Or, at least, we are trying to in between the downpours. Autumn has arrived here in typical northern style. Wet and windy. Beautiful sunshine one minute, then dark and pouring with rain the next.
This week has felt long. I've been struggling with a hip problem and now I'm very aware of the beginnings of a cold. I suppose the weather should be the perfect excuse to cosy-in and rest up.
Mother Nature is doing her thing. The earth is preparing to slow down for the winter with a wonderful display, and at the weekend we walked through the woods, taking it all in. The leaves are falling fast and we had fun trying to catch them before they landed. Mum - 1. Lily - 0, although in fairness I've had a few more years of practice.
Our boots have taken up permanent position by the front door. I wouldn't consider anything less at his time of year - warm, dry toes are a priority for me. The ground is so muddy. Soggy leaves, beech nuts and conkers get everywhere. I try not to be too concerned on the occasions mud is trampled in the house, it's soon swept up.
The amount of conkers on the coffee table is increasing by the day. I collect them every autumn. It's something that immediately takes me back to childhood and I love that Lily enjoys it too. The gingerbread candle has been lit in an evening and it smells amazing and the knitted pumpkins have taken their seasonal place upon the mantel.
This week I've been particularly busy in the kitchen. Everything has been cooked from scratch - yes, even the post swimming class pizza! I've surprised myself. There's nothing I like better than comfort food at this time of year, especially if it's simple and delicious, and one of my favourites is a risotto.
Butternut squash and sage risotto:
1 small squash cut into chunks
2 teaspoons dried sage
300g arborio rice
Approximately 1.5 litres vegetable stock
50g hard cheese
Roast the squash in a medium oven for around 20 minutes.
Gently cook the onions in the butter. Stir in rice, sage, adding the vegetable stock a little at a time, until cooked.
Mash up half the squash (I use a fork to do this) and stir through the rice along with the cheese.
Serve up in bowls with the rest of the squash scattered on top.
Thank you to everyone who left such kind words on my last post. I'm happy to report the school situation appears to have been resolved but it is something I will be keeping a close eye on.