Autumn brings out the pyromaniac in me. Even more, I mean, I'm already fascinated enough by fire. But I really feel I should be geting together large piles of wood which will burn
at this time of year. olethros
' mother kindly brought in some bags of timber for us a couple of weeks ago, and I lit a fire on Thursday evening last with some of that, only to be baffled. I'm not sure what the wood is; on initial examination, it looks to be a softwood of some kind, but it's hard as the hob of hell, utterly resistant to a hatchet, and only burns when completely surrounded by other burning material. Then, though, it goes for hours. Eventually, surrounded by flaming turf briquettes, it got going. I shall experiment with kindling and other burny things.
We've had roast beef two weekends now - first an ordinary supermarket-bought beef roast, and then, this weekend, a good rib roast from a butcher in Dun Laoghaire. The difference was incredible; last week's was good, certainly, but this week's was fantastic.
We picked blackberries on Saturday at caturah
's house (and got well fed, while we were at it, which was very much appreciated). The picking involved crossing a river, scrambling up a small cliff, and proceeding around a reservoir. It was pretty successful; we ended up with about 2kg of berries, and the season clearly isn't fully in yet, so we'll go back in about two weeks time. We picked some rosehips as well, for experimental purposes, and I note that it'd be a good place to look for elderflowers, for anyone so inclined.
I made jam from the blackberries yesterday, and inannajones
made blackberry crumble. The crumble is absolutely excellent, although I'm not entirely happy with the jam - it set so hard it's almost chewy, which is not a problem I've had with blackberry jam before. I'm going to reduce the sugar content for the next batch, I think, or use a mix of jam sugar and ordinary sugar.
The first batch of pickled cucumbers that inannajones
put down a while ago were deemed ready for eating, and they're great. I like pickles, and since they do nothing in terms of adding weight, I can eat them until I turn blue if I want. I'll be pickling more cucumber, and also some peppers, onions, and more experimental goods later this week.
And some of the rosemary I dried during the summer has now been deleafed and put into a jar, and a fresh bunch brought in. I'll be making some rosemary oil, and anyone who wants some dried rosemary should let me know; I'll have more than we can use in about a month's time, and we tend to use fresh anyway.