Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Friday, 30 October 2015
Life (is just a bowl of cherries) - style
Here's another life-style post. I am currently making a bottle of Sloe Gin.
You don't actually make sloe gin, you just pick a load of sloes and stick them in a bottle of gin that someone else has already made. It is an affectation to claim to have made it.
I don't even like sloe gin, but I think it will look great in a glass decanter I have recently bought. I care more about the decanter than I do about the gin. My idea is that it will sit decoratively on a table at Christmas, and I will offer small glasses of it to passing friends, loyal tradesmen and costermongers, who will toast my health with it and wish us a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, One and All!
In reality, there will be no passing guests or cap-in-hand coal-merchants, butchers and bakers, and the one grandchild who may turn up will decline the sloe gin and opt for a bottle of lager without a glass, then I will drink the lot myself in two nights and suffer two horrible hang-overs in quick succession.
About baking cakes, I did once get into a frenzy of cherry Madeira baking, because my mother knew that this was my favourite cake, and always sent me off with one after a home visit. I was under strict instructions NOT to share it with anyone else, but I ignored this. I didn't want to have to creep off into another room and come back with crumbs around my mouth, looking flushed and guilty.
A friend of mine once discovered how delicious a fresh clafoutis was, so bought pounds of fresh cherries to make his own. I spent all one Sunday with him in his kitchen on the Somerset Levels, while he pitted all the cherries and went through the rest of the laborious processes in the making of the perfect clafoutis.
As each one came out of the oven, he decided that it wasn't quite right, so immediately made another. Each one was slightly better than the last, and I think I must have eaten about 15 portions before I left.
Years later, I was in a French restaurant being served by a young, English waitress, and I noticed that there was clafoutis on the menu, so ordered one.