Sunday, 28 July 2013

Rain and Jam and Buckingham Palace

The rain arrived yesterday evening, and then some. We were visiting a friend for dinner and parked our car literally three steps from her front door, and when we said our goodbyes, we drowned travelling those three steps back to the car. Still, it was good to see and the garden looks all the better for the drowning this morning.

And it cleared the air which had become more and more stifling during the day to the point of gasping-for-breath suffocatingness. And what does one do when the air is thick with heat? One makes jam and bakes bread, of course!

'I should make pumpernickel,' Andy announced. Random, thought I. 
'Why pumpernickel?' I said. 
'Well,' said Andy, 'I feel I ought to extend my repertoire before I go on bakery work experience.'

Quite what made Andy think that pumpernickel would be the perfect extension to his bread-baking repertoire I do not know, because as far as I am concerned as long as he keeps supplying brioche and  focaccia I am a happy bunny. He is currently trying to perfect a) the making of the ultimate whole meal seeded loaf and b) throwing dough into the oven from the proving basket onto the baking stone without it ending in a dollopy mess on the oven floor. Both entail a certain amount of swearing, puffing and bakerly angst. And whilst I can understand the quest for perfection of the whole meal seeded loaf, flinging dough from a basket onto a baking stone mystifies me, especially when we have a not insubstantial range of loaf tins. But then I am not an artisan baker in the making. I am the cake lady.

And the jam lady, too. We picked 7lbs of blackcurrants from the allotment on Thursday, and on Friday they occupied a considerable amount of my life being destrigged (stragged? Strugged?) so the impending jam would be free from extraneous foliage and woody stems. And then yesterday morning I stood over a hot stove for 2 hours overseeing the alchemy that happens between fruit 'n' sugar when they combine to become a bloomin' marvellous jam, if I do say so myself, thank you very much. It is times like this, I thought as I twanged the last rubber band onto the cellophane seal, that I wished I belonged to the W.I because THAT jam would win prizes! 

Seventeen jars altogether. Jam job jobbed.

And on Wednesday, Andy and I are off to Buckingham Palace to view how the other half live and also because I am VERY keen to see the Coronation Robe Exhibition. I was discussing this with my friend last night. We are both grand appreciators of a goodly piece of textile art. She had recently been to Sandringham and was very enthusiastic about the embroidery on the Royal tablecloths, enthusiasm which her companions did not share, dismissing these objects d'art as mere 'tablecloths.' Heathens! It is like saying the Coronation Robe itself is just some frock the Queen happened to fling on that morning because her slacks and Crimplene blouse were in the wash. 

Of course, my enthusiasm to view this exhibition can be measured by the fact I am willing to travel to London. I hate London. I hate going on the train, and all the pushing and shoving and the graffiti and the traffic and the noise. But if a delicate satin stitch and some seed pearls are waiting me at the other end, my suffering shall be worthwhile. Might squeeze in a visit to the National Gallery, too. 


Countryside Tales said...

I'm afraid I can't share your enthusiasm for robes but I do admire your jam making skills with all those fiddky widdly berry things. My jam would have been stringy I suspect. Did you eat the jam on the bread? Yum!

rusty duck said...

Glad the rain arrived!
Just catching up, and so sorry to read about Pandora.