Thursday, January 23, 2014


Wow! Seventy three pounds of marmalade all labelled, and Douglas being Douglas they’re not just your Tom, Dick and Harry of marmalades but come in any number of exotic assorted flavours. The last half dozen jars are labelled Rahat Lakum flavoured with rose liquor and parfait amour. And just n case it is thought extravagance beyond belief the remains of the rose liquor has been lurking in a dark corner of the booze cupboard since I bought it when first arriving in Crete when the Greek currency was still the drachma. It was a very small hardware shop long since closed down the owners (I never made out whether they were husband and wife or brother and sister though she was a wee bit draconian in manner and he rather timorous) being too old to carry on, in fact who must be dead by now or at least in their late nineties. Can’t remember now how much that dusty old bottle cost but it must have been pre-war. This was the lady who, when I went in to buy a bucket said, “You want to buy Cuba?” as I used the accent in the wrong place – koùvas/kouvàs. You have to be so careful with accented languages.
Malàka certainly as a very different meaning to malakà.
Parfait amour and coke used to be my favourite tipple when I was at university until one night I got so legless on it I never drank it again.
Anyway, since the discovery of home-made fruit flavoured tsigouthia (raki) there’s been no more purchase of expensive commercial liquors. And as for 73 jars of marmalade a lot of it will be given away to friends, in fact the first six jars have already gone, in exchange for some olive oil from those who produce their own. I can’t remember when last we had to buy olive oil. I can’t remember whether I’ve said that before. I probably have. Memory both short and long is virtually kaput these days.
So 73 jars of marmalade are all very well but soon it will be apricot time and there is a glut every year. I’m informed there are 36 one pound jars left and plenty more where they came from as there is a shop in Rethymno that sells them very cheap. Apricots are a very versatile fruit anyway: you can eat them straight off the tree and if they have been standing in the sun the favour is wonderfully enhanced. You can make wine with them, make jam with them, use them for puddings, dry them and freeze them for winter use. But despite the myriad uses we put them to the ground beneath the tree always ends up thick with dropped fruit. Such a waste. Same with the prickly pear. Walking passed it late in the year you get the distinct whiff of a brewery.

I have a feeling I might soon have to give up Blogging on a regular basis, my fingers just can’t cope much longer with typing. You’d be surprised how long it’s taken me to write this.

1 comment:

Lewis said...

Coconut oil is sovereign agin' forgetfulness. As a liquid on salad, or as a solid on bread (as a butter substitute at breakfast) it's tasteless. I noticed the difference in one day.