Z thinks about autumn

For the last few months, it’s been too warm at night to want a duvet.  We’ve just had a sheet and a very light blanket.  But last night, I admitted to being chilly and LT said he had been the previous night too and, as I’d sensibly kept the duvet ready, folded over the chaise longue, he put it on the bed and we both had a better night’s sleep than we’d had recently.

I’m going to have to buy yet another electric blanket.  I have to have one at night: if I get into a cold bed in winter, even if I’m warm, I lie getting colder and colder and finally fall asleep, wake an hour or two later and my feet are still icy.  I don’t like a warm bedroom but I do love a warm bed.  And, for the last decade or more, electric blankets have been absolutely rubbish.  I think I’ve had four in about the last ten years, plus a replacement for the one that didn’t even go one winter, and none of them go to a third winter.  Yet really old ones, from way back, still work fine.  They don’t even get very hot nowadays, obviously a safety thing but even the pre-warm setting isn’t very hot and the others make no difference to the warmth of the bed at all.  I’m wondering whether to buy two singles, as what usually happens is that one side stops working, which means the whole thing has to be replaced, of course.

I’ve been making yet more tomato relish.  We mostly made sauces and soups last year, but there’s not all that much room in the freezer at present, so surplus fruit and veg has to be preserved another way.  I’m waiting impatiently for the chilli crop to ripen, as one of the great successes was jalapeño relish – we bought chillies by the kilo once it was used up, to make more – and we’re down to the last quarter jar.  It’s very easy, the only tedious bit being the slicing of the peppers themselves and, though pretty spicy, it isn’t *that* hot.  The tomato one is from the same book – again very simple, just vinegar, sugar, tomatoes, onion, chilli and spices, which I think are mustard seeds, paprika and ground ginger.  Then, when nearly ready, you add some chopped gherkins and pickled onions, which add a bit of bite and mean you don’t have to keep it, as you would a chutney, but can use it straight away.  The damson chutney we made won’t be ready for a few months yet.

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