Volume 3 of my old Women's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery, is the most worn. Carpet tape binds the front and back covers together and the pages slide out when I take it off the shelf. It is part of a 12 volume set that was sold book by book in the Acme when I was in my late teens, and contains a wealth of recipes pre-cholesteral, sodium, and fat worries. Of course, despite the lashings of heavy cream and butter, we were all a lot thiner then.
The main cause of this volume's dilapidation is the Christmas cookie section with cream cheese foldovers, russian teacakes and other delights.
But following this are the recipes for chocolate butter icing, cornmeal muffins and cherry pie.
Lots of tasty family memories in this volume. Someday soon I will have to copy it page by page before it disintegrates.
I just realized that I left my readers hanging after posting the picture of all the blackcurrents I picked. Here is the finished product - blackcurrent jam in my fat little Kilner Red Tops, sealed with the jar rubbers that I had delivered to ABJ and picked up in London last year.
Last weekend I went to Vermont for my aunt's memorial service and saw my cousins for the first time for quite a few years. There is something about cousiness that makes for an immediate connection, feeling of intimacy and the comfort. Maybe it is the genes or maybe it is the shared memories and family habits and finding when I take out my eyedrops that I am not alone in sharing our grandfather's glaucoma . The first day we talked, laughed, cooked, and hugged for 12 hours straight. And the connection with the kids makes us feel like they belong to us all.
And meeting my cousin's daughter Daphne who shares a large dose of something that feels very much like my own ABJ. Made her absence a bit less painful for just a little while. I promised Daphne that I would introduce her to ABJ - hope they can learn to share a bit of cousiness too :)
The next day was sad, sitting together in the front pew of the church, holding hands, our arms around each other and hearing each one get up and speak about memories of my aunt.
It has been a busy week so far. Last Friday, Jane brought over about 10 lbs of pie cherries and 10 lb of eating cherries, so I spend Friday evening pitting and freezing cherries. Made a delicious low sugar cherry jam on Saturday. Two bags in the freezer for pies. Early Saturday morning as I was checking the garden I noticed that the blackcurrents were ready to pick. Didn't have time to pick them on Saturday or Sunday (visiting the grandchildren), so I did that Monday evening. Now they are ready for jam - hope I have the energy to do that one night before I leave for Vermont.
And of couse, the black raspberries are coming in like crazy too. I am mostly eating them :)
I went out very early today to weed the garden and avoid the worst of the humidity. In addition to encouraging the growth of an abundance of 4' thistles, I found that the humid muggy weather had done wonders to encourage the growth of my garden. I now have 3 basil plants that are about a foot high. And the black raspberries are beginning to turn.
As well as an abundance of lovely lettuce and arugula.
And of course my lovely sweet bay magnolia is scenting the whole backyard with a heavenly smell.
Two tiny green cherry tomatoes have also appeared - the first of the season.