just a bowl of ...Allbran, you wake up every morning and
Those are the opening lines of the final song from the
Small Faces 1968 album
"Ogdens Nut Gone Flake". It's an album still played at my
place, it's on vinyl, and the original circular die-cut
cover is now in a few pieces but it's a pop classic with
profound lyrics like the one above.
Ok, not profound - it's a pop album after all, with a clever twist on the expected bowl
of cherries but almost certainly, as one reviewer said, the only reference to
'Allbran' in a pop song. I toyed with
opening this entry with a line from a song by Michelle Shocked. On
"Arkansas Traveller" there is a song called
'Strawberry Jam' that she recorded with Doc Watson. It's
really about making your own music instead of always leaving
it to professionals, just as making home made jam is better.
Which is where this is all leading.
The sour cherries were ripe, on Boxing Day I picked two
buckets in the hot sun (and you can't stick your head into a
tree with a hat on) and daughter Aurore, visiting for the
holidays, helped my pip the sticky sour
mound of fruit. They're ready for the only jam I've made
that we ever run out of. I wrote about it last year in
a Diary entry here (scroll down to the bottom of that
rereading that made me realize that it's a 'Christmas time
fruit' give or take a couple of weeks. Making jam in the heat
of summer sucks, so I've frozen the pitted fruit and I'll
tackle it when it's cool.
I'm always aware of the huge quantities of sugar that jam
making requires (I've even tried using honey but you need
huge amounts of that as well.) Sugar is cheaper and in this
case, the sourness of the cherries cuts through all that
sugar. If I had to choose one variety of jam for my winter toast, I'd
pick the sour cherry.
The fruit in the big photo are red and white currants. There were not enough of them to do much more than
eat them fresh, this is the first year they've cropped and
the bushes are young. They're sour too and the pips are big
inside but they are so pretty to look at I didn't really care about
having enough of them to cook. I just spent some time
taking photos of the handfuls I picked. The translucent glow
of light through them from the bottom of the closed kitchen
blind blocking a hot afternoon sun, prompted me to do the same the
next day. There's a strong sense in those photographs (at
least to me),
of how amazingly beautiful 'nature' is and I know how lucky I am
to be here with space for a garden.
I'll stop now before I get soppy. I can't help it, after all
it's country Life and I wake up every morning and it's there.
The small sour cherry tree must have liked the wet spring
and hot December, there was lots of perfect (the birds and
bugs don't like them much) ripe fruit.
Also round and almost perfect 60s
psychedelic R&B pop. There's more of the cover art
here. I used this album in the first editorial I wrote for