Tag Archives: lemon

Praise Be

The  swan plant I ordered to replenish my monarch caterpillars’ food supply came yesterday, just in the nick of time. It has been planted,

Praise be for more food

Praise be for more food

and my remaining caterpillars are now busily chomping on their fresh greens. Hopefully, the caterpillars will  have enough food to take them through their fifth  instar and into their chrysalis stage.  Most of them look big enough to be close to their final and complete metamorphosis.

Is this the 5th instar?

Is this the 5th instar?

Whilst the caterpillars are nourishing their bodies in preparation for change, I thought we might do the same. Would you care to indulge?…..

in a taste of the last of summer in this delicious, spicy rhubarb cake

Spicy Rhubarb Cake

Spicy Rhubarb Cake

or, perhaps, in a little something that speaks of cooler mornings and the colder days to come; a gingerbread cake.

Joy of Baking; Gingerbread Cake

Joy of Baking; Gingerbread Cake

But, if you are wanting a lighter indulgence, may I suggest a serving of the apple, instead of the cake.  Again there are two choices; Cherry Gala apples lightly cooked with a squeeze of lemon, a pinch of sugar and a handful of rose petals;

or Royal Gala and Eve  apples , sautéed gently in a sliver of butter and a sprinkle of sugar.

Mmmmm…How was that? Delectable? Are you feeling suitably indulged and ever so glad that we are not limited to one food type like the monarch caterpillar; that we are able to experience so many taste sensations; that we have such variety in our menus.

Praise be to the  butterflies  and bees that make that possible.

~

At 12.51pm today we marked the  third anniversary of the  February 22nd earthquake. At the memorial service in the Botanic Gardens, the Mayor said “Let us unite as we did after the earthquakes. For those of us who have been able to move on, let us reach out to those who are still struggling. .. For those who cannot move on, please do not be afraid to ask for our help… We can get through this together.”

In caterpillar terms, ( because I have this essential life form so much on my mind 😉 ) most of us have made it through the first instar; some of us are almost ready to be butterflies; indeed, may already be  flying freely. Some of us, such as myself, are still  ambling along in the third instar. But there’s no rush. With nourishment and nurture, we will, eventually, be transformed.

( I think I will make a good  butterfly, don’t you?  🙂   Better keep my feet clean, though. Butterflies taste through their ‘feet’! )

© silkannthreades

Kitchen Chaos

There are some days, when I can’t seem to help making the most awful mess in the kitchen. Well……I don’t do it all on my own. I get a little help with the mess making from other household members, but that doesn’t make me feel any better about it.

What does make me feel a teeny bit  better is that, sometimes , something nice comes out of the chaos; like this lemon meringue pie

And this delectable, suitably messy looking, baked macaroni cheese

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now that you have had a chance to sample the goodies, do I have any volunteers to help with the dishes 🙂 ?  Thought not….but it was worth a try.   It’s just as well that most days I manage to cook without creating kitchen chaos, otherwise I might have to ban myself from kitchen….mmmm….I wonder………..

© silkannthreades

Atishoo….bless me….

Atishoo and bless me, and my little cotton socks*…….I have a cold. A drippy nosed, vexatious, miserable cold. I haven’t had a cold for years, so I am feeling very sorry for myself and in need of lots of blessings. (Yes, all blessings gratefully received.)  And, yes, you could bring me some soothing hot, lemon and honey tea, too. Thank you 🙂  That’s delicious.

One blessing that came my way this morning was a lovely photo (via Facebook) from fellow blogger Mike Howe.  Followed, shortly thereafter, by another one of his soothing musical posts  http://mikehowe.com/2013/06/30/music-for-one-of-the-greatest-nature-writers/.

Another blessing will arrive about 2 hours from now, in the form of Giles, the Dogfather. Giles, and his super, doggy assistant Diesil, take my very own little blessing, Jack, for regular, joyful exercise, training, and  canine and human socialization.  Jack is a much happier and calmer dog now that I am giving proper attention to his needs.  Here is Jack on one of his outings; he was having fun, truly!  His coat keeps him warm and dry and snug. ( He won’t need a coat today. The sun is shining beautifully.)In the Rain; it really is fun!

This photo is from Giles’ Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/thedogfathernz?fref=ts  He has some fun photos of wonder dog Diesil and the other dogs he trains. Take a look, if you would like a ‘cheer me up’ blessing for your day.

Well, that’s about all my brain can cope with today. *Oh, but one more something that made me smile through the sniffles, snuffles and sneezles…. I wondered, when I was blessing my cotton socks, how this strange little blessing came about. Here is what I found; it is smile worthy:   ‘George Edward Lynch Cotton, English clergyman and educator, assistant master at Rugby 1837-1852, the ‘young master’ in Thomas Hughes’s “Tom Brown’s School Days”. Bishop of Calcutta, 1858 where he did missionary work and established schools for Eurasian children. In requests to England he asked for donations of clothing, often emphasizing “warm socks” for the children. In fact he seems to have held the simplistic view that if the children had warm socks many of their problems, mal-nutrition, disease, racial prejudice etc. could be easily solved. Little old maiden ladies all over England spent their time knitting socks for Bishop Cotton and sending them off to India. He blessed all items used in his schools, and many shipments would arrive labeled ” Socks for Cotton’s blessing” and reportedly even “Cotton’s socks for blessing”. Cotton’s socks easily became corrupted to cotton socks,

© silkannthreades

What did I do with the medlars?

So, what did I do with the medlars? In my previous post on medlars, I left you with a hint of my intentions. Here is the hint, again, in this photo. Time for the next stepHere’s another hint; it involves a little time, plus pears, medlars, sugar, lemon, water, plate, spoon, pot, stove top, bowls, frying pan, a strainer, and absolutely no autumn leaves. Their purpose in the photo was decorative only.  So, yes, you guessed it. I made medlar pear jelly. Actually, more pear than medlar because I had 3 pears to brew, and only 2 medlars.

I chopped and chunked the fruit, skin and all; placed it in a small pot with a quarter of a lemon, skin and all; barely covered the fruit with water and, then, had a merry boil-up, till the fruit was soft. Next the contents of the pot were sieved through a cheese cloth . More shoved than sieved because I am not patient with jelly making and rarely do the proper thing, which is to let the fruit liquid seep very, very slowly through the cheese cloth into a container.

The end result was a lovely, pale amber extraction which made me think of mead, or honey wine. It didn’t taste like mead;  it did taste like soft, sweet pear juice, flavoured with a drop of medlar  essence and a squeeze of lemon.

The next stage was to take one cup of the juice, a quarter cup of lemon juice and one and a quarter cups of sugar and boil the mixture until it jellied ie until a small splodge of it set freely on a cold plate. I like to make jelly, or jam, in small quantities and in a small frying pan, as I find that I get a quicker set that way.  And here is the result; three small bowls of golden jelly, ever so firm and smooth and subtlely  pear-ish, spiced with the lightest touch of medlar. Would you like some? It is scrumptious on toast.

Don’t mind if I do! Jelly with Mead would be nice, thank you.

Footnote: Mead, like the medlar, has a long history. Mead has ancient origins throughout Africa, Asia and Europe and, most likely, pre-dates culitvation of the soil. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mead  Cats have  an ancient history too 🙂

© silkannthreades