Thursday, 13 September 2012

Low Tide02:51 (1.10m)
High Tide09:06 (2.40m)
Low Tide15:21 (0.80m)
High Tide22:03 (2.30m
Sea temperature: 17.4 yesterday
Sea conditions: rolling calm, a bit tricky at the water's edge
Weather: chilly but sunny 
Joined by: Jo, Sara and The Poet
Topics of conversation:
The weather - we are making the most of it in our various ways. I've taken to getting up early and going for a run through the marsh (which is much more practical now that I can change in the swimmers' hut) so that I can watch the sun rise and get back to term time fitness. This morning I was struck, as I passed Sara and The Poet's house, by their view - but didn't want to stop there to take a picture in case they saw me - so I took a few a further down. They're a bit shaky, but I was supposed to be running...

Mabel - she's been a bit sniffy about coming back when she's called recently (actually that's quite an understatement) and DK and Legs are going to take their life in their hands this evening and let her off the lead on the beach, I had an email from Legs earlier today warning me that I might never see the three of them again - we're all on standby...
The new academic year - which brings challenges for quite a few of us on the beach this morning. The Pirate has just marked the last papers for a course which is closing down and he said it felt most peculiar after such a time, Sara and The Poet have assignments, which will be consuming them over the coming months and I'm currently teaching GCSE maths for the first time and loving it. Today we addressed stratified random sampling, rounding to significant figures, means/median/modes and looked at geometry in nature. My student is a geometry fiend and likes to spend time on intricate drawings like this.
She's also making lovely music at the moment so I gave her a subscription to NME for her birthday this weekend and made her a cheeky card. 

Marrows/courgettes - The Pirate has a glut and has been asking No. 1 Son and his girlfriend to do imaginative things with them (them being professional chefs and all) so we pitched in with recipes, suggestions and comments. Having heard that last night the family dined on marrow soup, followed by stuffed marrow The Poet, in his usual droll fashion, told The Pirate that he was being very marrow minded about it. My Mother sent me some recipes for him, but as he is "not technically literate" his words not mine, he wasn't able to open them so here they are, along with a link to this marrow curry, which I haven't tried (hey, not all of us like marrow or even see the point of using part of the allotment to grown them) but I trust the cook: Traditional marrow curry recipe

Mother's Marrow and Ginger Jam

3 kg marrow
4 lemons
250 gms crystalized ginger
50 gm dried root ginger
3 kg sugar
Peel the marrow and discard the seeds.   Cut into cubes and steam until tender.   Drain well and mash.   Grate the lemon rind and squeeze the juice.   Finely chop the crystalized ginger.   Bruise the root ginger with a hammer and wrap in muslin.  Put the lemon rind and juice and the crystalized and root ginger in a pan with the mashed marrow.  Bring to simmering point, add the sugar and stir until disolved.   Bring to the boil and boil for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally as the pulp thickens and setting point is reached.   Pot into warm jars and cover.

(I find this one sometimes difficult to set as some marrows are wetter than others – the way to solve this is to use the jam suger which has some pectin in in – cheating, but better than wasting the other ingredients.)

Mother's Marrow Lemon Cream

4 lb Marrow
8 oz Butter
3 and a half lbs Sugar
6 Lemons
Peal and deseed the marrow, cut into pieces and steam until tender.  Leave to drain for several hours or overnight if possible to ensure that the marrow is completely dry.  Mash into a smooth mixture or  puree in a food processor.   Place in a pan with the butter, sugar and finely grated rind and juice of the lemons.   Cook over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.   Bring to the boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20-30 minutes.  Pot into warm jars and cover.
(This is a favourite recipe, the result is rather like a light lemon curd and it keeps for longer as it has no eggs in it.   I have even used it, folded into cream, as a sauce for puddings.)

It's all a futile waste of time though, marrows should be treated like Samuel Johnson treated cucumber. "A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as it is good for nothing."

STOP PRESS!!! Mabel returned to the fold safe and sound and when called. Result.

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