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It is a lovely Autumnal evening for walking dogs. The trees are tinted with gold and the leaves are beginning to drop, and the sun hung low on the horizon as we set out. There was a breeze blowing, but not fiercely enough for me to need a coat and it was lovely to make the most of the last vestiges of warm sunlight.

The weather has been appalling this year. I don’t think I remember it being so wet. It is not as if we have had a particularly hot spell to make up for it. Now we have to prepare for temperatures to drop and for short, grey days.

I have just eaten my last apple and cinnamon pie, so I need to go and raid Mum’s garden to see if there are any apples left on the trees. There is something comforting about slightly tart apples with a hint of cinnamon encased in a nice short-crust pastry served with a dollop of lightly whipped cream. I must make more pies. There is a recipe in a magazine today for a delicious looking mushroom and celeriac pie. I love celeriac, but eat it raw, and have never cooked with it. It has a soft celery flavour that works well in remoulade, with a touch of grain mustard, red onion and a squeeze of lemon juice added to a good quality mayonnaie.

Mushrooms are a vegetable I eat a lot of. As a vegetarian, I rely on them to add a “meatiness” to a recipe, but I love them on toast, stuffed, as stroganoff, in a chilli or as part of a brunch with mashed potato and baked beans. Chestnut mushrooms, field mushrooms, button mushrooms, any mushroom will do, just don’t over cook them.