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Passports, Newport, berries, booze

 Bit of a frantic week - lots of work, lots of volunteering, plus I suddenly realised that my dratted passport was about to run out and had to spend a day going all the way to Newport to get a new one. Now my passport is half in Welsh!  

Newport was a surprisingly pleasant place to spend 4 hours mooching about.  Remembering South Wales from my childhood in the 1970s I was expecting it to be pretty grim, but in fact it has a rather nice covered market with a reasonable second hand bookshop, a Waterstones, and at least one really nice cafe (Coffee 1, in case anyone else is stranded in Newport for 4 hours)...

Feeling that I may have slightly overdone the jelly thing, I've made some blackberry liqueur - though I'm not sure that any of the jellies are as nice as blackberry, so I may have to expand my Jelly Empire even further.  It's *such* a good blackberry year, and also I have found some more crabapple trees. 

Today I went out looking for my daily fig and there wasn't a ripe one! Have got used to the tree ripening one a day.  There are lots of largish green ones though, so am hoping that there are still more to come. 

The pheasantberry (Leycesteria Formosa) is starting to fruit.  It's a very generously fruiting plant, and PFAF reckons that the fruit is not toxic, thought it's considered only dubiously edible as some of the fruits are not terribly palatable.  So I tried it, and I'm in luck: my plant is one of the ones that produces tasty fruits.   They are very sweet with a sort of smoky caramel flavour (you do need to wait for the berries to turn dark brown for sweetness).  

I think we probably have enough jam for now, so I think I'll try them in a pie with some apples.   Am also thinking that a cake might be interesting with pheasantberries in it.... hmmm! 



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
21st Aug, 2009 21:10 (UTC)
I would like to know more about the Jelly Empire. What is the emperor's regalia like? How does he subdue his enemies? I'm imagining wibbly-wobbly gelatinous armies who gloop their way over enemy borders, and a lime-green ruler very wary of boiling water.

Um... Sorry for kind of totally failing to respond to any of the real and actual content of your post. I blame the cider.
21st Aug, 2009 21:16 (UTC)
Your imagination is such a warlike place. Why can the Jelly Empire not be a place of benevolent peace? A world with more jelly in it is a happier world!
21st Aug, 2009 21:37 (UTC)
But doesn't the very word "empire" imply the conquering of smaller countries? Or, in this case, blancmange democracies (once free and noble, but now enslaved beneath the Yoke of the Jelly) and hordes of once-autonomous and independent nomadic trifle tribes...
21st Aug, 2009 23:27 (UTC)
Not necessarily. Maybe the Jelly Empire expanded peacefully through inter-marriage with and eventually absorbtion of various fruit dynasties and their sponge domains...
22nd Aug, 2009 08:02 (UTC)
What he said. Or alternatively, the warlike Wobbly dynasty which created the Empire tore itself to pieces in a series of bloody internal feuds, leaving the more peaceful and trade-oriented Schloop family to bring a more solid level of set to the area.
22nd Aug, 2009 08:38 (UTC)
Hmm... But if the Jelly Ruling House intermarried with nearby dynasties, would it remain pure-bred jelly? Would it not become a... trifle - i.e. a sort of jelly/fruit/cream/custard hybrid, result of centuries of inter-marriage. Trifle seems properly diverse; I can accept a peaceful, benevolent Trifle Empire. Jelly, though... *is doubtful*
21st Aug, 2009 21:24 (UTC)
... from time to time the Jelly Emperor would announce a Day of Joyous Jellification, entertainments provided by teams of jellydancers.
21st Aug, 2009 21:32 (UTC)
LOL! Actually, the last troupe of belly dancers that are I really should have been called jellydancers. They were very very wobbly. But not lime green.
22nd Aug, 2009 07:51 (UTC)
Are I ? LOL, the cider was obviously good stuff!
22nd Aug, 2009 07:59 (UTC)
Oops. Actually, I didn't have that much cider, since I was Drinking Alone, and had to be at work by 8.30 this morning.* I just went back and edited the sentence before posting, to remove a reference to where I'd seen them, since that could have identified the troupe.** It looks as if I ended up leaving in stray words from about three different aborted forms of the sentence.

* Which is why I am, of course, hanging around on LJ at 9.

* Yup, I know that the chances of the troupe finding my reference to their wobbly flesh via your blog is so minimal as to be non-existent, but I'm paranoid about things like this.
22nd Aug, 2009 19:07 (UTC)
Blackberry suggestion: blackberry vinegar
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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