September is the fruitful month. Full of almost-full-size squashes, apples picked straight from the tree, hearty homemade pies and soups galore, it marks a change in what we eat as the new season begins. The salads of summer are not completely gone, but sausages and roasted vegetables are much more likely to appear than salads and barbecues for dinner, and although they take longer to cook, the rewards are always worth the extra time.
This month also showcases the best of the hedgerow. In place of the elderflowers arrive the elderberries, ripe for turning into a fruity wine. Or why not try your hand at jam making if there are blackberries still lingering between the branches?
Leeks are also making an appearance this month, and are delicious in a vegetable gratin: lightly fry, then add to a dish with part-boiled potatoes and smother with a cheese sauce, remembering to top with breadcrumbs and pumpkin seeds before heating through in the oven. Finish with a plum crumble, and you’ve got seasonal autumn dining at its best.
Eleanor is obsessed with stories. She writes for a number of online spaces including This is Your Kingdom, edits Creative Countryside, curates #aseasonalyear and teaches at Chalk House. In addition, she is currently studying for an MA in Creative Non-Fiction Writing. You'll find her roving the fields of the Lincolnshire Wolds or planning her next rural adventure.