This time last year 14th September was the hottest day of the year with 34.4C (92.8F) recorded in Kent. This morning my central heating came on even though the thermostat is set to something like 15C. Ah well. We had summer for two weeks in June.
Time then to put a jumper on and stop making those salads (no!), put away the barbecue (but October could be hot!) and get the stockpot out. Okay – some salads go on all year round like the crab salad with avocado, subject to crab being in season and/or affordable. A great lunch dish or a jacket potato filler – try it instead of tuna-mayo.
Side salads will shift shape – and ingredients. Hello, carrots and other root veg: you could make remoulade this week and serve it with baked mackerel fillets.
Grilled lamb fillet can replace barbecued meats and it will make you forget those charcoaled chicken wings. Barbecue is completely overrated anyway as a cooking method, I’ve always said. Steak for instance has the potential to be totally wasted on a barbie: a good quality fillet steak needs a hot frying pan and flipping; my perfect steak recipe tells you exactly how.
But autumn after all is the season of plenty and even though berries are on their way out, apples and pears should take their place. Though for some mysterious reasons (or a perverse Brexit conspiracy) British apples seem to be rubbish, mushy and sugary. Cooking apples thankfully are still good so make use of them, unusually, in bread. Apple and cider loaf is not difficult to make and it smells and tastes beautifully of autumn.
And if it’s a cake you’d like, have a go at my cheat’s (but from scratch!) apple strudel. And if you’re not of the Bake Off contestant’s disposition you’ll still manage the brown apple cake - the only skill involved is in cutting the apples and switching the oven on. Happy baking!