november musings

November is a confusing month in the UK. Following on from Halloween, it starts with fireworks celebrating Diwali and Bonfire night. Then a flurry of poppies appear on lapels around the country for Remembrance Day. And then Christmas starts with a bang halfway through the month-festive tunes, twinkly lights, ornately decorated trees. If you have any North American connection, Thanksgiving also features. It feels like we’re being sped from one occasion to the next without any time to really enjoy or reflect on any of them. But the winter stretches before us so let’s embrace the slower pace, time for reflection and rest.

Go to…the woods

If you haven’t already, head to the nearest woods to watch nature’s fireworks. Muddy paths are covered in golden leaves that crinkle underfoot, trees shimmer with bursts of red, orange, yellow and green. Bushes heavy with late-blooming flowers and berries are sweet nectar for birds and bees. Identifying birds is fun and easier to do when there is less foliage. Winter is coming but Autumn isn’t over yet.

Make…pomegranate, apple and blackberry Biscoff crumble

We signed up to Oddbox, a surplus fruit and veg delivery service, this month. Our first box had a pomegranate and some apples in it which I turned into a rather tasty crumble. The tartness of the pomegranate and blackberries balances the apples and Biscoff crumble top! No photos I’m afraid as we ate it all…

Pick a glass shallow oven-proof dish to bake your crumble in.

Peel and slice three or four apples (depending on their size). Cut one pomegranate open and extract the seeds. Add the apple slices, pomegranate and a generous handful of blackberries (frozen ones work well) to your crumble dish. Sprinkle them with one tablespoon cinnamon and two tablespoons brown sugar. Toss so everything is coated and then layer the apples and distribute the blackberries. Wash your hands and turn the oven on to 190°C.

While the oven heats up, take half a pack of Biscoff biscuits and smash them in a bowl with the end of a rolling pin (enjoy this bit). Then add 150g plain flour and 150g of cold butter. Rub the butter into the biscuit and flour mix to form breadcrumbs. Cover the fruit in your crumble dish with the crumble topping and bake in the oven for 25mins or until the crumble is bubbling and the topping is light brown. It’s also delicious cold the next day for breakfast.

Eat…at the Witchery

I was in Edinburgh for COP26 this month and treated myself to a lunch at The Witchery, a 16th century restaurant at the top of the Royal Mile. It’s rather wonderful dining alone, specially when the sun is streaming through the windows onto your face and the waiters are so lovely. This atmospheric candlelit spot has baroque wood-panelled walls and ceilings, tapestries and feels utterly romantic. Add it to your must-eats when in Edinburgh.

On my mindEdible Christmas gifts. 

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