Styling the seasons is one of my favourite blogging collaborations. Katy from Apartment Apocathery and Charlotte from Lotts and Lots, ask that you style any surface in your home, to reflect what that month means to you. To reflect the change of seasons. I admire the beautiful contributions from afar though, too scared to join in, for fear that my styling efforts amount to nothing more than ‘putting stuff on a shelf.’ But it’s good for us to do something that is scary, even if it is just publishing a little blog post and so I am squeaking in under the wire on the last day of the month.
September, for me, is all about good intentions and new starts. A fresh page in the notebook of a year, the start of a new school year. Even before any of my children were at school it was always so. A side effect of living with a teacher, I suppose. This is the time when I want to get organised, to declutter and clean and budget right, to vow that this year Christmas will be an organised breeze (it won’t). This year feels even more like a new beginning. Just as Nano is starting school, Lady Mck is blossoming into a proper toddler, who can play alone for a short while, we can do more together and she can even be with me while I do a few chores. We are slowly finding a new rhythm to our day. A trip out in the morning to the park or the library or just a potter and a play at home, a late morning nap, some lunch, more playing or a chore or two. Then, picking two boys up from school, instead of one. It’s such a long time since I’ve had just one child at home and it feels brand new again.
One of my good intentions for the start of term was to stop buying ready made biscuits and cake. I love baking but had stopped finding the time and if I did, the boys would always choose the shop bought rubbish over my own bakes. It’s those pesky trans-fats that kids find so delicious. So, I decided to make baking a part of our week, now that Lady Mck is able to take part, or at least watch.
Styling the Seasons this month is focusing on vintage pieces and I realised that my kitchen is filled with vintage pieces that have been handed down to us and I use on a regular basis. From Mckdaddy’s Nan’s beautiful scales to the vintage recipe leaflets that we found in my grandmother’s recipe folder, after she died and the flour shaker that I got from my Dad when he moved to France. Incidentally it does horrify me that something I remember from my own childhood is now vintage, but seeing as it is probably at least thirty or forty years old, it unfortunately counts. These things surround us and when we use them or look at them we remember the food of our youth. Mckdaddy makes an amazing chicken and vegetable broth very similar to the ‘shiny’ soup he watched his Nan make many times. My Dad taught me to make gravy without a stock cube, I was in awe of the fact that my mum could ‘stick a batch of cherry buns in’ whilst making a roast dinner and my own Nana made the crumbliest, shortest pastry you can imagine, something I am still trying to truly master.
So far, I have kept to my commitment to bake instead of buy and the children are loving it. I am enjoying baking with one little helper again and I’ve even noticed a slight difference to our shopping bill. We have yet to venture far from biscuits, they are easy and quick to make and popular with, what can be, a tough crowd to please, but I have definite malt loaf plans for the future. Watch this space…..or more likely Instagram.