‘Sacred Simplicity’: September


‘…I knew that Body Glitter would come in handy…’

I managed to get ahold of twenty Fair trade bananas for £ 1 last week ! From Wood Green Market, so here’s probably not your first, banana cake (!)

I like to use bananas in baking, because they have natural sweetness, this means I can potentially use 50% less sugar in my recipes.

Using Demerara (Demerara Sugar originates from Guyana -formerly Demerara) Soft Brown Sugar instead of Caster Sugar.

A little bit ‘alternative’ with banana chips to decorate.


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Please see also,

Jenny’s Magic *Banana Chip Cake (!)


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‘Sacred Simplicity’: September

Jenny’s Magic *Paella

Saffron costs the same as Cocaine and is typically, farmed by gypsies in Spain and is relatively expensive to buy, but very special for a dish like Paella.

I also enjoy September because fish is back in season.

Paella is a dish, that was one of my granny’s ‘signature dishes’.

It is a dish that really tends to, utilise everything and a small variety of things, that you seem to have left over in your kitchen, if you run a healthy Mediterranean kitchen.

My Uncle and Dad used to argue, at 40 years old, even whilst abroad, over whether to fry the rice before or after the onions, to prevent the rice from being closed but open.

My Granny and Great Granny used to bicker horrifically in the kitchen.

Uncle Jim would travel to the seaside to get prawns and mussels especially for granny’s Paella.

Some people like shell fish and some like chicken and some like both.

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‘Sacred Simplicity’: September

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‘Sacred Simplicity’: September

‘House Sparrows & Oats’

Drawing From, Edith Holden, 1906.



‘September was the seventh month of the Roman calendar, but is the ninth according to our reckoning. The Anglo-Saxons called it ‘gerst-monath’, -Barley month.’

Feast Days:

September 21: St. Matthew

September 29: St Michael

or Michaelmas Day


‘Fair on September first, fair for the month’.

‘Plant trees at Michaelmas & command them to grow,

Set them at Candlemas & entreat them to grow’.

St Matthew brings cold dew’.

‘September blows soft,

Till the fruits’ in the loft’.

‘September dries up wells, or breaks down bridges’.

‘Best I love September’s yellow,

Morns of dew-strung gossamer,

Thoughtful days without a stir,

Rooky clamours, brazen leaves,

Stubble dotted o’er with sheaves –

More than Spring’s bright uncontrol

Suit the Autumn of my soul…’-Alex Smith.

‘…The splendour falls on castle walls

And snowy summits old in story,

The long light shakes across the lakes; 

And the wild cataract leaps in glory.

Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,

Blow, bugle, answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

O hark, O hear ! How thin and clear,

And thinner, clearer, farther going !

O sweet and far from cliff and scar

The horns of Elfland faintly blowing !

Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying

Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying…’-Tennyson.


‘Sacred Simplicity’: September

‘Gold finch feeding on Thistle-seed.’

‘…also the Box tree, said to have been planted by Queen Mary…’

Drawing From, Edith Holden, 1906.


‘Sep 1. Hottest day we have had here yet . This is the third day of bright sunshine. Cycled, through Doune to Dunblane, through well-wooded, rolling country, with low hills and fine, distant views. The road followed the windings of the Teith for a great part of the way. They have commenced harvesting in the Oat fields.

  1. Rowed to the top of Loch Vennachar and pic-nicad on the shore. The Brake Fiern on the hills is beginning to turn bronze and yellow. Great quantities of it have been cut and and left to dry on the hillside, making great patches of red and brown. None of the trees are turning colour as yet. On the way home we witnessed a wonderful sunset across the water. The reflected light on the Eastern hilltops was gorgeous, -all shades of god and red and brown, deepening into purple and grey shadows at the base of the mountains. There was a curious, gold-brown dust lying all over the surface of the loch, which we thought must be Heather pollen, blown across from the hills.
  1. Walked to the Lake of Menteith and back across the. Hills. Unlike most of the scotch lochs the shores are flat and marshy and surrounded by large beds of reeds, which are a great resort of Water-fowl of all kinds. The lake is noted for the number of large Pike it contains. The walls of the little inn-parlour on the edge of the lake are hung round with fine, stuffed specimens in cases, that have been captured in its’ waters. Rowed across to Inchamahone Priory; on one of the two islands. Here were huge old Spanish Chestnut Trees, supposed to have been planted by the monks, and the largest Nut trees I have ever seen; also the Box tree, said to have been planted by Queen Mary. Most of the Chestnut trees were green and vigorous, with wonderful, twisted trunks and covered with fruit, as were the Nut trees. The ruined walls of the Priory were green with the tiny Wall Spleenwort; and Hare-bells were waving their purple bells aloft from many of the top most crevices. Crossing the high ridge of hills between the Teeth Valley and the Menteith district we traversed some extensive peat-bogs. The colours of some of the mosses and bog plants were very vivid the orange seed-vessels of the Asphodel and deep crimson, and palest of pale green, mosses being particularly striking. The Heather is all turning brown now, -only a pink bit here and there.

Sep 25. Goodbye to Scotland and back to the Midlands once more.

Sep 30. Scarcely any of the foliage on the trees is turned colour. Some of the Beech trees are quite bare, the leaves having shrivelled up and fallen off, this is doubtless due to the long drought there has been here. Weather still continues perfect. Hot sun during the day, cold and clear at night; mist in the mornings.’

From Edith Holden, 1906



‘Sacred Simplicity’: September

Fruit of Wild Guelder Rose (Virburnum opulus)

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‘While ripening corn grew thick and deep,

And here and there men stood to reap,

One morn I put my heart to sleep,

And to the meadows took my way:

The Goldfinch on a thistle-head

Stood scattering seedless as she fed,

The wrens their pretty gossip spread,

Or joined a random roundelay.’ -From, Jean Ingelow.


‘Sacred Simplicity’: September

(From left to right) Juniper berries (Juniperus communis)

Round-leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia)

Seed-vessels of Bog Asphodel.

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‘Sacred Simplicity’: September

Fruit of Spanish Chestnut (Castanea vesca)

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and Horse Chestnut (Oesculus Hippocastanum).

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