant out of sight, attaining a weight of more than 1.3kg/2.8lbs before I spotted it). I’m waiting for a sunny day to do some more courgette dehydration.

The first bag of many, I'm sure!

The first bag of many, I’m sure!

Although I know I can do dried apple rings, I love bottled apples and so most of the harvest is likely to be preserved this way… I have loads of Kilner jars, so am able to store litres of the stuff. Over the weekend I made two big pots of courgette and carrot soup, some of which we ate, but most of which went in the freezer for delicious lunches on cold winter days. So preservation is proceeding apace even if it does seem to be happening somewhat earlier than usual. Now I’m expecting a message from Perkin to tell me to come and collect apples from their fantastic tree too. I do love this time of literal fruitfulness!

However, life does throw all sorts of things in our paths and so, whilst I am busying myself with gardening, preserving and cooking, Mr Snail of Happiness is preparing to go and work away from home for at least the next six months. A phone call 10 days ago offered him a big contract with a company he has worked for before that was too good to turn down. As a result, in the past week, we have bought a second car and done a lot of on-line property hunting. We collect the new car tomorrow (a tiny one with very low carbon emissions and fuel consumption and no car tax) and he’s off to view a couple of flats on Thursday. Thus, this winter I will be ‘home alone’ during the week… which may result in much more blogging and crafting. In the mean time, bear with me because we have a lot of packing to do and finding all those things that we stored  after his last contract away from home, more than four years ago.

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17 Comments

  1. Congratulations on the job and hope everything goes well. Our apples are early too. The only thing that is lagging is the sweetcorn. Not sure why, but they are thriving in the rain, just as long as it doesn’t get too cold. 🙂

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    • It has been such an odd year… I don’t think my courgette plants will last much longer, but my runner beans have just produced a huge number of new flowers!

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      • Same here! And the tomatoes are finishing quickly but the peppers have another set of flowers… It is so strange.

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  2. Brace yourself Mrs Snail, it has been the perfect summer for apples and ‘Old Faithful’ is bulging like you’ve never seen before. You may need some more jars! xx

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  3. Congratulations to Mr SoH; I hope you both adjust to the separation. I look forward to more blogging; it has been sadly Snail-less in the WordPress universe recently, but now I understand why!

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    • Of course everything happened all at once – Mr Snail got the offer of the contract the day before the party, whilst we were in Shropshire, then as soon as we were home I had arranged to go away again. Buying a car was relatively painless as we had the money to do it, but Mr Snail is still trying to sort out accommodation because renting a flat at short notice can be quite a challenge! Ah well, everything will have to be organised by 1 September as that’s when he starts work.

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  4. Typical hey, my husband always manages to be working away from home when the garden goes into overdrive. Know what you are going through, as Mr E is on a 6 months contract near Cambridge at the moment. Good luck with everything.

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  5. Our apples, in upstate New York, aren’t quite ready yet but your post gets me excited for the harvest! Good luck with staying ahead of the bounty!

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  6. I just processed apples last weekend! I made jelly and brown sugar/cinnamon apple sauce 🙂

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  7. Congrats on the job and I hope you don’t get too lonely. Those apples and that zucchini look awesome.

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  8. Mmmm you have been busy! And will be for a while by the sounds of everything. There are indeed pros and cons for being a weekly single – the blogging and crafting time being SUCH a ‘pro’!! Our new climate conditions are throwing more spanners into the works – down here we have had a pretty mild and short winter and when we have the spring pre-cursor days they are definitely warmer than usual. I should be doing my spring planting already.

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  9. We have had a very short, mild and dry winter this year. I am loath to hand it over to you actually and would you mind if we kept it for a bit longer? Congratulations to Mr Snail on his new job. I am just reading Ms Pauline’s comment above mine and she is saying words like “pretty mild” and “short winter” when I am SURE that she was complaining only a month ago about how rainy and cold it was and how it felt like she was living in Antarctica last week! Spring planting? Another one?! Why is it that EVERYONE except me knows exactly when to “spring plant” (and “summer, autumn and winter” plant…) I love dried apple rings. Not so fond of preserved fruit but definitely dried fruit is my predilection. Off to hide under the bed with a packet of chockie bickies now that I have thoroughly terrified myself with thoughts of organisation and veggie gardens and planting and just how inept I am at all three…

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