In the very week that the official recommendations are that everyone in the UK should reduce their sugar intake by a half my sous chef and I are making jam like demons.
What can you do? When the raspberries are in full swing jamming is the obvious course! If I can salvage most of these before she eats them all we'll have enough to last all year and, in my defence, I do give quite a lot away. People seem to love a jar of homemade jam!
With such a generous crop we can afford to be extravagant. I soften the fruit and then sieve it before adding the sugar and boiling it up for a few minutes. That means we get a jewel-like jelly with none of the irritating seeds to stick in your teeth! Intense flavour and quite delicious.
Raspberries aren't the only fruit under consideration this week. Laura spotted an enormous pomegranate when she was grocery shopping and she thought it might be an interesting subject for me to paint.
I've just treated myself to a secondhand easel I discovered at the flea market. It holds my extra large drawing board much better than my old easel so I decided it was time to work on a bigger scale than of late.
I'm working with Liquitex acrylic paints and inks again but what you see is simply a beginning - after the initial blocking in of opaque colour there will be numerous layers of transparent inks to try to capture the richness and depth of colour I see in the fruit.
It's actually a miracle that I've managed to do any painting at all as I've spent a ridiculous amount of time filling the drawers of my new/old watchmaker's cabinet. You wouldn't believe how long it takes to sort all the buttons and beads into the same colours and sizes! Serves me right for mixing them up in the first place I suppose. I'm hoping that being able to see what I've got will mean I make better use of the treasures - we'll see if that happens.
And then, just when you decide life is too short to stuff a mushroom, I have a whim to start a hand pieced quilt for our super king sized bed. Laura thinks I must have been out in the sun too long over the weekend! DMTV members will get to see this very soon but don't hold your breath - it's a bit of a project!
Hope you're finding the time and inclination to be creative right now - remember, no matter how busy you are, making stuff is good for the soul.