Good Food Blog
An embarrassment of richesPosted at 11:33AM, 10 August 2009 by Mary Cadogan - Food writer
It's getting to the point where I am scared to leave the house in case there is a box or bag on my doorstep when I return.
The fantastic run of hot weather interspersed with heavy rain has meant everyone has had heavy crops of fruit and vegetables this summer. As the French never want to waste a thing, that means finding a home for all their excess produce, and I seem to be a prime target.
Not that I'm ungrateful- don't get me wrong. It's just that with features to write, cookschool schedules to plan, recipes to test and deadlines to meet there is precious little time to squeeze in jam and chutney recipe making and freezing on an industrial scale. Every conversation is peppered with throwaway remarks such as "want any courgettes?" or "do you have enough beans", or worst of all, "I've got 5kg of plums in the car for you".
And there's also the emergency phone calls. I pick up the phone and the panicky voice of a neighbour tells me I must come and pick her cherries today or they'll be wasted. And the worst of it is that the greedy part of me always seems to win out and I find myself saying "yes that would be lovely". Thoughts of being holed up in the winter with a cupboard full of gleaming jars of gorgeous things to eat, a freezer full to bursting, and being able to enjoy a warming glass of fruit vodka to ward off the cold brings out the proud hoarder in me.
So I have set aside this afternoon to bottle and boil, simmer and stir until the kitchen resembles an alchemists lab, and I have serried rows of preserves that would make my mother proud.