Saturday, 11 July 2015
I was looking forward to Life in Squares - the new Bloomsbury drama from a Swedish director - but I wasn't overly impressed by the first episode and my guess is that viewers will be switching off, bored and confused as they lose track of who's bedding who. Maybe you should think of it as a posh EastEnders? Might help if you could hear what they were saying but it's the usual BBC mumble-mumble. Of course, it looks lovely ...
And it was partly filmed at Charleston where I spent a lovely morning yesterday, then had lunch in the sunshine surrounded by hollyhocks and honeysuckle before making a flying visit to Monk's House.
Such a treat when I got to Lewes station and discovered that the station buffet was selling homemade lavender sorbet in paper cups and homemade lavender shortbread. How posh is that!
Meanwhile, although my rose petal jam is a stunningly beautiful colour, it turned out more like syrup with disconcertingly chewy petals - and I wished I hadn't been seduced by tales of Armenian monks and had stuck to Frances Bissell's reliable recipes. But though I say so myself, my rose-petal strawberry shortcake the other night was a triumph of book group cuisine! Baked with rose-petal sugar, strawberries steeped in rose syrup and some more drizzled through the whipped cream - 10 minutes to make in a flurry after work and out of the oven in 20. But you do have to seize your moment ... my elderflower tart will have to wait for another year and I think I've left it too late for delicious-sounding fennel flower and linden blossom syrup. (Reckon there's a two-week window for making that, it's more pressure than catching the Seville oranges for marmalade.)
I've changed my mind about the rose-petal jam. It got jammier after a few hours in the fridge and is absolutely delicious on Greek yogurt. I'd make some more if only I could find some more red, velvety roses.