Monday 15 July 2013

Bonne Maman


The most popular brand of jam in France relies heavily on familial nostalgia to sell its wares. Not that the jams are bad, they're pretty good, but the name on the jar must contribute to the expectations that inform the enjoyment of the product.

So without modesty I offer you my own exceedingly digestible red jam made from equal quantities of rather old strawberries and freshly picked raspberries with the sugar amount eyeballed and the cooking controlled by timer so that I shouldn't forget the roilsome (that's not a word, apparently) pan bubbling away behind me as I did the washing up. Against all expectations it's formed an excellent consistency,  good set and enjoyable flavour with so little attention to detail that I confidently predict all of you will go to your kitchens and follow my example of good motherhood without any apprehension or fear.

Chicory flower

On the other hand the weather is so gloriously hot that I've given up all pretensions to managing any work and drift around day long in a happy fug of holidayness. The only spur that provokes me to a little action is the fear of all my plants dying of thirst in the unmitigated heat so I have been getting up early to lug huge watering cans around in a futile battle to keep moisture loving squash and beans alive, not to mention the plants in the greenhouse which is a real oven at the moment.

We have suffered deer attack on the french beans and oca which is saddening. A fence is the only real answer but for the moment I've arranged white plastic chairs on a large sheet of rustley black plastic next to the plot in an attempt to convince them that the humans have just left a bizarre picnic and will be back real soon now so best not trespass.

Saveol Torino Plum tomato from the supermarket

Although there are a few tomatoes ripening in the greenhouse the crop is nowhere near adequate for a tomato addict like me. These Saveol Torino plum tomatoes are definitely my tomate de jour at the moment with a good flavour, texture and keeping quality. I can find almost nothing about them on the web but they're obviously owned and trademarked by Saveol who have cornered the French market for fancy toms, almost certainly F1 - hell, they could even be GM except it's not allowed in the EU - and probably not legal or worthwhile to try to grow out from seed. Still, they must have come from somewhere so if anyone knows the breeding lines that they came from you'd make a mad old cat woman very happy.

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