Honey Mango

Honey Mango

I am one of those very lucky people who live in an area where we have the opportunity to try many different food types.  This weekend we have had the pleasure of enjoying a different variety of mango.  The honey mango.

It has a glorious dusky yellow skin and smells divine.  As you cut into it, you realise that the stone is not the usual mango shape but smaller in terms of width, and therefore so much easier to cut.  Which in itself is an absolute joy, however, for me it is the taste that will blow you away.  It strokes your palette in a way that only the sweetest fruit can, lingering around your mouth long after the fruit itself has gone.

And perhaps the piece de resistance is the packaging.  Glorious bright colours and absolutely no fancy words.  Honey Mango, Produce of Pakistan.  That’s it.  Quite frankly, what more do you need?

Meanwhile the wee boy and I had the most wonderful conversation this evening.

Like all young children, he has gone through a phase of wanting to know when I might die, and what will happen.  I have reassured him that I am not planning to leave any time soon, but when I do I would like to be planted in the ground with a tree seed so that I can continue to grow.

Tonight, after asking once more when I’m going to become a tree, and being reassured that it won’t, hopefully, be for a long time yet, he said,

‘When I die I want to be buried under your tree’

Beautiful.

Fruit Head

Fruit Head

Recently I have been hanging around with a lovely group of people, making fruit heads.  Then pottering down the road to pop them in the trees for the wee beasties that hang out there, to eat.

Interesting, I hear you say, but why are you telling us about the mundanity of your day to day life?

Well, the reason I have divulged this little ditty is simple.  There are sometimes much more enjoyable things to do with fruit and vegetables than merely eat them.

Enjoy.

Distraction Baking

tomato pepper oregano bread

Although I am back to work, things are a little less busy as all the boys are on holiday this week.  Let me clarify that.  They’re at home.  Last time the wee boy and I discussed the Easter holidays he asked where we were going and was deeply disappointed that we weren’t all going away for the duration.

Anyway, I have also recently picked up a bag of the fabulous Orion bread flour from Bradshaws, and as I haven’t dabbled in bread flavours for a while, I decided to make a loaf of sundried tomatoes, picante peppers and fresh oregano.  I know, sounds delicious.

All was going very well, and although the dough was a little ‘wet’,  it got itself together well, and shaped beautifully.

Meanwhile, we recently had some dead and diseased trees cut down in our back garden thanks to my lovely in-laws.  Once again, let me clarify, they didn’t cut the trees down but paid for it as our birthday and Christmas present.  However, as the weather has been constantly dark and damp we haven’t been able to burn the bits of tree we don’t need for other things.  Not until this week.

In fact, it was turning out to be a very productive day all round. Bread, tree burning…

Women are renown for being able to multi task, it has even been scientifically proven that our brains are wired differently and can therefore, much more competently juggle more things at once, than men.  I’m not sure whether this research was done by men though, which may point a suspicious finger at the whole scenario.  After all, if you become competent at something, you are often the ‘go-to’ person for that thing.  But I digress.

So, I placed the dough on a baking tray under a tea towel and put it in the grill part of the cooker with the oven on underneath it, to prove.

I then went outside to join himself in the big burn.  We have one of those fabulous holy metal bins.  And by that I don’t mean it’s religious.  It is one of those old fashioned style dustbins that some design genius realised would be perfect for burning outdoor stuff, as the air drafts through and makes the wood, especially, burn extremely quickly.

There is something deeply satisfying about burning stuff.  All kinds of stuff.  I remember one Easter weekend I had hired a skip to clear the house and garden of un-necessaries.  As it was a bank holiday, one of my cousins popped over for the weekend and we ended up having a cheekie glass of wine outside and lit a fire in order to take the evening chill off.

As darkness descended we took out a couple of blankets and nipped down for a rummage in the skip to see if there was anything we could keep the fire going with.

By the end of the evening the skip was almost empty.

I love fire.

I am married to a man who also has a penchant for fire.  Together we lost ourselves in the sacramental art of fire.  And then it dawned on me that the bread was still snuggled in the grill section.  It had exploded and flattened, but, not to be disheartened I popped it in the oven with a mental note to self that I should come back and check it within the next twenty minutes or so.  An hour or so and a plethora of sticks burnt later, I remembered.

Although not what I expected, it hadn’t burnt to a cinder.  Turns out it’s pretty tasty dipped in olive oil.

Hilariously, it seems that fire isn’t my only non negotiable distraction.  I have just done exactly the same thing again today. Different circumstances, same scenario.  Almost.

I think I will revisit that multi tasking theory, and delve a little deeper…

The thing about trees…

 

balatonbranch

 

Sitting in my garden, surrounded by trees with the last glow of the day casting a glorious light on proceedings, I can’t help but feel content.  Yes, there are weeds and slugs and other wee beasties surrounding me.  Yes, there is the tinkling of the ever present ice cream van which continues until the final rays have bid their farewell to the day and yes, the blithering fox is still squarking away in the allotments down the road, an ever present being at this particular time of year, but it’s lovely.

 

There is, however, a downside to having a large cherry tree in your garden, just above where the car is parked.  Bird poo.  The bat mobile (I promise you it looks nothing like a bat mobile, but 4 year olds enjoy naming things, and who am I to quash imagination?) spends every evening as an open target for all the flying wildlife that enjoy a stop over on the cherry tree’s branches, before going on their way, and consequently, every morning, we potter down the garden to see how much coverage has happened overnight. I’d like to believe that I could keep this barrage under control, but sadly, it just doesn’t figure high enough on my agenda.  But there comes a day when the embarrassment of driving around in a bird toilet gets the better of you.  And today was that day.

 

Morning things happen and, just before I knuckle down to things which cannot be put off any more, I go for an indulgence from the wonderful Waitrose.  A free coffee.  Did you know you could pick up a free beverage every day with a Waitrose card? Genius, as I always have a quick saunter around, looking at things I’d like to buy if I had the money.

Which sometimes, I do.

So I head off to Waitrose and suddenly have a slight misgiving.  Can I really drive through the car park in a bird toilet?  I take the bull by the horns, decide it’s not my issue, and, head held high, I find a spot, do the necessary, and dismount.  Do you dismount from a car?  Anyway, I get out.  Slowly, I scan the other cars in the car parking area, looking to see just exactly how much the bat mobile stands out in the crowd.  The car next to me is covered with some sort of sticky stuff.  The car opposite has also been treated to a bird party.  The car next to that obviously has issues with a muddy driveway.  And so it continues.  Well, actually, I stop looking and flounce up the escalator with a spring in my step.

 

Later that day, myself and my beautiful 4 year old assistant clean the car.  Just as we’re about to leave, we hear hear a large plop on the roof.

 

That’s the thing about trees.