It's sunny outside, I can see how dirty the kitchen windows are. I know it looks worse in winter with the sun coming in at a different angle (lower? higher?) and anyway, what do I care. I have neither the energy nor the willpower to clean windows.
Instead, there is R to watch. He is making jam. Since he retired from teaching science, the kitchen has slowly turned into one of his places of action. There now are a variety of fancy gadgets such as complicated mandolin slicers, variously shaped thermometers, frighteningly accurate scales, hot-water tongs, steaming baskets, grill attachments that look like spare car parts and research facility-grade timers. with alarm sounds you really need to get used to.
It's all very meticulous, weighing and stirring and putting a plate into the freezer. Wait. What's that for? Obviously, that's standard, how else could one determine whether the jam has set if not by putting a measured spoonful on a plate that has come straight out of the freezer. Anyway, with precision and detail, he ends up with a neat row of filled jars, now lidded and upside down on the window sill.
All I have to do is watch and praise. And while this is happening, we are listening to Sunday Miscellany, our Sunday morning radio program, the one we have been listening on and off wherever possible for the past 40+ years. R starts to grin while Conall Hamill reads his memory of finding out about David Bowie as a teenage boy sent to the summer camp to learn Irish. And we both cheer when he describes how his life was changed listening to the sacred mysteries of Hunky Dory every night for three weeks.
We have different memories of this song and where we were when we heard it first but we totally understand. And I'll never need make jam again, I know that much.
(You can listen to it here: https://www.rte.ie/radio/radio1/clips/22192988/)
I love that your newly retired sweetheart has gotten into cooking and making jam. What a delicious way to spend time. When I retired I bought a camera and started taking photos. It changed my life. It's wonderful to be free and still have the energy to do new things. I love it!ReplyDelete
You and R and jam and David Bowie. A memorable Sunday scene. I've put Sunday Miscellany on my bookmarks bar. Enjoyed listening to today's episode, especially Kate and Anna McGarrigle.ReplyDelete
I was crazy about Hunky Dory, and had a poster of David Bowie up on the wall when I was 19. I saw his Ziggy Stardust tour in Chicago. I felt like he was on to something.ReplyDelete
It's funny how he turned something that women have been doing for centuries, into a science. How did all those women ever manage?ReplyDelete
I, too, do the plate-in-the-freezer thing for jam. Funny that with all of his equipment, he still uses that method to test his jam for doneness.ReplyDelete
I say, if you are going to do something, you should do it right :). Although I don't eat jam anymore.ReplyDelete
So many people wither away after they retire because they can't make the adjustment and find news things to do and enjoy with their time so good for R. And good for you too as the recipient of his efforts. As for the jam, not something we ever have in the house, sugar we have eliminated from our diet. Honey does us fine.ReplyDelete
There is R to watch. Right there in your kitchen. What could be sweeter.ReplyDelete