When we moved in late last autumn little did we know that our tiny apple orchard contained a transparente blanche or white transparent tree, originally from the 1800's this variety makes the perfect apple sauce, melting into a delicious wonder within minutes and as it is an early variety all the apples had disappeared by the time we had moved in, so discovering them this year was an absolute treat in more ways than one.

Just as we were due to go on holiday in mid August this year the apples ripened to perfection, so naturally we spent the early part of August frantically using up as many apples as we could, making apple sauce galore and freezing batches in every corner of the freezer we could find. We also tried our hand at dehydrated apples dusted with cinnamon which were delicious - leaving them in the oven on about 100c for 2-3 hours produced such simple wonders that tasted great on our morning muesli. They also proved to be the perfect travelling snack, however we did manage to hold onto enough of them to sprinkle over our grilled chèvre, sautéed onion and roasted hazelnuts sourdough pizza - simply divine. We also tried making some apple leathers - again at 100c for 2-3 hours - which were devoured so quickly we are frankly embarrassed.

September was spent harvesting our James Grieve tree, one of the finest apples to have come from Scotland - it was first noted in 1893 and up to the 1960's was still grown commercially. Sadly growers stopped producing them because they bruised too easily compared to more modern varieties, which makes it all the more exciting to have them readily available in our garden.

As a symbol of love they make a perfect addition to our little orchard, we simple love the smell as well as seeing our daughters out in their pyjamas harvesting as many as they can, working together in harmony and then feasting on them over a leisurely breakfast of homemade apple sauce, granola, yoghurt, roasted nuts and a sprinkling of Sunday sunshine.