Thursday, May 30, 2024
HomeNewsNotes from the Sticks: That’s the way the crumble cooks

Notes from the Sticks: That’s the way the crumble cooks


THE other day my neighbour gave me some windfall Bramley apples. (They have to be windfalls – this is the tree and I don’t see how you could pick the fruit without risking your life.)

The same day Alan came home with a couple of eating apples from a box marked ‘Help Yourself’ outside a house in the village. So I thought I would have a go at a blackberry and apple crumble. There is a good crop of blackberries near here.

This is my haul:

Here are the apples:

I sliced the apples (not the rotten bits, obviously),

put the blackberries on top

scattered some brown sugar over, made a crumble topping with flour, butter and brown sugar and covered the fruit,

put it in the oven at 180C for 50 minutes, et voila!

It was very satisfying to make something with ‘foraged’ ingredients. I would have liked the crumble to be more crumbly – I wonder if adding oats would be good?


There is a lot of ivy round here and it is coming into flower. It must be a godsend for insects now that the wildflowers are just about finished (though groundsel is still going strong – it has the longest flowering season of all the wild plants I know.) I passed this ivy hedge yesterday morning and the insects were very busy, as I hope you can see.


Sheep of the week

Uniquely, the Badger Face Welsh Mountain Sheep comes in two colourways, each the reverse of the other.

This is the Torddu type:

And this is the Torwen type.

Torddu means black belly and Torwen means white belly, though why on earth you would name an animal after its least visible characteristic beats me. The white version is three times more common than the dark, but what I have not been able to discover, despite wasting quite a while on the internet, is whether the different colours appear randomly or whether you need two parents with the same colour. Rams have horns; ewes do not.

The breed is believed to be one of the oldest in Britain, having been in Wales since the first century AD or earlier. Its origins are not known but the face markings are similar to the wild Mouflon sheep.

It is very hardy and said to have delicious meat.

Here is a video.

You can find out more about the breed at the Badger Face Welsh Mountain Sheep Society. 


Wheels of the week

This beauty is a 1952 Jowett Jupiter.

Jowett was founded in Bradford in 1901 by brothers Benjamin (1877–1963) and William (1880–1965) Jowett with Arthur V Lamb as a bicycle firm. Their first motor car went into production in 1910.

After the Second World War the firm produced the Jowett Javelin, considered to be an advanced design which could do 80mph. This was joined by the Jupiter in 1950.

A car tested by Motor magazine in 1950 had a top speed of 86.1 mph and accelerated from 0-60 mph in 18 seconds with fuel consumption of 25.1 miles per gallon. It cost £1,086 (£30,000 now, according to the Bank of England inflation calculator) including taxes. At this time a Jaguar XK120 cost £1,263.

Jupiters were in demand until Jowett ceased making cars in 1954. In all 825 were produced.


FINALLY, a reminder that reader Kathy Nel (‘linuslimmy’) is collating anecdotal evidence about bird and insect numbers, either increases or decreases (or even static). Send your comments and observations to this address: If you leave a comment below the line, we need a geographical location to be able to use it.

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Margaret Ashworth
Margaret Ashworth
Margaret Ashworth is a retired national newspaper journalist. She runs the Subbing Clinic in a hopeless attempt to keep up standards, and co-runs A & M Records where she indulges her passion for 60s pop.

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