We did not go to Salem. If you were there, you already know this. Mr S was only willing to go up on Saturday, but I wanted to go on Sunday. After looking at the schedule, we couldn’t figure out why the Young Mr would ever want to go. A bored teenager is a terrible thing to be around. So what did we do instead?
We cleaned, for one thing. We laid in provisions, which disappear at an alarming rate each week. We went to the weird antique place and found a brass kettle and a copper skillet. We went to the lumberyard, twice, and bought lumber, once. We did several loads of laundry. (By now, I know you are incredibly jealous of this glamorous lifestyle; I assure you, it gets better.) I cleaned the bathrooms and replaced the shower curtain.
What incredible banality! But this is what the kid wants: weekends where we are home, cooking and cleaning and being normal. At a certain point, if I cannot figure out what he’ll do at an event and assure him that he will be busy, he does not want to go. (Not that I blame him, for I like to be busy as well.) So a weekend of normal, when we have drilling next week and OSV the next, is probably worth having, for family peace.
Of course, I’d rather be busy in another century, so I cleaned the tub early and moved on to more engaging tasks, flummery, for one.
The guys weren’t sure about this at first, but it is fabulous. It would make an excellent “blood” pudding for a vicious pirate banquet. The recipe is ridiculously easy.
4 Cups Blackberries
2/3 cup sugar (up to ¾ cup if you prefer sweeter)
½ cup hot water
Juice from ½ lemon, strained of seeds
½ cup cold water or milk
2 T corn starch (AKA corn flour if you’re not in the US; the fine white stuff)
Wash the blackberries and put into a large saucepan with sugar and hot water over medium high heat. Bring to a soft boil and cook until the fruit is soft and falling apart.
Remove from heat, and push through a fine sieve with a spoon. Discard seeds and cores.
In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch into milk or water.
Return fruit to pan and place over heat, bringing to a soft boil again. Stir in cornstarch mixture until completely blended and fruit begins to thicken.
Slowly stir in lemon juice, taking care to keep fruit from thinning or thickening too much.
When blended, remove from heat.
Pour into 3 to 8 individual ceramic or glass serving dishes; portions will depend on audience.
Chill for at least two hours. Serve with whipped cream or yogurt.
I made three servings, because I thought that was right, but I think six would have been better, based on intensity rather than richness. Not to worry: we ate it all.
Cooking this up is easy, but the blackberry mixture does have a tendency to get everywhere and make you and your kitchen look like your hobby is home butchery. Don’t wear white, and keep your sponge handy.