I promised "rural ramblings" when I started this blog, and so far it seems to be all work & no play. However last night was the annual auction of Harvest Festival goodies at the village church in aid of Water Aid. This longstanding tradition always provides great entertainment as the women of the village squabble and bid hard for the jars of infamous delicious runner bean chutney or the gooiest chocolate cake! This year the proceedings were livened further by complimentary glasses of wine which certainly got everyone bidding & providing some very funny banter from the auctioneer (don't even ask what one does with certain vegetables!)
The produce is all donated by the local school, and in days gone by when my boys were little the fare usually was all homemade or homegrown, or the most basic groceries (tins of baked beans, pineapple rings or tinned peaches). As the years went by and the larger more affluent cars crunched their way along the lane to the village school, the produce changed to more sophisticated items ( chesnut puree from Harrods, exotic tinned fruits & jars of ginger) now I am pleased to report that we seem to be back to basics once again, and the produce was mostly homegrown, organic and a lot of thought was put into the beautiful little shoeboxes lined with straw & decorated with childrens pictures.
As the evening progressed, we filled our bags & baskets with produce, the laughter got louder and there was a gasp from the crowd as a jar of local honey went for £5. The last lot of the day was grasped by my friend Wendy.... only to discover it was a jar of Italian sauce past its sell-by date!