Thursday, November 10, 2005

Cape Lavender Strawberry Jam

Actually, that is a tiny picture of Lavender Honey but you know what? I can't be bothered to go back and download a bigger one. So there you go, the true me ... lazy and slipshod. But I digress.

I too, have been gallivanting across in Western Australia. I had this wild idea that I would blog over here, to which I now say HAH! I barely had time to eat twice a day, let alone sit down somewhere for more than a few seconds. But I had a brief break when I went to the Domestic Airport to collect Figman (that makes it sound like he was packaged up nicely like a kitten in a travel cage!) and the plane was half an hour late. So I did what any reasonable person would do.

No, I did not try to sneak into the Qantas lounge so that I could admire the spotlessness of their toilets (honestly, they are the best airport toilets I have ever seen. And they could teach my toilet a thing or two). I went shopping. These days, thanks to the good people at Newslink, there is actually somewhere decent to shop in Australian airports. I had already picked up my 3 for $50 novels on the way out of Melbourne but this was a good opportunity to browse the local selection. And when I'd had a good read of Jeffery Steingarten's column in US Vogue, I wandered across to the Discover West store. These shops stock local wines, cheeses, chocolates, preserves - you name it! The one at Melbourne is not of particular interest to me because I already know about this stuff. But here, there were a stack of unknown treasures to be rummaged through.

To be fair, I was restricted by a small suitcase already crammed full to bursting and so, I restrained my purchasing. But I did look longingly at the cupcake soaps and packets of chocolates. And I was able to eliminate several condiments and sauces because I've seen them in Melbourne. Otherwise I would have bought about seven! So I felt very proud that I only bought two - Cape Lavender Strawberry Jam and Lavender Honey.

The lavender strawberry jam is gorgeous - it has an only-almost-set quality that I love and is very spreadable. The lavender taste varies considerably - at first I was wondering where the lavender was and the next minute, it tasted like soap! But apart from the odd moments when it's just too much lavender, it has a lovely taste and is the best strawberry jam I've had in years. I wish I'd brought more.

I haven't tasted the lavender honey and was saving it for something special, like this honey icecream of Heidi's. But this evening, I walked past the jar and stopped in my tracks. Someone had broken the seal! And this does not bode well. Figman and I have a very different approach, shall we say, to jams and preserves and breakfast condiments. I am of the separate-clean-spoon-keep-your-buttery-knife-out-of-my-damn-jamjar school and he is of the wild rollicking anything goes method. You know, it wouldn't surprise me to find him spooning out wasabi mayonnaise with a crowbar. Anyway, I digress ...

This difference of views led at one point to separate jam jars, but we've both softened our views and let that slide. And yet now, I think it might be time to reinstitute this preservatory apartheid. You see, the only honey in the house at the time of the Great Jam Wars was honey in a squeeze bottle. And so, it was left alone, since you can't get crumbs and butter into one of those unless you're really really determined. But since I discovered all these amazing new honeys, I've been buying jars of the stuff. And the big difference between preserves and honey is that the surface crumbs and butter start to slowly drift through the honey, until the vestiges of last week's toast are suspended midway down the jar. I watched this happen with the Tasmanian Orange Blossom Honey, kind of like a science experiment at the breakfast table. But it's not happening with my Lavender Honey, damnit!! I'll just have to send the Figman back for another jar. And he can pick up that cupcake for me while he's there!

PS I was very relieved to find that I am not the only person who does this. My friend T. has his own honey jar, which is off-limits to the rest of his family. Whenever we meet we fall into each other's arms and mutter darkly about our households and their buttery, buttery knives. Hehehehehe


At 11:45 PM, Blogger cin said...

I'm definitely with you on the no-crumbs-in-the-jam/honey-jar-thanks thingy - LOL. Btw, are you and Figman & Plumbaby coming to the dinner that Ed (tomatom) is organising?

At 10:53 AM, Blogger plum said...

Unite! Unite! that's what we should do!

Unfortunately I can't come to the dinner - a friend's exhibition is opening that night so no can do. Hopefully it'll become a regular thing. Enjoy yourselves and blog about it for the rest of us!

At 1:34 PM, Blogger Niki said...

Hi Plum!
We're organising another date for the dinner. Sometime before the end of the month. We'd love to email you and discuss dates. Would you be able to send me an email?

At 7:43 PM, Anonymous Barbara said...

Hi Plum - I didn't buy any lavender jam. My mum had some lavender sweets and they were like eating soap. Your Perth trip sounds fun. Pity you could come on the picnic with me and (The Man That Cooks)Anthony.


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