I typed the title originally as “Best Laid Palns”. I was going to leave it like that. It seemed appropriate. Today has been that sort of day.
I awoke bright and early and full of bounce. I had a lot to do and I was determined to get it all done. I stripped the bed for the fortnightly linen wash and bundled it all into the washing machine. Overnight I had cooked a piece of pickled pork in the slow cooker. I drained it, let it cool then pressed it into a plastic container and refrigerated it. I was looking forward to a brunch of a pickled pork sandwich with Branston pickle and a glass of apple juice. I hung out the first batch of laundry and threw the second batch in. Shirts socks and underwear. Then the woollens in a third load. Lastly tea towels and dishcloths.
A series of Music DVDs blasted out over the stereo. Dire Straights, Eagles, Queen, Bonnie Raitt, Mike Oldfield. Bob Dylan.
The plan was to get the housework done then make aluminium carrier racks for spare fuel jerrycans to carry on the trip (Have I mentioned I am planning a bike trip with my mate Dave?) I may also have indicated that I am easily distracted.
I have a self-sown tomato plant in my herb garden. At least, I had. I pulled it out today.
I have already picked a few ripe tomatoes from it and froze them. I had enough to make a good Balti curry a while ago. Now I noticed that something was attacking the remaining green fruit. There was quite a lot of fruit, some of which were half eaten by something. With the weather as it is, I doubted I they would ripen further on the vine, so I picked them all. What to do with a pile of green tomatoes? Make chutney of course! I ransacked the pantry and found everything I need for green tomato chutney; vinegar, spice, chilli, soft brown sugar, dried mixed fruit, an apple, onions.
So I made chutney. It turned out well. I had some with my pickled pork for tea. It is good, even now. It will be better after maturing.
Smells are very evocative. Probably the most powerful memory pullers are odours, pleasing or otherwise. Nothing stirs a memory and arouses emotion like a smell. Combine that with the second most powerful stirrer of emotions – the wrong songs from the wrong time in one’s life, and the recipe for green tomato chutney becomes a recipe for a quick downer. I had forgotten the last time I made green tomato chutney.
Downer. Right now I can’t think of anything worse than making chutney alone on a Saturday while listening to Hotel California and So far away from Me.
Only one thing to do. Ride, and let the wind blow it all away.