It’s Too Darn Hot!

I made it to my mum’s! It’s only the second time I’ve seen her since last September and I brought a homemade loaf with me which has almost been finished already. The air-con in the car was very pleasant during the journey so I didn’t notice the effects of the 29 degree heat until I arrived and got out of the car. And it carried on getting hotter. By yesterday afternoon the temperature gauge in the garage was reading over 34 degrees!!

We knew it was going to be hot while I was here, so at the weekend Mum had sensibly suggested that I didn’t made chutney in the middle of a heatwave. I’ve got the ‘store cupboard’ elements and jars at home, she is handing over the very enormous and beautiful cooking apples and garlic that she’d got in for me to take back. We both have the same preserves book:

Front cover of Home Preservation of Fruit and Vegetables published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in 1968 (12th edition)

Mine is about 50 years younger than hers, but it’s still in print because it’s brilliant) and so she went through the recipe with me, pointing out what could easily be tweaked and adding more info to that given in the ‘method’; “Until required consistency is achieved” is a little vague for me, but Mum said that it can take ‘a while’, but it won’t reach a setting point like jam or marmalade and as long as it blobs off the spoon in the same way as you’d like it to land on your plate then it’s done.

So, instead of sweltering in the kitchen I had a potter round the garden this morning – it’s amazing. You see that Paper Bark Tree (Acer grisium) – the really tall one? She grew that from seed. I know!

A photo of my mum's garden showing the Acer grisium that she grew from seed.

I’ve also helped sort through a few bits and pieces and swapped the handspun yarn that Mum chose on my last visit for the much softer Polwarth. Although she’d really liked the changing colours of the first yarn (that WAS my first yarn off my wheel if you remember) it had too many over-spun sections to create a soft enough fabric when knitted. This one definitely has the seal of approval.

A handspun skein of Polwarth wool in shades on blue and sea-green on a white window-sill.

My own knitting that I’ve brought with me is the Brioche + Mystery by Suzanne Sommer. I’ve got all four colours in play now and I’m very much enjoying it.

A close-up photo of Brioche +Mystery in progress. Dark purple and light blue fill most of the image, with olive green and magenta stripes outside it.

My own MKAL, Into the Vortex is nearly at the halfway point (that was quick!) and Part Three spoilers will be published on Thursday. For now, here is Part Two.

Parts One and Two of Into the Vortex MKAL on a dark wooden table.

Both the yarns are by Riverknits, the first one (shown last week) is Chimera and the dark blue is Nene 4-ply. Both gorgeous yarns to work with.

The courgettes were gorgeous by the way – as was the gooseberry crumble. The blackcurrants and redcurrants will definitely be picked once I’m home – possibly a very early morning or late evening job if this heat keeps up.

Stay safe, stay hydrated and treat yourselves gently, Kx

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