"You have been quiet since the turn of 2011 Kirsty... what's been going on in 'da hood'?
Are you ill? introspective? struggling a little to cope with the minutiae of daily life?..."
All of the above it seems! and then some more.
So when life is feeling a bit 'too much to bear' i tend to get domestic. I *think* my philosophy is to 'Hunker down' / get back to the basics. In essence, to start again from the bottom up and see if i can feel better.
I am not a saint and i did go to the (not sooo local) kitchen shop ABRAXAS in Weedon.
If i ever have like-minded friends to stay, it is somewhere i like to take them. A treat of a shop for dreaming and dribbling in. OF Cooouuurrrse, nobody needs 'special things' to cook with. I can SEW my own "Bouquet Garni Bags" etc... and so on but i am trying to treat myself so i feel no guilt in this commercial endeavour.
I bought this lovely PINK whisk too. It is all rubbery in feel. Very satisfying. Now that i DID need and would rather purchase anew than save from the skip / carboot.
I love to get all my bowls and equipment out ready...
i got all the fruits from a local independant Greengrocers via my trip to the cookware shop (extra Brownie points?) they are cheaper and friendly and superior quality.
I spent a few days in and out of the kitchen making Lemon Cordial and Marmalade, aswell as Candid Peel (waste not, want not)
I have no tried and tested methods for either - i am too young and impulsive to belong to any club involving 'secret recipes'. I used an internet recipe for the Lemon Cordial, and i am gald i did. It was a superb method which made me use lots of the peel from 12 lemons and save it as 'Candid Peel' - a sort of sugary treat. It tastes A-mazing!! and the cordial is the finest / strongest / perfectly not too sweet recipe i ever made. Very happy.
It came out quite brown and caramelised looking but has since lightend with maturity and looks far more like it's Lemony self again now. I made many! - one or two glass bottles i purchased a while back but most bottles i have saved from family and friends and the pub and that.
Then the o-so-satisfying process of PRESERVING in any which way or form.
You need smell-o-vision here for sure friends.
Is there much in life that is more beautiful a sight than a bowl full of lemons or a pan full of Seville Oranges? i think not.
(oh Lordy - it's that tracksuit again. I am beginning to feel that it has become sealed to my chest.... how can i rid myself of it's comfort... it has....wait for it.... a.... FLEECY INSIDE!... i am doomed...MrsB???)
Now that marmalade....
i have used 3 differing recipes over the years. i have finally concluded WHAT it is iam doing that prevents me from getting the marmalade to the right consistency. I won't bore you with my marma-experiments but it has a great deal to do with the fact i don't like mine all peely and fleshy / pulpy so i *think* i am lacking pectin in the pan.... it's a theory.
And honestly, it tastes pretty good - but is not a patch on last years batch.
I must make notes on 'why' etc... then i might make it really well next year?
Do you want to know what went into the jar also?
A few strands of that lemon Candid Peel from the previous day (how cunning can a Fish be?) and a Star Anise (for the Major)
Country pursuits - Preserves and Flat Caps.
I smell of lemons with a hint of ginger and just a touch of fleece.
I am no city girl.
I am no domestic goddess.
I am tired and feeling un-anchored.
A little cooking and a great deal of walking is the very restorative that i need.
x x x