Sunday, August 23, 2009

The onions have arrived

I was delighted to see new harvest onions at the market a couple of weeks ago and bought a pile of them this week, along with some new harvest apples and plums, courgettes and tomatoes. And made chutney no. 1 yesterday. 17 x 240ml jars. The next couple of months are going to be tough, waiting for it to mature but I am really looking forward to it already. I bought a box of 45 jars, thinking I'd have some for next year as well but now I think I'll need to go back and buy more. Want to do at least one more load of tomato and plum with courgette based chutney and one load with pumpkin as well. I've also been looking through the River Cottage Preserves book again and have nearly convinced myself that I want to make piccalilli. Definitely want to try the hearty ale chutney as well, not to mention the figgy mostardo.

I dried some more tomatoes as well and have a load of strawberries drying at the moment. I bought 1.5 kg of strawberries but somehow only 1.2 kg made it into the dehydrator. Wonder how that happened?

Otherwise I've been trying to fit some exercise into my days. Went for a swim on Friday so I have finally gone in to the pool up the road from me and checked it out. It's amazing. A quick check on wiki tells me that it was opened for the first time in 1902 and the fact that it not only had a swimming pool but also baths and showers was good for the people living around as apartments in those days didn't necessarily come with those facilities. It was destroyed in a bombing in 44 but was able to reopen in 45 and was renovated in the late 90's. They don't use chlorine to disinfect it but some kind of membrane electrolysis. The changing rooms are individual 'cabins' and line the pool (plus there's a balcony above with more). So you walk down the back of the cabins, find your number, enter by the door, which you can lock and there is a cupboard to lock your stuff into. Then you simply open the curtain which hangs across the other side of the cabin and you are standing poolside. Showers are then down the other end of the pool. It was a bit weird to have a shower after swimming and then have to walk the length of the pool with a towel wrapped around me but really, anyone with nothing better to do than be watching me would have been able to see less than when I had my swimsuit on (I was glad I had brought a big towel though!).

This morning I took the tram out to Rath and walked up into the woods again. Walked for about an hour although the heat meant I needed to stop after 15 minutes of uphill and wait until I'd cooled down before getting going again. Even at nine in the morning it was heading for 20 degrees. Great if you're doing nothing but hot if you're moving around. Then this afternoon I met a couple of friends and we went to a huge flea market. Not very much interesting there although I was able to pick up a couple of brown bottles, which I know my brother has been looking for and I also snagged a copy of the Emperor wears no Clothes in English for 4 euro. I've been wanting to re-read it.

Oh, and for any youtube (or indeed art) fans out there, this is a video of the woman who won the Ukrainian version of "Got Talent". I'd never heard of sand animation before but thought this was amazing. It's telling the story of the German invasion of the Ukraine during WW2.
Kseniya Simonova

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