Lost in Lindsey

The Thoughts and Adventures of a Lincolnshire Polytheist



Apple pies and fire wood.

And now September, the holy month is here,

With the harvest almost in (there’s apples still hanging about out there), 

And the nights getting colder,

A fire with friends, a glass (or three) of mead,

And gratitude, 

At last,the bloody kids will be back at school next week.
Evening all,

How’s the summer treat you? It’s been lovely to me, my milk bottle legs are now an old bruise yellow colour, but my arms are as tanned as they get. France was fabulous, I groped some gods in the Louvre and ate the worlds best quiche, against which all other quiches shall hence forth be measured.

Now that it’s getting into September the apple tree down the road (literally, it’s on the road verge, not even in the hedge) is heavy with fruit and I like apple pie. I need to send the nephew up the tree to get more of them. I could only knock a few out with a stick. 

Do you know how to see if an apple is ready to pick? It’s simple, cup the apple in your hand and twist gently. It’ll come away easily if it’s ready but don’t try to force it. Or, hit the branch with a stick, any ripe apples will fall off. 

Now I’ve got a dozen apples I’m stewing the with two plums, cut up, a bit of water and some sugar. Cooked until some is pulp but some is still holding together, or whatever texture you prefer. 

While that’s bubbling away – on of my favourite smells – make the pastry. It’s a basic shortcrust pastry.


200g plain flour

100g butter (or your preferred alternative)

Pinch salt

1tbsp sugar

A little cold water
Breadcrumb the flour and butter, add the salt and sugar and stir in.

Add a little water and form a stiff dough.

Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
Roll out, make pie.
The actual reason I went out this afternoon was to collect windfall wood for a fire this evening. A friend is coming round with a bottle of mead she bought on her holiday. We will be sampling. The local woodland was a waterlogged field fifteen years ago dotted with a few mature horse chestnuts and some much younger rowens. The Woodland Trust planted it as part of their millennium community woodland scheme. It has since been extended, and in fifteen years I expect we’ll have a more substantial woodland. As it is, the smaller, original woodland is maturing nicely and there’s plenty of wood on the ground, no doubt helped along by the local children playing in the trees. I’ve had two 15 minute foraging sessions this week and I’ve got a couple of bags of wood to burn. 
Can’t think of a better way to spend a Friday evening, good company, home made food, mead and a fire.
Have a good weekend.

Food glorious food.

I’ve finally started getting peas from the plants in my garden but that’s not the point of today’s post. I’ve been cooking. My fruit and veg box delivery yesterday had a couple of things in that I didn’t know what to do with and more of a couple of things I already have plenty of. So I had to get inventive.

Stuffed aubergine halves

  1. Cut an aubergine (eggplant) in half the take the seeds out using a spoon.
  2. Chop half a red onion, one tomato, a green or orange pepper, three mushrooms, and one garlic clove roughly (these are the things I have loads of). Mix up together in a bowl, add dried rosemary and grated cheddar cheese.
  3. Load the mixture in to the aubergine, wrap in ton foil and roast for 15 minutes at gas mark 7.
  4. Take out of the oven after 15minutes, unwrap the top of the foil to expose the veg, add more cheese and then return to the oven with the foil open. The cheese will melt, and the veg crisp slightly as the aubergine finishes cooking. I had it with ‘garlic belly steak’, which is something my butcher does. A piece of belly pork is folded in half and tied up with butchers twine and then covered in garlic butter. I only discovered them yesterday afternoon and they are lovely. I’ve been right off meat for the last two months but I’m slowly reintroducing it in to my diet once a week, pork on a Friday.

Summer fruit tart
I can’t make pastry, or I can but you could use it as a projectile weapon so I don’t. So for this pie I splashed out and bought frozen puff pastry from the Sainsbury’s Local across the road. It does the job.

I got some gooseberries in yesterday’s box, I have never cooked gooseberries before. 

  1. Top and tail gooseberries in to a pan, wash them, then put a bit of sugar and water in the pan. 
  2. Add strawberries, raspberries, blueberries the pan. Mix together.
  3. Boil for ten minutes.
  4. Strain if there’s too much liquid. The liquid is nice warm or mixed with sparkling elderflower cordial, it gets a bit of a foamy head and looks like you’re drinking booze when you aren’t.
  5. Roll out the pastry and line you dish, pour in the fruit mixture and then make a lattice of pastry strips over the top.
  6. Bake on gas mark 7 for 30 minutes or until golden brown (may vary depending on the pastry.

Enjoy with custard, ice cream or a nice thick plain yogurt.

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