Wordless Wednesday

Close up shot; jars of apricot jam with entry forms for A&P shows. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Image: Su Leslie, 2018

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Not jam tomorrow

Close up shot of apricots in a bowl, two empty glass jars and a bag of jam setting sugar. Preparations for apricot jam-making. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Unlike Alice, to whom the Queen offers jam tomorrow (1), the Big T will have jam today. Apricot jam to be precise.

In a rather reckless moment you see, I bought 10 kilos (20lbs) of apricots.

Well, At $1.59 per kilo (admittedly, based on buying the whole 10kg box), it would have been wrong not to.

So I am going to make jam. Jam today. Jam for us, and jam to enter into the preserves competition of some upcoming A&P shows (think County Fairs).

I like making jam. It’s fairly easy and generally rewarding; a good way to preserve excess fruit. The notion of competitive jam-making however, is both new to me, and daunting.

And that’s kind of the point. I’m easily distracted and a hopeless procrastinator. Last year when I discovered a townie friend regularly enters her garden produce and preserves in A&P competitions, I thought “how cool, I should do that.”

So I am. I’ve downloaded the entry forms, diarised the delivery dates and bought the fruit.

The phrase “jam tomorrow” expresses an unfulfilled promise (2); we are definitely going to have jam today.


(1) From Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There

… “The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day.”
“It must come sometimes to ‘jam to-day’,” Alice objected.
“No, it can’t,” said the Queen. “It’s jam every other day: to-day isn’t any other day, you know.”

(2) Since Carroll’s use, the phrase has also been employed by CS Lewis, John Maynard Keynes and singer/song-writer Billy Bragg.

Regular random: five minutes with strange fruit

Close up shot of detail from installation entitled 'Strange Fruit (Revisited), Donna Sarten. Seen at Sculpture in the Gardens, Auckland Botanic Gardens, 2018. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Detail, Strange Fruit (Revisited), Donna Sarten. Seen at Sculpture in the Gardens, Auckland Botanic Gardens, 2018. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Strange Fruit (Revisited), by Auckland artist Donna Sarten, is currently being exhibited as part of Sculpture in the Gardens at the Auckland Botanic Gardens.

Strange Fruit (Revisited), Donna Sarten. 4000 tags representing NZ's Vietnam servicemen hang from a tree in the Auckland Botanic Gardens. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Strange Fruit (Revisited), Donna Sarten. 4000 tags representing NZ’s Vietnam servicemen catch the breeze at the Auckland Botanic Gardens. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Strange Fruit (the title references Abel Meeropol’s song, famously sung by Billie Holiday), consists of almost 4000 military-style dog tags hanging from a tree. Each tag is engraved with the name of a New Zealander who served in the Vietnam War.

I’ve written about this artwork in more detail in Strange Fruit: remembering Vietnam, but it loses none of it’s power in being shown again in a new location. Indeed it encourages a whole new audience to engage with New Zealand’s military past.

Five Minutes of Random (the #RegularRandom challenge) is hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist.

If you’d like to join in:

  • choose a subject or a scene
  • spend five minutes photographing it – no more!
  • try to see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post
  • have fun!

 

 

DP Photo Challenge: growth, take 2

Flour, water, salt and time, plus a bit more time and heat. Close up shot of wholemeal sourdough loaf, still in baking pan. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Flour, water, salt, time and heat. Just-baked loaf of wholemeal sourdough bread. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

The Daily Post asked this week for photos that evoke growth.

For me, sourdough bread is perhaps one of the purest examples of how natural growth processes can be utilised to create something sustaining and delicious.

Flour and water are combined, and left as a food offering to the yeasts and bacteria that exist all around us. Over time, and with extra food, this mixture grows sufficiently in bulk and strength that with the addition of yet more flour and water, the resultant dough can be kneaded and proved and ultimately baked.

Flour, water, salt and time: the beginnings of a sourdough loaf. Bowl containing ball of proving sourdough. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Flour, water, salt and time: the beginnings of a sourdough loaf. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Learning to bake sourdough bread has been one of my projects for the last couple of years. With every completed loaf, my knowledge and confidence also grows.

 

 

Regular Random: five minutes with some upholstery materials

Shot of armchair seat with cover removed, and assorted materials to re-upholster. Hessian, platform cloth, cover fabric, needles, scissors and tape measure. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Getting started. The seat of my $5 project chair — ready to be re-up-holstered. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Last week the Big T and I deconstructed our $5 charity shop armchair, removing the old upholstery and stripping layers of yellowing varnish off the wood frame.

Yesterday, I began the process of re-staining and varnishing the wood; and collected the upholstery materials together. I plan to start with practice on the chair seat. It detaches, and because the whole wooden frame will be fabric-covered, it doesn’t need to be varnished.

Wish me luck!

Five Minutes of Random (the #RegularRandom challenge) is hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist. Her latest post captures beauty in decay through a delicate pink peony. The images are stunning, so do pop over and take a look.

If you’d like to join in:

  • choose a subject or a scene
  • spend five minutes photographing it – no more!
  • try to see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post
  • have fun!