Shh, don’t tell anyone, but I love the change in season: yes I know it’s getting a bit darker in the mornings, and it’s almost cold enough to put the heating on, but my body is ready for the change in diet. I love summer and all it’s light salads, barbecues and spritzy drinks, but I’m hankering after rich stews, red wine and a blanket. Autumn in our house means that the slow cooker comes out, for me, there is nothing better than coming home to a warm home filled with tasty aromas, and knowing your dinner is already done.
I will be heading to Bradshaw's Farm Shop & Cafe to stock up on slow cook joints such as their amazing lamb, in the form of lamb shoulder and lamb shanks. Oh and a lovely beef roasting joint for Sunday lunch, I can’t remember the last time I had a Sunday lunch – it seems like months since I had a good roast dinner; and if you don’t want to cook then I can heartily recommend The Strawberry Cabin, the PYO season might be ending but the cabin is still open for business.
I’m a bit fan of autumn squashes, the small early ones have often have such lovely skin and I’ll just chop them up and roast them in the oven with a sprinkle of paprika, eat them like chips but much sweeter and tastier. I also make a mean Risotto, (even if I do say so myself!) it’s nice and light but has a great autumnal taste to it, perfect for those warmer September days but still lovely and comforting.
Over the summer I got a little bit addicted to halloumi and I popped into The Cheese, Gin & Ale Barn the other day to pick some up, it was my first visit and I wish I had known them 20 years ago, as they make wedding cakes from Cheese!! This would be my and my hubbies idea of heaven and I am seriously considering renewing our vows just so we can have a cheese wedding cake – awesome!
This has, without doubt, been the hottest, driest summer I can remember, and I know that the farmers have suffered. The recent rains have helped and I seem to be getting runner beans and courgettes from all sides at the minute. Luckily there are still plenty of local tomatoes available and I’ve even had chillis and peppers in my weekly vegetable box from Woodhouse Farm, so I’m making up big batches of ratatouille inspired dishes, adding some green beans for an English touch and re-gifting them to my kind allotment owning friends!It’s another light autumnal dish, which I think is best eaten simply, in a bowl with a spoon and dunk in some tasty Cheese and Walnut bread from Hunnypot Cottage (which is great toasted for breakfast if you have any left).
I am still hoping for a bit of sunshine as we have finally finished the hard landscaping in the garden. I bought several hardy herbs at last weeks Food Festival, it was bigger and better than before, and despite a bit of rain on Sunday was a huge success. My cupboards are still bursting with unusual snack items including biltong and plantain crisps – not to be eaten together I hasten to add. So my next job at home is to do some autumn planting and I’m excited to be talking to the amazingly knowledgeable staff at Lichfield Garden Centre, they are helping me plan a cottage garden that will include fruit trees, bushes and a little veg patch hopefully.
My day job is as a nutritional adviser, I have a huge passion for food and eating seasonally. If you would like to feel healthier whilst still enjoying all the lovely local food we have on offer then I am the adviser for you www.hillstart.me.uk
Member since: 27th November 2015
I love living in Lichfield, it's easy to support local businesses as we have a wealth of fabulous independent retailers. My real passion is food, not only do I love to cook, but I love to eat out even...