Autumn is without doubt my favourite season. I never thought it could be, after all those summers spent wishing September would never come. But now I can appreciate it’s rusts and reds, bright cold mornings and gluts of fruit and berries.
My kitchen is a tiny room in an old breeze block stable building on a farm to the west of Durham. They have a farm shop which refuses to conform to the increasingly uniform appearance of many other places. Bywhich I mean, there’s a lot of mud and chaos! And after last year’s bad harvests, this autumn it is full to bursting. People appear with boxes of strange old English varieties of apples, blackberries, plums, turnips, chard… Tommy comes up with a wheelbarrow of stuff from his allotment then sits outside and has a smoke.
I loved being in the city with the pros but I also like this kind of simplicity. There’s a sense of natural provenance without anyone trying to be trendy or consciously sustainable.
So now I have to put apples in everything. There are crumble cakes, plum tarts, pastries and dark ginger loaves, with the smell of cinnamon pretty much omnipresent.