October Octet

1 ~ October Roses
There are still roses to be picked. In fact there are more roses in October than there were throughout summer.

2 ~ Katies' Baked Apples (no photo, sorry).
 I asked Katie to  make baked apples for pudding last week. She loves using the apple corer but she took ages to core them and shrieked when the cores shot across the kitchen, and I kept thinking 'I could have had them finished and in the oven by now'. They were delicious though. Here's how she made them (without all the messing around);

Core one Bramley apple per person. Score it horizontally around the middle to stop it bursting.
Place in an oven-proof dish.
Fill the cavity of each apple with a mixture of raisins, sultanas and flaked almonds.
Drizzle a tablespoon of golden syrup over each apple allowing most of it the go into the fruit-filled middle.
Put a lump of butter ( a heaped teaspoon size) on top of each apple.
Pour a little water into the dish -to a depth of about half a centimetre.
Bake for 40 minutes at 180°c (160°c fan oven) until the apples are soft and collapsing.
Enjoy hot or cold, with or without cream.

Fillings can be varied -use brown sugar mixed with the fruit instead of syrup, use honey, maple syrup or a fruit jelly (quince jelly springs to mind) instead of golden syrup, use other dried fruit, other nuts, no nuts, chunks of marzipan, mincemeat, add calvados, brandy, rum....you get the idea.

3 ~ Autumn Fool (second picture)
I cooked blackberries, quince and apples together with a very little water until soft. I rubbed everything through a sieve, added sugar. I folded the purée into whipped cream.

4 ~ Apple Pie Spice
I made a jar of  this substituting the ground cardamom for ground cloves. I had no cardamom and I love cloves with apples. Next time Katie makes baked apples I shall suggest she adds a pinch to each apple.

5 ~ Job Seeking
George has applied for a job as a maintenance assistant at the cathedral 'working at height'. Sounds interesting and alarming. But if past experience is anything to go by his CV will be unacknowledged. He wishes now that he'd taken up his university place.

6 ~ Geology
This man is giving a talk to Tom's A level geology class today. I think meeting an enthusiastic expert can make all the difference to how a young person sees their future career.

7 ~ Knitting
I've downloaded this pattern and ordered some grey Malabrigo Worsted and I am itching to get started even though it means working from a chart and blocking with wires neither of which I have done before.

8 ~ Quinces
There are still lots on the tree. I continue to pick and use a few here and there but there's no way I can use all of them, and to be honest I'm all quinced out.


  1. Love the use of the word "Quinced"!! Very descriptive. I haven't had a baked apple for I don't know how long, I like the idea of chunks of marzipan in the middles, that sounds great. A lovely octet Sue! xx

  2. Hi Sue. Love the look of the knitting pattern so look forward to updates. Also love the sound of the jar of spice & have added to my list on Pinterest. x

  3. Anonymous5:32 pm BST

    I love the ideas for baking apples. Had to chuckle at the time issue. So it is with DS. It takes so long for him to prepare things, we have turned it into a joke. It does take loads of patience to cook with one's child, but in the end, it's the best way to pass on skills and encouragement. I think about how I totally avoided cooking with my mother (who was quite the cook in her day) because I couldn't bear the inevitable criticism. Thus, I never learned any cooking skills from her. One day Katie will love you for your patience. "Fool" looks good, too. I wondered if you could dry quince, googled it, and found The Shops at Monticello have a delightful flower bouquet with dried quince.

  4. I'm baking my way through a bag of windfalls - but the flling of choice is walnuts/raisins/maple syrup. And there's got to be cream.

  5. I wish I'd had more patience with my kids when cooking and cleaning with them. They are sadly lacking in skills now. That wrap looks gorgeous. But, gosh. Charts and blocking wires! You have far more courage as a beginning knitter than I have. I hope you share how it goes. I'll be very interested.

  6. What a lovely and autumnal collection of things and thoughts. I like the sound of the fruit fool, and the baked apples. The only time I ever baked apples it was a disaster. I must have another go. x

  7. Now there's something I never thought I'd hear... You, all quinced out...
    I need autumn fool. Now.


  8. I bake with my daughters, who are younger than yours and not allowed to use the corer. The drill is that they choose the initial concept and the ingredients, I guide them on quantities, and we all hope for the best.

  9. Anonymous9:14 pm BST

    You could always try and Freecycle your quinces - someone local to us did and I thought is was a great idea

    1. Good idea, thanks.

    2. Following your advice I did freecycle my remaining quinces (all but the out of reach ones) and they were taken immediately. Thank you!

  10. ah I see you used a sieve, I was going to email you to ask if you use/would recommend a mouli, but now I guess not.........

    1. A sieve is quite hard work, I've never used a mouli but it might be easier.

    2. I discovered that it is much easier to push things through a sieve with my pestle than a wooden spoon.

  11. Could you leave your spare quinces in bags on your garden wall? Around here people do that with their apples sometimes, and it's such a treat to have some free, locally grown fruit. It might not work if you live in a cul-de-sac though - maybe a friend who's on a main road could do it if your street's too quiet. The knitting project looks great. I'm trying to find something I want to make at the moment. Blocking with wires is beyond me though, I need simple.

  12. I'm feeling for George. It's rough out there.

    Your wrap pattern is one I've had my eye on, but must finish the neverending cardigan of doom first....

  13. All quinced out! Surely not Sue - you are the Queen of Quinces...and delicious puds.

    Nina x

  14. Jared's patterns are brilliant, it'll be a breeze to knit the wrap, just time consuming. Happy knitting :)

  15. I've come to the conclusion that it's much better to visit your blog AFTER lunch. You evil person.

  16. Anonymous5:39 pm BST

    i was wishing you were my neighbour, I have mostly to make do with the japonica little quinces, hey, they are allright, but a quinced out neighbour, shove them my way, no wait, I will do the shoving and bake you a Elsazzer Onion Tart. It's like a quiche (quince versus quiche) with smoked bacon, onions and sour cream on a bottom of ones choice or a hearty-piecrust. But your quinces are gone and that is good. I "harvested" cooking pears and fallapples for free or very little on roadside vending stalls, selfservice. Maybe East European readers should post more quince recipes in English? Until now I only read recipes from English speaking countries and South European. Someone told me quincejelly was used like honey to sweeten puddings and the likes, because in earlier centuries the keeping of beehives was only allowed to gentry and better off people. Did you ever have Parmaham with melon at Christmas and was it "not cheap"? Try half of a firm but ripe pear (not the cooking kind) and dry smoked lean bacon. Almost the same taste but less expensive I think some slice of very well cooked quince and bacon might... As you are quinced ouy you cab try this next year.

    1. Oh goodness, such delicious sounding ideas, thank you I will certainly remember them for next year's quinces!


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