Autumn appetite

26 Sep

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness… wow is autumn delivering this year. Spent idyllic weekend picking blackberries, harvesting apples and collecting pears from the trees: followed by some v therapeutic cooking. Blackberry and apple – must be healthy, no? – despite good slug of sugar… and then I made the most amazing apples scones from the National Trust cookbook. They are called Erddig Apple Scones, from Wales. I picked the cookbook up for £10 the other day, a treasure trove of chocolate puds, teabreads and these suprisingly light, fruity scones). Bascially, you make a normal scone mix – rubbing the flour and butter together to make breadcrumbs, but instead of binding it all with milk you add a pound of grated Bramleys which holds it together beautifully. The upshot is you can almost kid yourself that scoffing them down with cream and raspberry jam is healthy… well they are half cooking apple…

Always seems that we all eat far more when we are in the country for the weekend than in London. The capital has its own rules, and most of the time when we are all here we are so damn busy zooming around seeing people, schlepping between gym and violin, ballet and school that eating doesn’t get thought about that much. But down in the bucolic zone, surrounded by autumn’s bounty, it’s jolly hard not to embark on some serious cooking and subsequent gorging –  it’s the weekend, so it’s time for treats. But whereas adults, if they’ve had a mighty lunch, might pass on supper altogether, the kids are still hungry… (as is the husband)… never fail to be amazed by how they can go on putting it away when I can’t eat a thing…
It’s funny how cooking, providing, the soothing smells of baking scones or cake, simmering fruit puree make me feel comfortably domestic and at peace, but at the same time I worry that associating such bliss with the consumption of cake, of cream tea etc is not exactly a good model for my girls. Then I reckon, sod it, life is for living… who knows how long we’ll all be here anyway and it’s important to gather ye rosebuds while ye may… life’s too short for constant hair-shirting. And anyway, it’s important for children to realise that food comes from a natural cycle, that autumn is a time of plenty, when we can live from the garden and eat like kings. Unfortunately in the modern world, with the supermarket beckoning down the road, we don’t get the accompanying famine. Always the two distinct pulls, in opposite directions.
If you fancy reading more of my musings on the National Trust, particularly their brilliant punk collection Never Mind the DoveCotes – and how becoming a member of said cult is like the definition of being Middle Class, check out my column  (sorry, it’s on the Sunday Times website which means if you aren’t a subscriber you might have to pay…)

One Response to “Autumn appetite”

  1. claire at crumbs September 29, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    Oh I do love a scone! I think the most telling sentence in your post is the feast/famine scenario – we always have feast and it’s so difficult to inflict famine on yourself, as the temptation to over-eat is continually present. At least with blackberry and apples it does feel a little bit healthy!

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