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The Red lion at Lacock

Well it took a bit longer than two weeks but I have cracked my addiction to Twitter and made progress on my pet projects as well as picked up a few more. I’ve decided that I have to live with the part of me which fills every space with ‘stuff’. I’m just not meant to concentrate on one thing at a time – but breathing space is good for the soul and for creativity.

I have a cupboard stuffed with pots of delicious apple chutney, a family recipe inherited from my granny which I am delighted to share with you. I love the fact that I can follow a recipe written in her hand from a book which bears the wear and tear of generations of my family’s exploits in the kitchen.

Apple Chutney                                                                                                                                                Mince together 6lbs apples (I use Bramleys, peeled and cored), 3lbs onions, peeled and roughly chopped and 3/4 lb sultanas. Place into a preserving pan with 4lb sugar, 1 teaspoon mustard, salt, pepper and 11/2 pints spiced vinegar. Give it a good stir, boil it up and cook for about an hour on a low heat, stirring from time to time. Ladle into sterilied jars, seal and store in a cupboard or pantry to mature a bit, although it doesn’t matter. It tastes delicious immediately. It should make about a dozen medium sized jars.

Having tickled my digestive juices with the chutney I then headed off to nearby Lacock to enable the creative juices to flow. Meryton in the 1995 BBC adaptation  of Pride and Prejudice – and still the best as far as I am concerned and not just because of the delightful Colin Firth, lacock is one of my regular haunts for garden inspiration at the Abbey. This time however I was looking for inspiration of the Jane Austen kind and decided to take tea at King John’s Hunting Lodge. Inevitably I didn’t have my camera with me so you’ll have to make do with one I took earlier in the year at the venue for the meryton Assembly.

I even came away with a cookbook inspired by the filming of P and P, written by Margaret Vaughan who runs the tearoom. ‘Tea with the Bennets’ is a delightful read and as we have a sufeit of eggs and rather a lot of satsumas rolling around the fruitbowl today I might try ‘Mr Wickham’s Indelicate Pudding’ for tea.

More about my latest expoits with School Gardening Club, the allotment and the other projects I have been catching up on in subsequent pots.