The last flowers of Summer and a day in the kitchen

Berries of Autumn

I love this image so much. The berries hang outside my kitchen window. As Summer draws to a close and the Autumn colours take over, these greens and reds remind me already of Christmas.

Dear Journaling Friends,

I honestly don't know where I fit in here in Ireland. I'm Irish, but now I'm a 'blow in'. What is that? It is an Irish-ism coined for people that are not from the area. The headmaster mentioned it at the school PA meeting this week. Not in an unfriendly way of course, but I am surprised that it is a term used at all. Rural Ireland. We live in the commuter belt of Dublin and the children attend an urban school. Of course it is all new for us as we have been living in expat communities where people are coming and going all the time. Now we are the only new people at the school. 

On the upside the blackberries are here. I remember musing about them from Antigua, purple fingers and plenty of childhood nostalgia. In this more grown-up version I simmered them with basil leaves, sugar and apple for a delicious Autumn swirl in my yoghurt after dinner tonight. 

One of my favourite things about being home in Ireland is the abundance of wonderful fresh produce. I have been embracing a more vegetarian diet. Although the kids were less impressed when they had Vegetaballs for dinner again last night (chickpea and vegetable concoctions - utterly delicious to my palate. They prefer things of a more deep fried nature of course). "We actually like MEATballs" they said, "or chicken wings, or hamburgers, or sausages, but mostly meat!".

These buckwheat noodles with my Asian umami-style dressing (lime juice, seseame oil, tamari, maple syrup, coriander, chilli flakes, ginger - mixed together in proportions until exactly the right flavour is reached!) are what I like to eat. Mostly not meat, so there!

Buckwheat noodles for one

I can feel the Autumn coming quickly now, so I took time to celebrate the last flowers of Summer.

"It is unseasonably cold" said an old school friend that I bumped into at our children's ballet class. Brrrrr, is that what it is, I thought, or am I just not used to this constant chill to the bones?

Autumn flowers
Hydrangea in Autumn bloom

Hydrangea in Autumn bloom

Tea and cake is the antithesis to the cold. Plenty of it. I have gone up a size in jeans already. "A bit of padding to ward off the cold" say the old dears. This is my apple and almond cake, perfect with a cup of tea with my Mummy, who lives next door.

Apple cake
Jennifer Ritchie