It’s a crisp blue morning, a slight fresh chill to the air. The car windscreen, condensation covered, needed time to clear. This is how autumn begins, bright skies and the day gradually warming a little to remind us summer isn’t quite over.
The leisurely feeling of holiday, nothing more pressing than deciding what is for lunch or whether or not we can fit afternoon tea in as well as lying around reading, has passed.
Gradually we are getting back into the swing of a routine. The children — I’d finally accepted having them around all day every day, a kind of Stockholm syndrome — bless them, have gone back to school giving me a break from Noah’s non-stop cricket statistics and ball by ball descriptions and Maya’s constant demand for paint supplies or sellotape.
Autumn is when food starts to get more serious. No longer will a mimsy salad be enough. It’s time to start breaking out the swedes and turnips. The long stews and rich sauces. “Out of the way you pathetic leaf”, shouts the butternut.
As we are still on the cusp of seasons (“ooh, yes, a cold, that’ll be the change of weather”) it’s not yet time to quite let go. There is still sweet corn on the cob, boiled and drenched in butter, salt and pepper to eat messily and deliciously.
Occasionally, lime zest with chilli flakes and melting, grated cheddar will appear on top of it. Maybe there will be a final opportunity for a barbecue, the cobs still in their husks, smoky and ineffably summery.
So until the clocks change there will still be a hint of summer in our kitchen. The slow cooker can wait a few more weeks.