Apple day, but not as we know it Jim!

It should have been our village apple day this weekend, but obviously due to the current situation, we couldn’t run it. So this morning, whilst I work inside and write, my husband and two friends are crushing and pressing our apples so we will be able to make juice and cider this year still.

This virus has affected so much in the world, of course, the obvious, but it has affected communities and life out on the street. Where people used to smile, they are shielded behind a mask, tempers are worn and frayed, events where communities get together have been cancelled and, whilst this is nothing in the grand scheme, there comes a point where I think we’d all just like a short break from the ‘rules’, ‘messages’, ‘concerns and worries’.

My younger son has been affected as he’s just started at university and within the first week was in isolation along with all of his campus. Unfortunately for him, all the people in his flat managed to get out before they were shut down so he’s been all on his own for the last two weeks. He then also managed to test positive for the virus after ten days of solitary confinement? The only thing we can think is either it lasts much longer in the system than anyone fears or that it lives on surfaces longer as he did go and do his laundry on site so thus touched machines. Anyway, he’s one of the lucky ones as he’s been fine, just tired and drained.

I am coming up to our first break in the weirdest half terms I’ve ever experienced. The students are bubbled and taught in set areas in the school and even they are beginning to fray at the seams, stuck in the unnatural, but necessary, same year groups inside and outside, they are starting to get fed up with each other.

To release my tension and exhaustion with everything in the real world, I tend to cook and bake. I’ve decided that I must make use of everything that we grow, so I’m pickling, turning into chutney or drying this year, so each of my boys are going to get a food box instead of an FC stocking with things in it for them to take back to their respective digs. I can’t really believe I’ve hinted at the C word already, but as you can see in the photos, some things need to be made early so they have time to mature.

The soup, for those who’re interested, is squash, but I used up half a container of leftover mashed potatoes which has made it super creamy. Mash is a brilliant thickener if you make too much, add it to stews or soups and it makes a great base. It’s that time of year for stews and soups and I’m making lots on the weekend at the moment so that I can take a jar of soup into work on one or two days in the week as I’m trying to avoid the school canteen (not just for coronavirus reasons, but also temptation!).

We dug up the remaining potatoes from the allotment yesterday, sadly I think they’ve gone over a little and there are holes from eel worms. That’s fine for eating fairly soon, but it’s a weak point for storing, so we’ll be making lots of potato dishes and freezing them I think. I also harvested a load of lavender yesterday, so lavender bags is another ‘to do’ for half term, also going in C presents this year.

Right, I think I better put on my supervisor helmet as I can see last year’s cider has come out to help aid the pressing…could be messy!

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