Summer Heat

Does anyone else find it hard to write when it’s hot? I just don’t concentrate well. It doesn’t help when I go down to breakfast and find a huge basket of vegetables from the garden to deal with. The fridge and veg basket are already full from last nights harvest. So I sit looking at my work in progress, with courgettes floating in front of my eyes asking myself why did we plant so many.

Last year, my back problem (better than it was, thank you) prevented me from planting anything. Steve had never been involved. This year when Covid hit, and Steve was forced to stop his paid job, He said “if I help with the heavier jobs, do you think that we could grow some veg this year? If this lasts for more that a month we might need them anyway,” he thought he was joking.

Of course, we had no idea how true that statement would turn out to be. Steve had taken over the veg patch within a fortnight, and now it’s his domain. However, what we have grown does not translate well to actual meals. We are no long buying vegetables which is a good thing, but Steve’s enthusiasm does not yet run to dealing with surplus, he just loves the fact that there is a surplus.

I am just hoping that he doesn’t take after his father who was convinced that a six foot long marrow was a good thing. He would spend half an hour extolling it’s its virtues before donating it to you.

I would put it in the pantry with a sinking heart and look at it every day until I was almost crying with despair. The children would pack their little cases ready to leave home if I cooked it and Dennis would phone every other day to ask if we were enjoying it. This was something of an annual ritual, the worse part being that as soon as we came to the end of the first marrow another even bigger specimen would arrive.

On the whole our house is good in the heat, everywhere but my study (which has sky lights) remains cool until the outside temperature reaches thirty degrees. The house is probably around three hundred years old and has the thick walls and relatively small windows which go with that. The kitchen is best, but not when the oven and several pans are on the stove and I am trying to preserve vegetables. Unfortunately at the moment 30 degrees feels like a cool day, so I have have been moving from room to room trying to find a place to work.

Not great for the concentration, and my creativity is used up by trying to disguise courgettes, and sometimes marrows if they hide, as something else. Preserved ginger, yesterday, Lemon marmalade today, and Pineapple tomorrow. All of these work well enough to use in cakes so a few jars on the shelf is no bad thing. We already have enough courgette pasta sauce to last well into the next century, but I have a few jars dried just in case of emergencies.

So back to my work in progress, I’m wondering if I might have one of the victims choking on a courgette chip whist suffering from heat stroke, or drowning when hit by a giant marrow in the swimming pool….

2 thoughts on “Summer Heat

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