After school there is still a little prized time to enjoy outside before darkness falls. Over the last week, this time has been absorbed by the wheat harvest on our farm, which has provided the perfect excuse for the kids to be outside and run off some energy as they watch. This had been a much anticipated event in our house, so there was a huge sense of relief that it was actually underway.
Although the fields now look a little bereft without the ever changing, gently wavering wheat sheafs that we have been so used to over the spring and summer months, we have been left with some beautiful bales which have become a fantastic playground for the kids.
During harvest, we also managed to escape without the kids for a couple of hours to attend an event with Tom Kitchin, who was extolling the benefits of using one pan to maximise flavour, it was a timely reminder for me.
A few years ago, during Autumn, I got into the habit of making chilli con carne – one of my favourite one pan meals. As with all the best recipes, it has been played with and adapted, and is now familiar enough to do from memory. By starting with some pieces of smoked bacon and some aromatic allspice, cumin and cinnamon and then adding all of the other ingredients to the same pan, none of the delectable smokey aromatic flavours that you started with are lost. I like to capture the reds, yellows and oranges of Autumn that provide cheer on even the wettest and windiest day by adding in proud chunks of brightly coloured peppers. Tom’s reminder has acted as the catalyst to get my chilli pan out again this month.