It is that wonderful sort of autumnal day that reminds me of tailgating.

Sunny. Blustery. On that tantalizing line between mild enough for a cardigan and cold enough for a jacket.

Early autumn is quite possibly my favourite time of year. It’s full of promises that are not yet come to fruition – the bite of winter, the hunkering down of homestead darkness, the freshness of the air alongside the now physically ingrained back-to-school (with me and Bean both working tangentially in education, it’s a bouncy, permanent fixture in our year).

It’s also time to break out more than windbreakers.

It’s time to return to some of my favourite cooking. Pumpkin soup with sourdough bread at any other time of year just pales in comparison.

We had a proper roast dinner last weekend, bird, roast potatoes and trimmings. It was delectable (especially roasting the potatoes with fennel seeds and shallot. what a stroke of genius), but I’ve had those tiny bits of bird laying in the fridge, begging to be used.

Normally I’d make pie but it’s not really the weather for all that stewing. And I was too lazy to make stock from the bones this time, shame on me.

So instead, today I have a kingly lunch:

Almost Autumn Salad

mixed leaves

handful leftover chicken bits

handful of leftover roast potatoes, diced a bit as needed

half a braeburn apple, thinly sliced and the slices cut in half

handful of pumpkin seeds

handful of wholegrain croutons

for the dressing

2 tbs olive oil

2 tbs cider vinegar

2 tbs honey

dash of garlic

1/2 tsp lime juice

To make salad dressing you essentially spin the stuff in a glass with a fork until it’s more or less mixed.

To make a salad, put things in a bowl.

I heated the potatoes and meat, which made it infinitely nicer after a long blustery walk. If they hadn’t been so well seasoned from before (fennel & onion, sage & rosemary respectively) I might have added some sharp cheese or walnuts – or ooh, dried cranberries, but this one was plenty on its own.

Now excuse me, I have a crafty afternoon calling my name.


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