An interruption

bookworm_interruptionAs you have probably noticed, posts have been sporadic at best on A bookworm’s life. I’m currently having real trouble balancing everything I’ve got going on. I feel as if there should be at least three of me in order to get it all done. The things is, I really must focus on finishing my PhD, which has been going on for too long. So as much as I would like to post recipes and pictures from walks and various musings on here, I have decided to take a little hiatus from blogging.

So for a little while at least, it will be rather quiet around here. You can be certain that I’m still escaping to the countryside every chance I get, I’m taking too many pictures, I’m reading books, and baking all sorts of things. If you’d like to keep in touch, I’m always on Instagram and Twitter, do come and say hello.

See you soon!

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Close up vol.4

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Stunningly pretty pink echinaceas soaking up the sunshine at the Oxford Botanic Garden.

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From my kitchen: Blackberry and apple crumble

Crumbles are so simple to make, endlessly variable, almost impossible to get wrong, and so satisfying and comforting to eat. I love them! Plus, I take great pleasure in saying “Are you ready to crumble?” in a big booming voice whenever I make one.

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Anyway, the past month I really focused on using up blackberries as we were picking more than we could eat. Apart from freezing some to make jam in a few weeks, I used them in blackberry turnovers prepared in the last minute, the most indulgent blackberry french toast, and this delicious blackberry and apple crumble. It’s a recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks: Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights by Sophie Dahl. (More of my thoughts on this cookbook here.)

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Start by coring and slicing a couple of apples. Then simply mix the flour, oats, and butter in a bowl. Using your fingers you crumble things together until the mix begins to look like coarse breadcrumbs. At that point, add in the sugar and mix.

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Place the apples and blackberries in a baking dish, you can be as neat or messy as you like. Dot the fruit with some extra butter and sugar. Cover the fruit with the crumble and bake in the oven until the top is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling up.

Enjoy with some custard. Perfectly comforting!

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So far, I’ve cooked quite a few recipes from this cookbook. If you’d like, have a look at Peasant soup, Buttermilk Chicken with Smashed Sweet Potatoes, and Tawny Granola.

Recipes from the same cookbook coming up: Banana Bread and Aubergine Parmigiana.

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Late summer at the Oxford Botanic Garden

bookworm_botanic7 bookworm_botanic6 bookworm_botanic1 bookworm_botanic2 bookworm_botanic4 bookworm_botanic5 bookworm_botanic3 bookworm_botanic8I love the Oxford Botanic Garden. Its glasshouses are among my favourite places to visit on a freezing cold day. I wanted to visit the Merton borders before summer ended, as I remember really loving them last year. We finally visited on a sunny Sunday a few weeks ago. We first stopped by the glasshouses as I really enjoy smelling the lemon basil that always transports me to my grandma’s front porch, then we had to stop and take pictures of my most favourite gate which for some reason always makes me think of Alice in Wonderland, and then we reached the Merton borders.

The borders were once again so very lovely! As far as I understand, the Merton borders are planted to be like wildflower meadows or cottage gardens, so they are very colourful and dense. They make a beautiful explosion of colour.

Afterwards, we continued out walk in the Christ Church meadows that are right next to the garden. It was such a great little walk!

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August – A picture diary

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Enjoying beautiful sunny days in the Oxford botanic gardens (check out tomorrow’s post) and in the open countryside. Seeing signs that autumn is right around the corner: cool mornings, golden evening light, yellowing leaves, and apples!

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Making animal friends, as always. Hanging out with Maisie The Cat when I’m working from home, saying hello to the horses on my walks, and meeting some lovely piggies at The Big Feastival.

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Slowly getting back into cooking and baking; it’s the GBBO effect. Using up our blackberries in delicious crumbles and rather indulgent breakfasts. Bread baking, mostly soda bread and banana bread. Having a super fun jamming session with a friend, so many jars of plum jam!

bookworm_august4Falling back in love with Oxford: early morning walks down charming little streets, taking yoga classes in stunningly beautiful medieval colleges, and walking to the shops along the canal every day. And, one of the highlights of my year for sure: a day filled with fun, food, and music at the brilliant Big Feastival in the Cotswolds (a post to come, for sure).

August felt like a really long month, especially when I look back on all the pictures on my Instagram. It had its ups and downs but overall it was a great month, with so many memorable moments.

Here’s to an amazing September!

All pictures taken from my Instagram.

 

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