Storm in a preserving pan

In the last week I have been the fortunate recipient of a large number of apples from the Vale of Glamorgan and the somewhat more local vale of Crouch End.

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As luck would have it, I am at a bit of a loose end at the moment, so when I was clearing out recipes yesterday (for example, I will NEVER be a decorator of posh royal icing covered cakes), I stumbled upon a number of apple-based recipes that I have hoarded over the years.

Allegra McEvedy’s Swedish Apple Cake is just out of the oven and I think will be perfect with a dollop of creme fraiche. I will have to take a couple of slices to my parents and hope to be forgiven for overlooking their anniversary. Sorry Ma and Pa.

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I should be stirring the apple, raspberry and thyme cheese as we speak.

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The preserving pan always brings a smile to my face… There we were, merrily driving to France, with cook books, knitting bags, many games, outfits for any conceivable occasion, blah blah blah, as you do if you are under the impression that you are on a driving holiday. It was after lunch on day one and therefore, in accordance with Mr B’s rules for driving, it was my turn at the wheel. Just as we merged from one big motorway into another, the car stopped working. Completely. It was a minor miracle that I got us to the hard shoulder in between all the other vehicles on the roads. Many a gendarme waved at us from the other carriageway, but it was a while till someone actually rescued us. After much gesticulating, they advised us that our car was basically over but that Monsieur le Mechanic could have a word with his brother Monsieur le Taxi who would get us to our gite. A hire car duly turned up the next day and all was well. I bought the preserving pan, along with various bottles of wine and other Gallic treats. It was only on day 13 that we were informed that our hire car had to be handed in at Calais, whereupon we would become foot passengers as far as Dover, where another hire car would await us.

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It’s not a good pic, but you can just about make out Missy B, in her bike helmet, surrounded by many bags, including the shopping trolley we had to buy for the overspill. I expect the preserving pan was on my head… Other foot passengers looked aghast at this family of hapless buffoons, as well they might.

As soon as the preserving pan is free, I’ll start on some apple, cider and chilli jelly…

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