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Monday 12 September 2011

Apples, Blackberries and Hoovers!

So here we are at the start of another week, and I hope that this post finds you all well, after what must have been, for many, a very emotional weekend. 

This year in the garden we have had an absolute glut of both apples and blackberries.  The freezer in the garage is full of blackberries, along with apples that hubby will make into fresh apple juice in a week or two.  He freezes the apples first because it locks in the juice and, also, it's much easier when it comes to the pressing process.

Whilst I was over in Paris, my husband found a home made apple & blackberry pie at the back of the freezer, with a label dated 2002!!  He had it with custard and said that it was absolutely delicious.  Well, I suppose it had matured for nine years!!!  Hubby and I have a completely different outlook regarding 'sell by' and 'use by' dates.  I religiously get rid of anything as soon as it reaches its 'use by' date, but hubby will insist that it is perfectly okay to eat for quite a while after that date.  He said that when he was a boy growing up, his dad wouldn't eat cheese until it started to crawl along by itself!! (Ugh!).  It's difficult for people to believe now, but we were children when rationing was still in force after the Second World War. (Notice I mentioned which war it was - I don't want you thinking that I was talking about the First World War.  I'm not quite that old!!). 

Amazing to think that I had never seen a banana until I was six or seven, and fruit was only available when it was in season.  Chicken was a real luxury, only really eaten at Christmas, along with duck or goose.  When you think that we can eat all these exotic fruits all year round now.  It's easy to be very blase` about just what is available for us to eat now, whereas at that time certain foods were a real luxury, which made us look forward to having them so much more, because they were such a treat.

We had to go out at the weekend to buy a new Hoover - gosh, we know how to live! Now I never thought that I could get excited about a Hoover, but I love this new little machine of mine. (Actually it's a Dyson, not a Hoover, but all models are called Hoovers over here). 

I should point out perhaps that I have real problems with my back after having two operations a few years ago, and my old hoover was just so heavy, especially when carrying it up and down the stairs, whereas this one is so light that I can carry it about easily with just one hand.  Gosh, I can just imagine you all reading this and thinking "waow, this is such an interesting and scintillating post from 'thisisme' today". Hee Hee.  Sorry about that - I'll try to have something a little more entertaining for you next time you come to visit.

Little Eli started his pre-school sessions last week and he goes four days a week (to start off with), either for a morning only session or an afternoon only session.  Anyway, on Friday he said to his mummy "pre-school AGAIN!!!".   Luckily he's settled right into it and seems to be enjoying the sessions.  He came home the first day with a little book bag, and he was allowed to choose a book to take home with him. 

Fortunately I still get to spend Tuesdays with my daughter and Eli & Ruby, and I will be looking after Ruby on Fridays from now on, so all is not lost!!


colenic said...

Sounds like a great weekend...I was wishing that our blackberries had come in this year...I really wanted to make blackberry jam...
By the were one of the winners of my giveaway a few months ago..if you could kindly send me your address, I will get your prize in the mail...nkcowallis at gmail dot com

Shelly said...

What a luscious garden you have- oh, my mouth waters looking at the bounty of it! What interesting stories you have of the post war rationing. It's easy to take for granted what we have now.

And, I LOVE Dyson vacs. Nothing quite like them-

SkippyMom said...

What a wonderful harvest!

I can remember getting fruit in our stocking as a special treat for Christmas. An apple, an orange and a banana - it was exciting because we usually didn't see fruit of any kind that time of year. Now it is year round - which is nice, and kind of spoiling to us. heehee

And I am with you. I don't think I would've eaten a 9 year old pie. Frozen or not. lol

Manzanita said...

WOW to have fresh apple juice and those luscious blackberries right in your freezer. I too,remember rationing during the war. We had little stamps.
Did you ever see the little boy on TV (probably around 6 at the time) who loved Hoover vacuums and could tell a vacuum by sound with his eyes closed. He was a little walking Hoover encyclopedia. They asked what he wanted for his b/d and he wanted a trip through the Hoover factory. :) Wonder what his future holds? :)
Am loving your wedding pictures.

Carol said...

I won't use dairy or meat past it's use by date but fruit/veg, bread etc I will use my judgement.

I was a child of the 70's and so did not know post war rationing but my parents would use the old favourites like tinned corned beef and spam.

I didnt know what a tin of tuna or mayo was until I was in my late teens. My own kids have very advanced palettes to what I had as a child :)


Bethe77 said...

What ayummy selection of fresh fruit you ahve. Oh how I love fresh blackberries. I usually pick some and make pies or cobblers. Not this year. I think I miss that pie alot. Maybe I should have a bite of your hubbys pie from 2002. Oh my! That is a dated pie. Im glad he thought it to still be yummy!
Rations! My girlfriend talks about thsoe and the line for shoes as well. She was a small child. She has many pieces of memoribilla from that time period that was her parents. Lots of incredible history.
Glad Eli is enjoying his pre-school.
Glad you will have Ruby to keep you company on Fridays.
Love reading about your adventures Thisime even when you think they are not much. They are!

Rebecca said...

I wen blackberry picking at the weekend, I'll be making a blackberry and apple crumble. Dysons are great, the best hoover x

Shady Del Knight said...

I know you look forward to your "Ruby Tuesday," dear Thisisme! I think I caught a typo. Didn't you mean the War of 1812? (Sorry, dear friend.) Fresh fruits will keep you in tip top shape and it looks like your garden had an excellent yield. I just chug-a-lugged an opened bottle of salad dressing that I found at the back of my refrigerator. The expiration date was 1975. Now I'm feeling a little woozy!!! (LOL) Thank you very much for helping your American friends to observe the somber 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. They were attacks against good and civilized people everywhere, people just like you. Have a happy week, dear Thisisme!

rainbow said...

Love your post as always. You always have so much interesting stuff to share. You make my day get off to a good start. As for your fruit, it always tastes so much better when it is from your own yard cause it is picked when it is ripe not green picked like it is for the stores. Wish we had more room and time to grow our own so we could enjoy more. Sure do enjoy going to the Farmers Market on Tuesday and Saturday in the early fall.

Make it a great week and better WEEKEND.

rainbow (Momma Lyn)

Southhamsdarling said...

Col - hi there. Oh, blackberry jam - I absolutely adore that. It really is my favourite jam. Gosh, how did I miss that I was one of the winners in your giveaway. Thank you so very much for that. I will e-mail you my address.

Shelly - I agree, we do take everything for granted now, which is only natural I suppose. I'm with you - Dysons are the best!

SkippyMom - Yes, we are completely spoilt now, aren't we, with all the variety of fruit and food that is available to us. I think my husband would have eaten it if it was 20 years old, rather than waste it!!! LOL!

Manzanita - hi there. Thank you for liking the wedding photos! Yes, my mum had those little stamps, which were stuck on to her ration card. Amazing really when you look back on it. No, I never saw that advert about the little boy and his knowledge of hoovers! incredible!!

Dizzy C - hi Carol. Gosh, tinned corned beef and spam. That takes me back! I so agree with you about children and their advanced palettes. My grandchildren eat everything, spicy or not, and really enjoy their food.

Bethe - hi there. Yes, I also have lots of memorabilia from the war years, from my mum when she passed away. It's amazing what she had kept hold of! Thank you for your kind comments.

dubgirl - it's that time of the year, isn't it, with the blackberry picking. Enjoy your blackberry & apple crumble! Another vote for the Dyson!

Shady - hi there Tom. Not sure that I'm going to be speaking to you now. 1812 war indeed!!! (LOL!). I'm sure Mrs Shady wouldn't have kept a bottle of salad dressing from 1975!! I can see that you are in a very frisky mood today!

rainbow - hi. Nice to hear from you, as always. I agree, produce is always so much tastier when it is picked fresh from your own garden. I love going to the Farmer's Market as well, although I notice that they are tending to get quite expensive these days,.

LindyLouMac said...

Enjoy your Dyson I had one in the UK and loved it. I had to laugh about your other half's' attitude to use by dates mine is just the same. I will be passing on the tip to him about putting the apples in the freezer before making juice, as I want him to make some this year. :)

Raindrops and Daisies said...

The thought of freshly squeezed apple juice is making my mouth water!

The blackberries look gorgeous.

Lucky you.

Southhamsdarling said...

LindyLouMac in Italy - hallo! I think that 'sell by' thing is a man thing, don't you?! Yes, someone told my husband about freezing the apples. It really is supposed to be much better, because it doesn't go to mush quite so easily, if that makes sense!

Raindrops and Daisies - the apple juice is wonderful, because it is pure juice and nothing else!

Anonymous said...

That was a great harvest you've got there, it's nice isn't it. Can imagine that pie was delish...
That hoover looks cool, and it's good that it's lighter for you to lift up and down the stairs.
Enjoy your evening my friend.


Desiree said...

None of your posts could ever be classified as uninteresting, since you invest each one with your infectious playfulness and speak directly from your heart. This makes each one so real and personal, it's rather like receiving one of your beautiful handwritten letters.

Claudia Moser said...

Send some blackberries if you got too much :) I love fruit and I think that you are so lucky to have your own production!

As for the vacuum cleaner, I am happy you made the choice, I am sure you will feel much better.

And I do agree with Desiree, your posts are NEVER uninteresting!

Southhamsdarling said...

Eva - we're very lucky with the harvest this year, and I'm sure that I will be making a lot more blackberry & apple pies! Hugs.

Desiree - you are a darling. How could I not feel cheered when I read your lovely comments.

Claudia - hi. I hope you've arrived safely in Estonia. I think the blackberries might get a bit squished if I sent them over to Germany! Try not to work TOO hard!!

Gawgus things... said...

'Course you've got a new hoover - it's autumn, the leaves are starting to fall and you've been out there hoovering them up again haven't you and hence your vacuum cleaner has broken - again! In France, you can only really get fruit and veg as it's in season hence no parsnips at Christmas grrr. Perhaps you could make some blackberry gin this year???

Chatty Crone said...

You think like me - hubbies think alike on the buy and use date!

I think you are the perfect age by the way.

Congrats on your new Hoover.


Olive said...

Number one you will love that Dyson as I adore mine. I have chronic joint pain and cannot stand a heavy one either. Not to mention they are just fabulous. Number two my hubs is just the same with frozen food. I tell him all the time that freezing just retards bacterial growth. He does not listen. I used to be a part of the infectious disease dept. at the hospital and just know way too much about germs!

Southhamsdarling said...

Gawgus things - hi there. Actually it was the better half that suggested I get the new hoover, when the belt had gone on the old one. He said that I had done really well with the old one! (so there!). I hadn't thought about the blackberry gin! It was blackberry brandy that we had for Christmas.

Chatty Crone - yes my friend, it's definitely a 'man'thing! (Like a lot of other things! Hee Hee!).

Southhamsdarling said...

Olive - hi there. I was just thinking, you haven't called me TIM lately!! Yes, I'm enjoying dashing around with my Dyson. It's so light even to push around, so it will make things much easier for me. Gosh, that doesn't sound to good - "retarding bacterial growth"! Eeek! I don't like the sound of that. You can't tell these men though, can you?!

Rebecca said...

those blackberries are beautiful and YUM fresh apple juice sounds like a little piece of heaven to me.

Grammy Goodwill said...

Oh, I so enjoyed this post. I've never heard of freezing apples before making juice from them, but I've also never made apple juice - only applesauce and apple pie filling. I know what you mean about fruits and being so plentiful now. We ate mostly oranges growing up. To have cherries and pineapple and kiwi is such a treat for me.

Teresa said...

the only fruits we had growing up were apples and oranges. and canned peaches. we had bananas every once in a while, but not often.

now, i love that i can get berries, grapes, and cherries at the market.

ron's mom was the one who saved things. she gave us a pound of bacon one time that was stamped $0.69 and a jar of jelly that was even cheaper than that. she grew up during the depression so she saved everything. EVERYTHING. she gave us broccoli once that was so old that it was white - thought it was cauliflower.

Unknown said...

It's the stuff of life that makes good writing. Like apples and blackberries and hoovers! Poor Eli, off to school AGAIN! hahahah! I'll be laughing about that all week:)

Sally Wessely said...

This was certainly a newsy, fun to read post. I am glad to know your husband survived eating that old pie! I am a lot like him, but my husband is always going through everything and throwing out thing that have 'expired.' My mother would always just scrape the green stuff off the cheese, or off the jelly, and we never died. I am a bit more cautious these days than I once was though because you never know about the places where food is processed these days. I think when we canned our own jelly, then we knew more what to expect.

Pat MacKenzie said...

You and your husband are just the opposite of Lloyd and me. I won't throw out milk until it's sour whereas he pours it out if the best before day has passesd. Such a waste.

I've heard great things about the Dyson vacuum cleaners. I think that's what my next one will be.

Love your new header pictures.

orchid0324 said...

Hi, Dear Lady.
Sorry for my really belated comment!!!
Oh, very interesting story. And I am like you,lady. Haha, my husband hates seeing me throwing away Tofu and things just a couple of days after use-by date. I just worry too much, I know(^^;)
Oh, I remember having and enjoying seasonal fruits and veggies when little. Yes, it is amazing to see banana all year around now, isn't it!!!
You taught me words "glut.blase.scintillating" today. And "Hoover". Haha, Hoover is a maker's name.
Thanks for interesting words, (hehe, different type of comment from others)
Love and hoping the marvelous week for you and your family.

PS> Thank you SO much for your sweetest words!!! I trully appreciate them♡♡♡

Katherines Corner said...

Oh my goodness my sweet husband doesn't care about sell by dates either and it drives me batty. I toss it out the moment it reaches the date giggle. A new dyson, very nice. My sweet husband picked me up a second hoover for the upstairs last year I really like it too. In the US they don't hoover the house, giggle. I had to explain that to someone once. I say vacuum the house now. But some things never change for me, like washing up liquid and a few others I can 't seem to change... LOL xo

Southhamsdarling said...

Becca - hi there. yes, the apple juice is wonderful. Completely different from what you get in supermarkets. It's just like drinking apples!!

Grammy Goodwill - yes, we have so many wonderful fruits available to us now, don't we? Mmmm, I love apple sauce, especially with pork.

Teresa - I did smile about Ron's mum saving all those old things!! LOL! But I guess if you were brought up in the depression when everything was so precious, I guess you would learn not to waste anything.

kneesandpaws - I guess it is the stuff of life, but I do worry that people might find it a bit boring!! Yes, Eli's comment made me smile as well, I must admit!

Retired English Teacher - thank you! We used to scrape the mould off - I can remember that when I was pretty young, but, as you say, it never seemed to do us any harm, did it?! My hubby thinks that this is why children and people get so many allergies these days, because everything is so sanitised, and mums are afraid to let their children get dirty.

Pat - I'm glad you like the new header photos. Isn't that funny, that with you and your hubby, it's the other way around about throwing things out. I agree though, sometimes I think we do waste an awful lot of food these days.

Orchid - hallo dear friend. Your comments always make me smile!! I'm glad that I taught you some new words with this post. I do hope that you are feeling a little better now. Sending you hugs from West to East!

Southhamsdarling said...

Katherines Corner - this sell by date thing does look mainly to be a 'man'thing. They're probably more worried about wasting money! Yes, we do tend to say 'just going to hoover through', rather than 'just going to vacuum through'!

Christmas-etc... said...

That's so amazing about the 2002 pie!~ The blackberries make me - want!!!

Southhamsdarling said...

Ann Nichols - good to see you here today Yes, that was funny about the pie, wasn't it?! I would probably have thrown it away if I had found it.

Festy -thank you so much, and thank you so much for popping by today. Lovely to see you here.

Anonymous said...

So first of all I'm jealous of your fruit! You are very blessed indeed. haha. I had visions of apple pie and blackberry jam floating through my head. As for the Hoover I love the lighter ones that work as well as the heavy clunkers. I don't have grandchildren yet but my sis is about to have her baby anytime and since she lives with me I imagine I will soon have my fill of infant crying. haha.
BTW Carol is wonderfu. Love her to death. As for your reference to WW2 I'm very glad you put that in there. I don't think many people understand what that time was like. Bravo

Stella said...

The fruit looks so yummy. Wish I could drop by a taste. So glad to see you were by to visit.

Southhamsdarling said...

Craziness Abounds - Thank you for your nice long comment today!Mmm, I love blackberry jams - yummy! Gosh, that's exciting that your sister is having a baby and, as she lives with you, you will be seeing a lot of the little one!! Will be quite a change for both of you then! Yes, Carol is wonderful, isn't she?! So funny. Lovely to see you here today.

Stella - lovely to see you here as well today. I often think that it would be lovely if we could visit our bloggy friends in real life!

Belle said...

I think I would have eaten that pie too because I love blackberries. I like the look of they Dyson vacuum and it is nice to have a light one. I love my Dirt Devil too! How lovely you get to spend time with your grandchildren.

Suzanne said...

Aw Shucks! This was a great post! I really like your Hoover. I would love to have one myself. If it's pretty lightweight, I could move it around easier than the monster we have! See, you did some good afterall. And your fruit looks lovely. Your hubby and mine sound alike where the 'old' food is concerned. I won't even smell something that has even one good day left on it! And Karo, will eat on past the date. Thanks for a "Good News" post. Eli will probably come to just love preschool!

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger said...

We're (the younger generation!) so lucky to not live under such terrible times and food rationing. Can't believe your husband ate that 2002-dated pie!!!

Duncan In Kuantan

Southhamsdarling said...

Belle - hi there dear friend. Yes, I'm very lucky in the time I get to spend with my grandchildren. Hubby insists that the pie was delicious, so no harm done!

Susan - hi. I'm thrilled with my new Dyson. It's a rollerball one, so it turns so easily and not only is it very light for me to carry around, it is also very light to push as well, so I'm a happy bunny now!!!

Duncan - hi there. Nice to see you here today. I'm afraid that the pie would have been in the bin if I had been here, but it just goes to show. Hubby is still alive and kicking!! Yes, I was only a child when rationing was in force, but it must have been pretty hard on families, especially those with children.

Katherines Corner said...

I'm having my very first blog hop today Please stop by and link up your lovely blog. HUgs

vintch said...

that pie actually sounds great! if jams can sit and mature for that long, i certainly don't see any problems with a pie! it's basically like jam anyway:) and YAY for your vacuum. i've GOT to get a new one. we have two--one is super lightweight and small and just useful in the kitchen, and the other is a massive one that is just TOO bulky! hugs my sweet friend!

Empty Nester said...

You are so funny! Actually, I quite enjoyed this post. But that's the way I feel about all your posts.

Love those apples but you can keep the blackberries---not something I like..too seedy. My hubby is just like yours about food dates- I am like you!

You and Ruby on Fridays should make for some great posts!

Natasha in Oz said...

Boy, you have been a busy lady lately! I think it's wonderful that you are so involved in so many fun things.

I hope that your weekend isn't as busy as your week! Please don't spend it hoovering!

Best wishes,