Autumn is officially here! Although I have been saying it is autumn since the 1st of September, today is the day. I just absolutely adore this time of year and not just for the thought of the blogs. It is when my year starts. I run on an academic schedule as I work in a school, so September is the beginning for me. It’s also the start of my most favourite months of the year. The sight of falling golden leaves makes me so happy! I decided to change my life in the autumn of 2013. I had spent the summer of that year trying to decide what I was going to do with my life now that I wasn’t going to be a mum. I was at university studying tourism management and I hated it. I felt I had given tourism my whole life at secondary school and college and although I felt I was good at it, I knew I could not go back to it after everything I had been through. I needed more. I felt I deserved to do something that was going to make me happy and put a real smile back on my face. So I decided to volunteer at a school for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. I was thrown in at the deep end and placed in a medical type group. But I loved it and have never looked back! I now work at that same school as an official employee. And I cannot explain the joy I feel when I go to work every day. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. I didn’t worry about financial side of it; I ditched uni half way through and have never been happier. I cannot put a price on my smile when I thought at one point I would never smile again.
It’s now the start of the darker nights and colder weather. I love it when it’s cooler. I am not a summer girl at all. I love changing my wardrobe to a darker colour palette and getting out my scarves and everything I own that’s a mustard colour… Don’t even get me started on the boots. I live opposite a park so I get to see the changes to the leaves and trees and I get to feel the temperature changing when I walk my dog. The colder nights also mean I can get the candles back out. I always have a stash of them and the autumnal ones smell amazing! I may have purchased a few home bits when I was out in town this weekend. I’ve been trying to burn away all the summer smelling candles so I can get out my warmer scents. Candles can make any room, no matter the colour/decor, feel cosier. My living room has a cool colour scheme, its grey and teal and white. So I will be adding so many candles and other touches to it to make the room feel snug. My favourite one that I picked up this weekend was a pumpkin scented one. It smells delicious! It was from TK Maxx by DW Home. I also picked up some new tea towels in a mustard colour and some very pretty scented sachets to put in my drawers.
My favourite part of autumn is pumpkin spiced everything! I love my coffee so a pumpkin spiced latte is the one. I haven’t had my first one of the year yet… but I have priced up a bottle of the syrup on Amazon. It’s more of a necessity really isn’t it! I also like to look out for hedgehogs and go on autumnal walks. I’m hoping to do this so much more when Jakki moves in. It’s always good to walk with someone and Simba. I love pulling on a hat and taking a flask of coffee (pumpkin spiced of course). The fresh air always makes me feel at one with nature. Although I usually end up sweating cobs and carrying my coat! I usually work weekends but I am going to really try to go out walking twice a month. I will be chucking a load of veg in the slow cooker so I have something to come home to.
I wanted to share with you a recipe of my favourite food to eat when the colder nights start to set in. I love coming home to a hot, hearty meal and this does it for me every time. It’s a very old-fashioned one pot dish that my Grandad makes but it’s so tasty and is the perfect comfort food! Some of the ingredients may seem a little odd (the soup) but believe me it works and has so much more flavour than most hot pots. I’m from St Helens and we call a dish like this lobbies. Don’t ask me why, I have no idea what it means. If anyone does please let me know.
Grandad Harry’s lobbies
- Tin of vegetable soup
- Corned beef
- Oxo cube
- Salt and pepper
Step 1. Peel and cut your potatoes and onion and add them to a pan of boiling water so they cook together. Try not to over cook the potatoes you want them to be little bitesized chunks.
Step 2. When they are cooked, drain away most of the water. You don’t want too much left as it will become too watery and this dish is nicer when it’s a little thicker. Add the tin of soup and let it warm through. I like to use Heinz vegetable soup because that’s the flavour I remember from when my Nan used to make this, although I always used to pick out the peas!
Step 3. Add half a tin of corned beef. I prefer the tinned one to the slices you can get at the deli counter, as they are a little thin and get lost in the soup. The tinned corned beef stays together a bit better and doesn’t dissolve as much.
Step 4. Crumble in a beef Oxo cube to thicken a little and make it a little richer. Add salt and pepper to taste. I use white pepper as I goes so well with these old traditional dishes. Taste it before you add salt as corned beef and be very salty and give you all the seasoning you need.
Step 5. Leave the lobbies to simmer for a while, the longer the better. It should thicken up nicely.
Step 6. Eat and enjoy! I like to serve mine with a few slices of beetroot. My Grandad likes his with a side of white cabbage, with lots of pepper and butter in. It really is extremely yummy! Be sure to let me know if you make it.
Happy autumn everyone!
Thanks for reading.