Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I type this with fingernails caked with blood.

My cousin has returned to help us out for a few weeks. Last night she mentioned how she had cut herself on our Furi knives and that she had to be careful with them from now on.

Cut to today: it is lunchtime and I am quickly chopping some potatoes for boiling. I am doing this over the pot, because to get out a board and wash it afterwards would be, you know, work. I am holding a potato in my left hand when I realise I have cut through two thirds of the nail on my ring finger. All the way through. I wasn't even using one of the really sharp knives.

And the thing that really gets me? At the precise moment it happened, I was thinking to myself "I have never cut myself on these knives".

Smugness and sharp knives don't mix.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

(My Favourite Plum) Jam

I love good jam. Long gone are the days when I spread the sticky sugary supermarket stuff on my sourdough. Amongst my dozens of jars in the fridge can usually be found something from the excellent Annie Smithers range, a jar of Bonne Maman Peach Conserve and one or two from Phillippa's bakery in Armadale. Their raspberry jam, with raspberries from Silvan Estate, was a constant until I happened upon the summer seasonal jam: strawberry jewels with vanilla. I loved this jam with a passion. Whole fruit, slipping in thick red jam. I bought jars of it at a time, I gave it for Christmas presents. Once, when I couldn't find any at the store, I walked around with an eagle eye, until I spotted the jars which had just been made on a side shelf.

So you can imagine how I reacted when I found out that the summer supply was exhausted and there was no more until next year. I sulked. Big time.

Until it became apparent that there was a replacement on the way. Dark, tangy plum jam. Made from damsons, this is the perfect winter preserve on toast, over yoghurt or on wheatmeal bisquits with Havarti cheese. I can't say that it's my absolute fave, but it's definitely my favourite plum jam.

Stocking Up

We had a pair of helping hands for the first few weeks after the baby was born. My cousin came to stay with us, to help out with the Little One and see that Figman was sufficient nourished to attend to his duties as a second time father.

She arrived a week before the baby was due, and we went shopping for a big stock up of the cupboards.

"Buy anything you might want" I urged. "Don't assume that I have the ingredients you need. Just get it now while you have the chance." I thought that she took me seriously, but a few nights later she was staring into the pantry, puzzled.

"You don't seem to have ... "
"I told you ..."
"But who thinks that someone who keeps date vinegar and organic cocoa nibs in her cupboards doesn't have tomato paste???"