Sunday, August 17, 2008
soup, mountain ash, communication
Soup is one of the many ways of making use of the courgettes (zucchini) which, despite the lack of sunshine, are in plentiful supply in the vegetable garden just now. And this is the tool, acquired relatively recently, which has halved for us the work of producing a thick soup based on a purée. No more do you have to transfer the vegetables, softened in stock in a saucepan, into a special receptacle where a liquidiser blade reduces them to a soup base. You simply plunge the hand held liquidiser (Braun 600 watt Turbo is its name) directly into the saucepan and in less than a minute the work is done. Add cream and adjust seasoning and in the case of the courgettes, you have a delightful, pale green "crème" , all in the original saucepan. There are apparently other hand held liquidisers and I can't say how much we appreciate the utility of ours, and regret not having bought one earlier.
The scarlet fruit of the mountain ash or rowan is now in full colour. An ornamental tree in the south of England, in mountainous or hilly, northern regions it grows wild. Whenever I see the tame local trees which grown round the corner from us, I think of the poem by Mary Webb which concludes:
Come away to the mountain tree!
Cinnabar-red with fruit is she.
We'll watch the stars, like silver bees,
Fly to their hive beyond the seas.
What a pleasure it is to see musicians (often when performing chamber music or jazz) communicating with one another with their eyes and with gentle smiles of approval or encouragement, as they play together. Sometimes, as on tv last night during a televised promenade concert, you can see the conductor relate as much by his expression as by gesture to the brass or woodwind, when he is ready for it to come in.