Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest, smile. William Cullen Bryant
I have long been an admirer of the uber-talented Heidi Swanson of 101Cookbooks, a big-time food and lifestyle blogger/author. Heidi’s approach to simple, clean recipes and photos are something to which I aspire. But I am also quite in love with her seasonal list of favourites. I have (mis)spent many an hour merrily clicking away on her links, finding inspiration and just sighing at some of her pleasing finds. I don’t wish to be a copycat, but for the past year I have been itching to share with you some of the things I like. And today I am going to scratch that itch. Please don’t write in and tell me there are creams for it.
In my garden is the first, unassailable, hint that autumn is gathering. As well as the steady thunk of dead twig-bound leaves on the conservatory roof, the second flush of my favourite clematis has come and gone, leaving a web of striking flower skeletons. Years ago I saw an over-wintering clematis with saucer-sized stamen, all curled up like sea urchins. It was incredibly striking, like seeing a priceless brooch below a plain and aged face (no smirking). To this day I have been trying to find out what kind it is. Do you know what it might be?
I am not into design or interiors but I saw this link on Heidi’s site and may have to rethink my fear of decorating. This Japanese-inspired collection of ‘repurposing’ ideas (my nomenclature) are do-able, practical and oh-so aesthetically pleasing. If I didn’t have the decorating skills of a colour-blind catfish I would be down to my hardware store in a flash. But I bet you are handier.
Two funny parody videos have got my attention: one old one (well, last year) that had me hee hawing to myself, and a follow-up one that also raised a big smile. And I am not a natural smiler. Both videos are suitable for children at heart, and are even related to food and mindfulness
Sampled this at the recent Food Blogger Connect conference in London. I think the poor girl thought I might distract her and run away with her display. Yesterday I had it with scrambled eggs. I nearly wept. A lovely, wholesome company with real ingredient products.
We were also really cooing over this amazing tea brand. They were spot on with the weather, serving their impeccable silver tip jasmine tea over ice. There is a link to stockists and ordering. If money were no object I would fancy their tea subscription. Now that’s a cool present.
Everyone and their dog seems to have a recipe for this lately, what with it being summer and all (just). But this particular one from myinvisiblecrown (great name) has gorgeous, swirly gluggable images. My first batch is cold brewing as I type. This recipe may just save you a small fortune.
A simply stunning online magazine. I know some of the contributors but I am not in any way biased! And this app is terrific, with loads of exquisitely presented recipes and ideas. A separate app for kids too.
If you are British you will be watching this. You Americans, you had your chance. The silver fox is back with us. And the squirrels too.
I am very open about peoples’ diet choices, and try never to judge. Which is a relief, I am sure, to the people I see who come in nervously clutching food diaries in their fear-drenched hands. Even so, I am not a huge fan of non-medically approved restrictive diets. But I do like to keep an open mind. I just read this article from the fairly sober and non-hysterical Discover magazine. What do you think? What has been your experience?
In another life I would like to be a neuroscientist. I find books on this subject as addictive as some people find gaming or taking selfies (just no). But this study makes me think that loads of those books (piled under my bed) will need an urgent rewrite. Don’t you just hate it when long-held scientific theories are seemingly nullified by some white-coated guy with a fake stethoscope? Er, maybe that’s just me then…Still, it is a striking study and the implications are huge. Yes, really.
And a bonus link to some beautiful autumn quotes, including the one above.
What are YOUR favourite things right now?
*The two opening images are of some Scottish thistles (with buzzy bee) and lupins just now fading in my garden. Proper post, with recipe, next time.