Wordless Wednesday


Made it myself. Sweet as

close up shot of plate with bread, plum jam and halved plum. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Home-baked bread, home-made plum jam, and fruit from the garden. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

“Sweet as” is a slang term in New Zealand for something that’s really pretty good.

I think my breakfast qualifies. I baked the bread, and made the jam from plums grown in our garden. And even if it wasn’t yummy (it was), I think I’d still get a “sweet as” for effort.

Daily Post Photo Challenge | sweet

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.

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.