Thursday, July 2, 2015

Tony! This is no time to post!

A record apricot harvest!
The story is that Scott and I will get up at about dawn, if not before, to start making this year's batch of Madame Gradka's apricot jam before the temperature has a chance to reach "unbearable" so I should be getting to bed. Instead, I pause to post, possibly because I'm a mite doubtful I will survive this jam-making business. It was 92 earlier today in the wide world and it's 80 in the house now. Even the magical backyard was unpleasantly warm this evening. But only the temperature was unpleasant. The bird visitors and general ambiance of the backyard were ever so fine, as documented in photos.
A young female bushtit in the fennel; one is moved to ask if she uses Maybelline.

Provided Ratticus and his new friend Raccoon don't interfere, it should be another spectacular grape harvest.

Not included in the book, the always popular paradigm shift
Also excellent is Paul Clarke's The Cocktail Chronicles. You know how it is--a friend has a book published and you go to the launch and buy a book because it seems the thing to do and then, maybe, you read the book and it's, well, okay at best. This book I started looking at on the bus ride home and found myself ignoring Scott as I became caught up in the text. It's so much more than a collection of cocktail recipes, though it's certainly that. And it's more than a history of cocktails which is also a topic that's been done many a time before. No, the really spectacular thing about the book is just how opinionated the author is, and how capable he is of sharing those opinions in an amusing way. It's sort of like if the authors of my beloved 1978 edition of Joy of Cooking had written entirely about alcohol instead. It is, in short, a fabulous book that I'm quite enjoying. What I truly want to do is work my way through the book, making--and drinking--each cocktail (with the exception of those that include egg because that always just sounds vile). But, for now, I drink drinks I've enjoyed many a time before and admire just how lovely the backyard is, despite the heat.
Also a good year for bees



  1. Oh, what a 2016-Calendar-Worthy shot that last one is of the bee! Make a note!

    I look forward to hearing of your jam-making adventure, which I'm quite sure you are working on even as I type this at 7am. I saw Scott yesterday and expressed mild doubt as to your early rising capabilities, so do please prove me wrong! Of course, if you can get up at 5 to make jam, surely you can get up to watch birds from time to time, and come join me at the Fill. Just sayin'.

    Who is Tony, and why does his addresser require exclamation marks?

    1. While I got up at 6:00, work didn't commence until 8:00 which is still a record-setting early start at Mme Gradka's Jam Factory. A full report will undoubtedly follow. If I could get up and be immediately at the Fill, I might be there early enough to meet you. As it's an hour or more on Metro, well, it just doesn't happen.

      Have you never seen a film at the Majestic Bay in Ballard? Tony Taglioni is the star of their PSA which is well worth seeing and, hey!, it's on YouTube:

  2. There must be something wrong with my eyes, because I don't see a bee in that photo. There is nothing wrong with the eyes of your bushtit, however. But I think she's born with it.

    1. The bee is on the middle spike of flowers on the bottom right. If you click on the photo it should open a larger view, maybe that's easier to see?

    2. Tish, just for you, a blow-up of the bee portion which Alex, with her unnaturally superior vision, could see just fine.