Heat laze

August apricotsNot sure why, but I do seem to do a lot of cooking on the hottest days. It’s 31C in the shade and I have just done four more pots of apricot and almond jam. Barking, positively barking. But we went to the market today and I just couldn’t resist the apricots at M. Bois’s stall. They are slightly underripe, so perfect for jam. And apricot is my firm favourite.

And then I thought, while I’m in the kitchen I might as well do another half dozen pots of tomatoes. So they are still in the oven, caramelising pleasingly. August tomatoes

Any garden achievements? Well, I took some cuttings from the Lavender Hidcote I have in the herb garden. Sowed some seeds of Sweet Rocket. Watered my coriander and spinach which are just about ready to be potted on. And tried to finish pruning the monster box we have at the entrance to the house.

It is large. It is ungainly. And it smells of box. But we have so few tall green plants around the property I am loathe to do anything radical. The only fun there is in pruning it is imagining one will actually get around to making cuttings from the left overs for a decade in the distant future. And giving the top a bit of a miss so it looks a bit like a pineapple.

Box hedgeBut I’m a chicken. It will be a sensible shape once I go out there and climb up the ladder and level it off. Just need to check the tomatoes, label the jam, read more of the delightful book on Valerie Finnis lent to me by Andrew, and defrost the fridge.