Sun, dragons and drunken mice

When, blue bright day after relentless blue bright day, we are beaten by the heat, it hurts.

Midday to 5pm temperatures have topped 34 degrees for weeks, and tasks like jam and juice-making have overtaken us. It is enough to keep up with the watering.

A cauldron of plum that was put aside for a short while, rapidly began to ferment, so had to be poured on to the compost, home of happy mice that now must be even merrier.

The only creatures seemingly unfazed by our oven existence are the birds, reptiles and the insects. Our placid bees continue to rotate between the spring, the sunflowers and hive (there is a pollen-coated bee in this picture, somewhere), while dragons, as the Catalans call the geckos, patrol the shadows of house and barn.

And there is another heat. Some green and red peppers have cross-pollinated with chilli peppers, adding the lottery of spice to our salads.  Who has heard of this?

At night, meanwhile, we sleep to the purr of fans. No bad thing. They mask the chorus of the cockerels, and the final throes of the all night summer fiestas.

PS Stand by for Maggie Whitman recipes, both savoury (with lashings of Mother’s Garden fresh olive oil, naturally) and sweet.

6 responses to Sun, dragons and drunken mice

  1. Michael Kellett

    If i see another plum , i will put myself in a straight jacket and lock myself in a padded room…..
    plum jam, plum pudding , plum on it’s own, in fact anything that can be made using plums we have probably made it, i wish the car would run on plums , it would be so much cheaper… give me a marmite sandwich anytime…that’s what i say

  2. Martin Kirby Post Author

    A VW that runs on plums. Forget garlic bread, that’s the future that is…

  3. jean Rafferty

    We didn’t get many plums this year or apricots the locals say thats because we had such a dry spell in the winter and spring but our figs are doing really well made jam we are running out of recipes so if you have any for figs or zucchini I would be very greatful
    bottled 60 jars of tomatoes so far much better than last years 80 in total
    Happy living

  4. jean Rafferty

    P.S you should write your own recipe book I know I live in Italy but I still like to try different recipes
    Food for thought ay!!!

  5. Martin Kirby Post Author

    We are proofing the next Mother’s Garden paperback now, called Shaking The Tree. We will have more news about that for everyone in a few weeks, hopefully, when the publishers announce the publication date.
    Once that is out, about end of November or early December, we want to work on a recipe book with lots of pictures of the farm. Obviously, fresh olive oil will be at the heart of it, but Maggie makes so many yummy desserts too.

  6. michael kellett

    This is one book i’m really looking forward to reading. It seems a lifetime since No Going Back was published and the beautiful Moon Daisy….
    When i return to Mother’s Garden, in my trusty 64 vw beetle, i hope to swap rich tea biscuits and Marmite for lashings of olive oil and the famous wine…

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