Then, Norma's band robin arrived in the post.
Isn't it lovely? You will find out more about the Stitching Sisters and the work completed to date on this piece here. It was scary to realise that this project started in 2007! I have a two inch deep piece of stitching to complete and then it can be sent out to the next person in the sequence.
So, I went out for a walk this morning. The sun was bright and the wind was chilly, so I wrapped up warm. Here are some of the things I saw:
I love the patterns made by the tractors as they plough the fields ready for the next crop.
There has been a lot of rain lately, so there are still puddles at the edges of fields.
This lovely stone was at the side of Kings Lock. There has been a lot of renovation work here over the past few months rebuilding one of the locks after a landslip. I wonder if this beautifully carved piece was found during the work.
This fungus was growing by the side of the path.
The sunlight was very strong coming through the trees, making the most beautiful shadows.
The leaves were just starting to turn colour.
Along the pathway there were some puddles. I loved the reflections in this one.
These lovely flowers are sometimes called Policeman's Helmet. Anyone liveing outside of the UK will have to forgive me here, because our police have helmets which have the bulbous shape on the top. These flowers are so pretty and like damp conditions.
I came home with a bag full of beautiful leaves which I plan to use as inspiration for my work on Norma's band.
The colours were wonderful and I couldn't believe my luck in finding a rather fragile holly leaf skeleton.
The colours of the conkers and leaves are so beautiful at this time of year in England. We are just moving into Autumn now with the chilly mornings.
I couldn't resist collecting some blackberries too. They grow wild in the hedgerows here and it is easy to pick plenty away from any danger of contamination from crop spraying or pollution from cars.
I shall still wash these before using them. These will be used for an apple and blackberry crumble.
You will need:
2oz margarine or butter
4-6oz flour (I use plain flour which doesn't have any raising agents added to it. Wholemeal is even better if you have it).
Rub these ingredients together to get a breadcrumb consistency. Add some dried coriander to the mix, if liked. (About half a teaspoon). Leave to one side. This is the crumble mixture.
Cut up baking apples and place in a deep baking dish, add any blackberries and a small amount of water (about 2 fluid ounces). Add a small amount of sugar if wished, before pouring the crumble mixture over the top. I tend not to add any sugar at all to the fruit, but you may prefer a sweeter dessert.
Bake in the oven for around 45 minutes. 190 degrees C. (Gas Mark 5, 375 degrees F), the temperatures could be a little cooler for fan ovens. The top should be gently browned and the fruit will be starting to bubble up into the crumble mixture. Serve hot with custard or cream.
(Note, I tend to make this without measuring anything, but with the approximate amounts listed above. The bigger the container and the more fruit I have, the more crumble mixture I make. Please experiment with the spices too. I love the aroma of coriander, but nutmeg is a rather special alternative, and so is cinnamon.)
Hope you like it.