A Provence table in autumn

Provence, the Cookbook by Caroline Rimbert Craig is published by Kyle Books, £22.00, www.octopusbooks.co.uk

Caroline Rimbert Craig hails from generations of fruit farmers in Provence, where her great grandfather co-founded the wine co-operative in her family’s native village, Mormoiron. Her new book is a guide to cooking the Provence way, in rhythm with the seasons.

Autumn awakens an industriousness hitherto dormant in me, more so than at New Year, no doubt a relic of new school terms past.

It is a time for invigorated routines. I find myself sitting at the kitchen table, making a list of what is to be done over the coming weeks. Tomato coulis, jams and chutneys first. Later, quince cheese, sloe gin, vin d’orange and olives. The list is considerable but so are the rewards.

There is other work, too. In London, a nine to five.

In Provence, the grape harvest, or vendanges, in the fields from eight am until four pm.

Thoughtfully prepared packed lunches and quick and satisfying evening meals are the order.

There are the hot soups to greet us at home as the temperatures cool. The stews and daubes, prepared a day in advance for gentle reheating when needed. The aromatic slow roasts of weekends as we draw inside our homes.

But in between all of this, there is the list.

In Provence, a necessary drive to preserve as much of our produce as possible.

In Britain, part of a deep desire within me to remain connected to my family’s harvests and a way I know many of my fellow urbanites and friends love to mark the season. We buy our ingredients in bulk from unpretentious markets. We set about preparing lovely things and our cupboards are soon joyfully replete with preserves and liqueurs for the coming winter months.

The majority of us won’t have vast quantities of home-grown produce to save, and no one ...

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