Cooking with apples

My apple trees are still fairly young, so I like to use the fruit in special ways.  I have two apple cookery books that I’ve had for many years.  My mother gave me The Apple Book by Jane Simpson and Gill MacLennan (Bodley Head Ltd 1984) to help cope with a glut of family apples many years ago. The Apple Book contains a great recipe for ‘Autumn Jam’ which was handy for using up plums when we had plum gluts and also a wonderful ‘Apple and Marrow chutney’ which inspired me to grow marrows.  It also has one of my … Continue reading Cooking with apples


Apples are in season at last.  We have three apple trees in the garden – all very small really but each with their own personality. This is Red Falstaff.  I bought this tree eight years ago when we lived in our old house.  I knew then that we were likely to move in the near future so kept it in a pot for its first few years.  It was never happy although it did produce a few sad apples each year.  When we moved to this house I planted it in the ground and asked its forgiveness for the three … Continue reading Apples


On a recent sunny day I met a man at a bus stop. With an Antipodean accent, he said, ‘I can’t understand why you always complain about the weather in Scotland’.  I said ‘have you been here in November?’ * Well, today it feels like November has come early. It has rained all night and looks set to rain all day too so I’ve been trying to see the good things in the garden. Of course, as well as the rain, we have mellow fruitfulness – tomatoes still tumbling from the bushes and apples almost ready.  But good things also … Continue reading Violas