A celebration of summer on the terrace yesterday evening, for no great reason other than these long hot days are numbered.
Of course there are some recompenses for the end of summer, mainly in the form of free jam-making possibilities.
Our friend Dorothy just up the road has a marvelous old orchard stuffed with 'mirabelle' plum and apple trees. Mark has made vast quantities of plum jam now, his giraffe stature enabling him 'graze' the trees at a high level without aid of a ladder.
During the last forage we brought back a pannier full of little stripy apples. Cooked with some market apricots and cloves they were a perfect pudding element of the evening's spread.
I seem to have got into a 'tapas' groove at the moment and am a bit stuck there, partly due to lack of seating space around the terrace table. When I say tapas I mean . . . 'I wonder what is in the fridge or in the garden, and what can we make with it'. Last nights offering was fried courgettes and our one aubergine, lots of tasty tomatoes, patatas pobres (poor man's potatoes), Mark's bread, Claires salad of found figs, goats cheese and black olives, and the most pathetically small (but beautiful) carrots. I never have any luck with growing these elusive vegetables.
I will try harder with our 'potager' (veg patch) next year. Despite putting a tip-up truck's worth of manure into it in the autumn it still only seems to grow tomatoes, potatoes and chilies. THE melon will be ready to eat in about a week, perhaps we'll have another fete to celebrate its maturity . . .