Thursday, 27 October 2016

We love to spend time outdoors as a family and visiting the pumpkin patch is fast becoming a tradition of ours. I always considered Halloween as an American holiday that wouldn't pick up in the UK, but I am so pleased to see that it is becoming more mainstream over here. We took Oliver pumpkin picking last October but he was a little too young to get involved being only 10 months old at the time. This year he was in his element, he loved racing around shouting 'mumpkin' (he hasn't quite mastered the 'P' pronunciation) and helping us pick the best one.

We ended up settling on one large pumpkin for carving and a smaller one for Oliver. As Oliver is still a little too small for actual carving, I thought he could paint and use glitter to decorate his pumpkin. If you haven't taken your children to a pumpkin patch before I would highly recommend it. It's such a fun and inexpensive day out, best of all the pumpkin you pick gets to come home with you to carve or decorate. So a 2 for the price of 1 activity, which is great for those of us looking to have family fun on a budget!


Monday, 3 October 2016

In celebration of the beginning of Autumn (yay) we went blackberry picking. Autumn is my favourite season; I love the cold weather, cuddling up on the sofa under a blanket and the leaves changing colour. There is something so pretty about this time of year. 

Fruit picking has become one of our favourite things to do as a family because it gets us outdoors and is a relatively inexpensive activity. Oliver absolutely loves helping us to pick the berries and place them into the carton. One of the sweetest things is to see him picking a berry and shouting 'berry daddy!' as he races over to Steve to give it to him. 

If you watch our weekly vlogs, you will know that I love cooking for my family. One of the most satisfying things is going out and picking our own fruit, then coming home and making something with it. I made a blackberry pie which came out much better than I was expecting considering it was my first attempt. 


Blackberries (we used one full carton pictured above)
Demerara sugar
Plain all purpose flour
Pre-made shortcrust pastry sheet (or you can make your own)

1. Combine the blackberries, sugar, flour and cinnamon on a low heat. I didn't measure out the quantities as I prefer to taste until it is to my preference, I kept adding more sugar/flour/cinnamon until I was happy.

2. For the pastry I used a ready rolled shortcrust pastry sheet (shh don't tell anyone) and simply assembled in in a round 9" pie dish. I brushed the top with egg and sprinkled a little sugar on the top to sweeten it.

3. I baked for around 35 minutes at 200C, but again I didn't follow timing religiously as I prefer to just check every 5 minutes or so to see if it has browned. 

And voilĂ , a really quick and simple blackberry pie!