August 2007

while we were visiting my parents and attending the wedding 2 weeks ago, i bashed my glasses and my head against the car door (basically misjudged where the cardoor was in relation to the car) and my glasses came off the worse for wear. Dad managed a sort of holding mechanism: some kind of gunk (that should be used for filling in scratches on a car door that stank to high heaven) but it wouldn’t hold forever, and more to the point, looked quite ugly (although not as bad as sellotape!). Anyway, once we got home, i booked a sight test (since it’d been at least 6 years since my last one!) and trundled off to the optician last week, chose a pair of glasses and went to pick them up today.

The prescription has changed some: mostly on the right eye, in a very disorientating way. Disorientating enough that the optician recommended i not wear the glasses home, but wore my old ones instead. Its quite strange. As long as i keep my head still, its fine, but the moment i move my head or body its like my eyes take a second to catch up with what i’m seeing. very wierd.

Anyway: before and after pics below. Not the most flattering pics in the world but, hey, you can’t have everything.

old glasses new glasses


i was going to make more plum jam today. Only.. i had to look around for some more jars. And then i got sorting out. and the thing is with sorting out… it never stops. until you run out of steam, anyway.

One thing i do have a lot of is Kenco coffee jars. Empty ones, i hasten to add. Shaped like the one in the picture, but with a red lid. Rather handsome jars, i think, and i started to collect them years ago to put dried staple goods in. Over time i put them away in the pantry, rather than having them on display, because i simply have too many of them (to illustrate, i was recently completely foxed by a recipe that called for “sugar”. Whaddya mean sugar.. i need to know what kind of sugar?!! i have granulated, demerara, icing, dark soft brown, light soft brown, dark muscavado, light muscavado, caster and some chunks of palm sugar somewhere!).. only now i find there’s a need for them again, and i noticed that the bookshelf in the kitchen (that rather conveniently holds up my MP3 player) was very badly used and cluttered and terribly dusty. So i cleaned that and got out my jars and sorted things out and.. before i knew it it was 7pm and Michiel was grouching about dinner and walking jess. hmm. so much for jam making.

Hmm. I like sorting out like that.

Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. I thought i would share pictures of my efforts with you, along with photos of the pantry and the fridge. Some people like to see other people’s kitchens – trust me, there are entire webpages devoted to it. [Behind the cut, as I’ve posted these large size in order to maximise the detail.]


golden plum jammmmmm yes.. more jam making today!!! this time around it was golden plum jam – very very yummy. Even Michiel liked this one. tomorrow is dark red plums – i may add some cinnamon sticks to this to give a nice flavour. And i’ve still got a punnet of golden plums Damson and plum jamsleft, plus a bowl of damsons. I might get some gin and add the damsons to that – apparently damson gin is very nice, comparable to sloe gin. The golden plums i may make a plum crumble to freeze, or make something else. not sure what yet. Anyway. Recipe i used to make the golden plum jam is behind the cut!!


tumbling tom tomato - going red!Not having done an update since July 25th, and (to be honest) not having done a great deal in the garden since July 25th… i thought i best do an update. I actually wasn’t expecting the garden to be intact when we got back from Birmingham on 5th August, we were both gobsmacked that everything was intact. Of course, all the stress of worrying about leaving our home alone (in the week prior to us leaving for my cousin’s chives growing backwedding, we’d had the local idiots throwing waterbombs into our open back door, throwing large stones at the windows) and Michiel having very bad feelings about it all, we were expecting to come back to a flat that was burgled/firebombed and the stress of that and the stress of actually getting down there with Jess.. the moment i got home i got a sore throat which heralded the beginning of a stinker of a cold – and that of course put me out of action as far as the garden was concerned for 2 weeks, apart from hobbling out on my better days to see if the tomatoes were ripening.

[Photos behind the cut as per usual]


Damson JamApologies for the absence: not only have we been away for a weekend (to attend a cousin’s wedding and visit with family), i also rather promptly fell ill with a rotten stinker of a cold  and have been resting up for most of the last two weeks. However, i feel somewhat better now, and when i spied a big box of damsons in the market in Ashton yesterday… i thought of damson jam, and of course, that’s what i’ve been doing this afternoon (as well as making bread. After all, what’s a pot of jam with no bread to spread it on?).

i’ve never had damsons before, or damson jam, and i was quite unprepared for the lovely flavour. i first tasted it after i’d tipped the sugar in (so it was at the syrup stage) and even then i was like .. OMMGGG.. Michiel came in at that point and went.. “that good is it?” i just dipped the spoon back in and handed it to him silently. he tasted, then went.. “OMG, you’re right”. and i set to boiling with a vengenance. Got 1 large jam jar and 4 and a half little ones out of the 2 and a half pounds i cooked up. And i’m sorely tempted to go back to the market on monday to get some more damsons.

The recipe is behind the cut if anyone is interested. This was my first foray into the wierd and wonderful world of jam making: i got a book on preserves in general from the library yesterday as well and i’ve been salivating over some truly wonderful food descriptions, so i think i can safely say that it won’t be the last. I must work on decreasing the sugar in the jam though: Michiel though the damson jam was far too sweet. Which is a shame. I think its lovely.


Heading to Birmingham this weekend; a family wedding is in store! wanted to give Mum these pics before we came down. Behind the cut as usual. Mom – feel free to print off/copy 🙂 we can take em to Grans on saturday.