06 August 2010

A taste of summertime...

This summer has been a crazy trip, what with existential crises, life decisions, and some awesome re-connections with friends new and old. We have managed to get some tastiness in among all that turmoil, though...

Little Miss Picky Pants is the baking sister in our house - which makes sense when you think about it. I am convinced that her super-power is organization, and that along with her picky nature makes for a great baker. These are her shortcakes(ok, she used Nigella Lawson's recipe, but she made them). Not that we don't all love to bake, but G. just has a precision that M. and I don't, and so everything she makes is just a little bit better.

Notice the focus here. These shortcakes were amazing! The were definitely great with the strawberries, and what could be more summertime? But I actually preferred them plain with a cup of tea. They somehow managed to be both light and airy and substantial at the same time. These will definitely be revisited, especially if I can convince G. to do them for us again.

I love small-batch canning. We got some damsons (ok, I insisted) at the farmers' market and neither M. nor G. liked them- weird, right? Especially, since they like plums and I don't really. So, rather than eat them all myself, I thought they'd like them better in jam. See what a giving sister I am? Never mind that I haven't made jam all summer, and I want to. So I was off, with my favorite all purpose jam recipe (though I did have to do some math, because I didn't have a whole kilo of plums). While they were macerating, Miss Picky Pants dipped a finger in and tasted it (ok, I know you figured it out - I dipped and made her). "It tastes weird - like cough syrup." Great! I thought, she was going to hate it even as jam. But I persevered - who cares if we have yet another jar of jam/preserves/spreadable fruit substance that only I liked.

I've never worked with damsons before - honestly, they have never stayed around long enough for me to do anything with them. So I was pleasantly surprised as I started to boil the fruit - look at that color! I knew the color, I'd seen it before, but watching it slowly appear and deepen was magical. At that point I didn't care if no one liked how it tasted, it was gorgeous!

Luckily, it also tastes gorgeous. Even Little Miss Picky Pants says so.


  1. Oh wow I wish I loved baking - the whole thing. Measuring and timing and all that. But it kind of drives me crazy. And then theres all the baked goods around too.

    Which is sort of an issue too ;)


  2. Just looking at those pictures made me gain weight...


  3. @Tracy - I am really more of a throw it together type cook - probable why I am not as good a baker. Possibly it is just nature's way of saving me from the baked goods... which is not something I really want to be saved from, if I'm honest.

    @HSBP - Oddly enough I weigh what I did at the beginning of the summer... so exercise (the little I did) was a fail, but at least I haven't gained. =)