Saturday, 27 June 2015
Summertime, and the Living is Easy (but don't forget this is the Starsong household!)
The kitchen is not a place to linger in during long, hot summer days, only for preparing food quickly, wrapping it or dishing it up, and taking it outside to eat.
"The stillroom and the larder and the dairy are dim and stone-slabbed and pleasingly cool. Jugs and bowls and dishes stand, muslin-covered. Cotton bags of whey drip, drip, drip down, leaving the creamy yellow curds of cheese.
The refrigerator hums and vibrates day and night, a living creature in the corner. But the range stands cold and silent.
A pot of basil on the table, a pungent sweet geranium on the windowsill, a bunch of mint hung from the ceiling will all help to keep out summer flies."
If you are outside, walk into the greenhouse, dark and shady during the day with the thick growth of tomato plants. Close your eyes and breathe in the heady, pungent, strange warm smell.
Midsummer Eve, an enchanted night where witches, sprites and all manner of evil spirits are abroad, has safely passed, helped by the sprigs of fennel and rowan brought into the house to afford protection.
In the hedgerows lining our meadows the elderflowers are blooming - great foamy creamy white blossoms that remind us that spring is about to take a leap over the ditch into summer.
They have a most pungent and evocative scent and flavour, a little like that of the Muscatel grape.
Steep them in boiled water, leave to cool, strain. Use to rinse the face - an excellent skin tonic.
Add elderflowers to the first, sharp, small gooseberries, poached in syrup and made into a flan or pie. Or make some gooseberry and elderflower jam. Tie the flowers in a muslin bag, and suspend over the boiling jam mixture. Draw out before potting. The flavours marry perfectly.
Elderflowers make fine wine and champagne, fragrant and light. As a refreshing drink, diluted with spring water, try Elderflower Cordial.
25 elderflower heads
2 lbs sugar
2 lemons, grated, squeezed, cut into small pieces
2 oz citric acid (easy to obtain from a pharmacy)
2 pints cold, boiled water
1 Remove stems from flower heads and place in a large bowl. Add sugar, lemons, citric acid.
2 Cover with water and leave for two days, stirring occasionally.
3 Strain. Bottle. Dilute to taste. Keep in a refrigerator.
Elderflower Water Ice
6 oz sugar
1 pint water
1 egg white
Juice of 2 and rind of 3 lemons
4-6 elderflower heads
1 Combine everything except the egg white and lemon juice. Stir over a low heat until sugar dissolves. Boil for ten minutes.
2 Cool. Add lemon juice. Strain carefully. Freeze about one hour, until slushy. Beat, with a fork or hand whisk. Stiffly beat the egg white, and fold it in. Freeze further hour. Stir.
3 Then leave in freezer until needed. Thaw slightly before bringing to the table.
On Thursday night Dan and I were celebrating my imminent book release. I knew I had a bottle of champagne in the fridge (for emergency use - LOL) and I went and retrieved it. I had worked hard all morning helping with Church lunches for the elderly of the parish, and then on to my MIL's where I sat and had coffee whilst she ate the lunch I took to her, and then I was down on my knees scrubbing at a bright pink stain on her cream carpet where she had knocked over a glass of cranberry juice. By the time I got home it was 4pm. So I felt I owed myself a small drink of something alcoholic.
Dan opened the bottle for me as I am terrified of champagne corks for some reason. He filled two extremely large glasses. (In fact the glasses were so large we only got a glass and a bit, each.) The champagne turned out to be a sadly inferior Brut Cava I had brought back from Spain three years' ago, and though a pretty shade of pink, it took us three quarters of the way down a glass before we could ignore the flavour, which reminded us both a bit of paint stripper. (Not that we have ever drunk paint stripper. LOL) It was lovely to relax and chat, sipping our wine, and trying to put our stresses behind us.
This is not going to be a post about our stresses, but my MIL, although better than last week, and improving, is still not as good as she hoped she would be and she is getting very down as she is used to being such an independent lady. She is now on much stronger painkillers as the morphine didn't seem to work very well, and she has an appointment to see a consultant in a local hospital in a couple of weeks' time. We are hoping she will be able to have some sort of injection into her spine to block the pain of the osteo-arthritis which is disabling her so badly.
Dan and I haven't had much time for each other lately. In fact, we had quite a ding-dong last Sunday through Monday. Apart from odd reminder swats, which I openly admit are getting rather more forceful than I appreciate, spanking has been pretty much thin on the ground. Until the other morning.
Dan sat up in bed and informed me he thought one was very much overdue. I couldn't argue. I felt exhausted, harassed and pretty much in the doldrums myself. There was no point in debating the matter, so I got up and marched across the room and retrieved the rose paddle. I felt that after such a spanking drought, my backside wouldn't cope with much else, and Dan rarely stipulates unless he has lost all patience completely.
I knew he meant business as he immediately pegged me down with a hand on my back and his leg over both mine, but he did at least give me a good, long hand spanking first. It wasn't the lovely stingy sort. His hand felt like a lightening rod and I could almost smell burning. I was soon rolling around, trying to kick and uttering loud yelpy noises.
There was no warning when that blessed paddle took over from his hand. He told me that he didn't intend stopping until I let it all out, and that it was no use clenching my buttocks and pretending to be elsewhere. (Funny that, how did he know?)
Some of our spanking sessions can be virtually measured in seconds. This was not one of them. It went on and on. It turned out that this was one of those times when Dan was determined.
In fact he was very determined. He was determined to ensure my bottom felt every last slap of leather. I thought to myself that the women who are able to just slump and surrender, are very lucky indeed. I am not able to do that. I howl and moan and yelp and struggle to get free, get up, get anywhere so long as it is away from that paddle. The fantasy and the reality are completely different as far as I am concerned. He just kept on spanking and softly telling me to let it out. He even remembered previous entreaties, and spanked much lower for once. Only I hadn't really considered what this would do to my sit spots and sitting down to breakfast later.
Eventually he decided I had had enough. I was gathered into his arms and cuddled until my sobs had turned into sniffles, and then he showed me just how much spanking turns him on. (Smirk) But that is a good thing. We have come a long way. It's no longer a want. It's a need.
Truly I didn't sit comfortably for a good, long while. In fact, most of the day I felt an inner burn. But it was like giving a droopy flower a long drink. It revived me and gave me strength to carry on in the face all our stresses.
I've had a couple of 'quicky spanky sessions' since, just hand spankings, and they have enabled me to feel topped up and on the straight and narrow.
This morning whilst I was out down in the town doing a bit of shopping, and happily thinking that Dan was out in the garden doing some mowing etc, Dan did something most unlike him.
He Googled me! Truthfully, he Googled my new alter-ego Sarah Coltman. He then Googled Ami Starsong!
Minelle, if you are reading this, you may need to send me a Get out of Jail Free Card as well! I shall probably end up carrying a cushion round with me all day tomorrow!
Dan has never shown any interest in reading my blog posts, not even at the beginning. Occasionally I read him bits and I will sometimes read him someone else's blog. But he has always said he doesn't want to read what I write.
He doesn't want to read my stories either, and has always seemed very happy just to play a supporting role.
He read the first three chapters of my book! He grinned in an evil way as he imparted this information during lunch. So he then went and read a considerable a chunk from my blog.
I am not able to relate our ensuing conversation, but my bottom immediately felt like it needed reassurance.
I shall never live this down. Ever.
I am soooo glad I always say to people that they have to make up their own minds just how much is fantasy and how much is based on truth.
In my defence, I would like to say that stories are much more fun when practical research has been undertaken. More authentic. N'est ce pas?
But just cast a thought my way tomorrow morning when Dan reaches, as he is certain to do, for the worst weapon of ass destruction he can lay his hands on.
This is my link, which I haven't yet had time to attach in a proficient and professional manner at the side of my blog in case you might be interested in going to my new writer's blog.