Sunday, September 30, 2007

Plummed out!

I can't believe I've processed over 20 kgs of plums this week! I like them a lot, and they are so easy to process....I feel sorry for my friend Pat in Scotland who can only buy them in packs of 6 (and even though I think they should be larger than the ones here [which I suspect are damsons] that's still a ridiculous little amount at no doubt a vast price). Then again, here I spend about 30 p on a kilo of plums, but nearer 4 quid on a 500 g packet of cornflakes. You do begin to appreciate why people in the UK, where the costs are no doubt inverted, are the shape they are.

So now I've got two kinds of plum jam; one made from a German recipe involving lots of balsamic vinegar (I'm not totally convinced), one British kind with lots of sugar; 21 jars of bottled plums, 5 bits of baked plums in the freezer, two cakes (tomorrow evening's singing is in a very special place and we always bring supplies, though I am not totally convinced of the cakes either...). I noticed the price had gone up this weekend, but I'm not sure if that's due to my neighbourhood which has more foreigners, or whether it's coming to the end of the season.

Apart from that I did two hour-long runs, wrote three mini-essays, went to the theatre and ate out, did a bit of revision, and for that harmonised the Georgian alternative national anthem 'Suliko' (in 3 parts) into something that was intended to be a Bach chorale (in four parts), but does not sound that much like it (especially since I've now also messed around with accidentals). Meant to do it a la Mozart, too but began to wonder if it is not a little bit modal? I can't do modal harmony, I don't think. For a Georgian tune, having looked closely at harmonic patterns, it is certainly much more western than many other Georgian songs (phrase length, cadences etc). Now I know why some people find it a bit cheesy, but if you get a group of Georgians together abroad sooner or later they will burst into it.

Talking of food, I see the Observer has 'a second helping' of Nigel Slater's new book 'Eating for England' (note, only England). Having listened to his book 'Toast' this offering seems to offer nothing new, according to today's excerpt. He is still nostalgically looking back at the glory days of his childhood (which weren't actually all that wonderful, our Nige, were it?) and the food he enjoyed/experienced then, like marmite, custard, coleman's mustard, dairylea cheesespread and so on. Much as the chapters in 'Toast'. Or is he picking up here what he left out? It's nice to look back at food people ate then (when some had more physical jobs, children could play outside etc), but some of that food was pretty ghastly, too. Take Marmite, dairylea, salad cream (someone somewhere recently had salad cream, thinking it was mayonnaise, and got an interesting surprise).