Sunday, 19 July 2009
Red, amber and green (ish)
I want to be looking out of my window and seeing baskets of flowers enjoying themselves in the sunshine. I want to be in my garden reading a book under the shade of the apple tree. I want to be sitting round the garden table eating supper on a long hot summer's evening. Unfortunately, what I have been doing is sitting at my computer gazing out through the window at grey, wet days and soggy washing. If I turn my head just a little to the left I can find some colour but it's not coming from the garden - in a corner of the room is this motley collection of bits and bobs that have been the only sources of eye candy the past few days have had to offer.
I haven't taken many photos recently, but, it's strange to see that those I have taken, all seem to have similar red, amber and green colours in them. A sort of "stop, get ready and go" collection of things I've been up to and enjoyed over the last few days.
Last week I was round at Emma's house again. That magical old preserving pan of hers that had produced vats of elderflower cordial was calling us once more. Emma had been given pounds of blackcurrants by her mother to make some jam. Again we struggled with our measurements and calculations and again (oh dear what will my dentist say?) we trundled down to the supermarket to buy more kilos of sugar.
So we stood and poured and stirred and giggled and waited and waited ... when would we reach sugar boiling point? We managed the most beautifully coloured scum covered brew. We skimmed it and found a jewel coloured potion lying beneath but the sheer quantity of liquid jam made it far too scary to allow it to come to a rolling boil. So we stood and waited and waited. Fear of being covered by molten jam like some kind of sugary volcano erupting led us to take things slowly. oh so slowly. Two hours later, with the crack of some almight thunder and lightening and the reminder that we had to go and collect our children from school we decided to call it a day.
Later on that evening Emma rang to say she boiled it once more and eureka we had jam! Not just a bit of jam, not just a scraping of jam on your toast but jars and jars and jars of the stuff (I told you it was a magic jam). Delicious tasting jam, sweet smelling jam, gorgeously jewel coloured jam that gleams when you hold it up to the sunlight (but this being July in England there is no sunlight, so you'll have to take my word for it).
One rainy day last week on the way back from the morning school run. I popped into the local shop and saw a packet of Fruity Liquorice Allsorts on special offer. I couldn't resist ... but they were too, too sweet for even my tooth and not nearly liquorishy (is that a word?) enough. But they did look so bright and summery next to my nasturtiums that were growing outside the kitchen window.
Finally my green photo, my favourite. Oh I do like this photo for lots of reasons. Not because it's a good photo (it aint) but because I love the green and creams of the enamel tin holding the basil and the vintage bread tin that I found at a local street party. I love the greens and scent of the basil, the smell and taste of summer. I love the pattern and shape of artichokes, I'm fascinated by their leaves and design. I love the fact that for a few short weeks during the year you can find them fresh and cheaply at the local greengrocer and if you put them together with that basil, some bread some olive oil you get my perfect summer's meal. What I really like is that in my "traffic light" colllection of photos, this one says "go", enjoy summer while you can.
PS If Devon Dumpling would like to email me with her address, I'd love to send her a few little goodies to say 'thank you' for her elderflower recipe, eton mess with elderflowers and gooseberries (Emma and I were drooling over this one) - find me some eggs and cream quick!!!!