I love autumn. There's still heat in the sun though the breeze is cooler now; the evenings continue to draw out and the vegetables and fruit in the garden loll about ripening.
A few days ago we picked a bagful of the apples from one of the street trees we pass on the way to the post office, and an ice cream container of blackberries from the canes that cling to the fences. Then, to mark the end of summer, I made a batch of blackberry and apple jam and called it Onemilebridge End of Summer Jam. Here's how I made it:
I very slowly stewed one kilo of blackberries in about 60 mls of water, then did the same to about 350 grams of apples. The apples we'd picked were perfect because they were very tart and lost their shape completely, so my jam would have no lumpy bits in it.
After I'd mixed all the fruit together and weighed it, I stirred in an equal amount of sugar and boiled the mixture, scraping off the scum and then continuing to test it until it was done.
As usual I found this last bit nerve wracking, but I know if it's underdone I can always reboil it, whereas if it's overdone it's useless.
We'll eat the jam through the winter months, on homemade bread and crumpets, tasting those summer hours of daylight that were ours to squander.