Thursday, September 9, 2010

On making jelly, blind dates, and my favorite nieces

I have wonderful salt and pepper shakers*.  I got them years ago at the SFMOMA store as a thank you gift for a graphic designer who had helped me out with a project. I ended up keeping them when he tried to receive payment by calling me 'honey' and 'sugar' and asking what we should name our firstborn. I decided to thank him with a card in the mail. And now I've got these wonderful shakers, bobbing happily away in front of me. * sigh * * affectionate nudge to my salt *

Question: is £60 too much for a watch repair? The cobbler/keymaker/watch-repairman said he will have to take the whole thing apart and put it back together, hence the price. Does this sound right/normal? And why do I have the sneaking suspicion that my mechanically-brilliant grandfather could've fixed it in five and a half seconds if I had thought to show it to him when I was home last?

I'm currently making apple and red chilli jelly! I made apple butter two days ago and have been loving it with English cheddar as my late-afternoon, I-can-make-it-to-dinner-without-chewing-off-my-arm snack, and I'm excited to try this apple jelly when it's finished. Right now the fruit is dripping torturously slow in a subtle attempt to test every single ounce of my patience. I can see why they say to leave it overnight, as to watch this thing all day is to court madness. And every website in the world on the topic of jelly-making says 'DON'T SQUEEZE THE JELLY BAG!' as part of the instructions, because apparently it will make my jelly 'cloudy' and 'destroy the human race' or something, but look at this and tell me it's not begging to be squeezed:

Just a little pinch?

But I'm holding it together. Now when I enter the kitchen and see it, I bite my fist and leave immediately. 

I'm meeting a possible new friend on Monday! It was orchestrated through a mutual friend in San Francisco. I had blind dates like this last time I was in London--the girl and I would be put in touch via a friend, make plans to meet for lunch, one of us in a blue peacoat, the other wearing a yellow flower so we'd recognize each other, then we'd sit at a table in a hip cafe, making conversation and hoping to hit it off since our mutual friends swore we would 'absolutely LOVE each other.' And sometimes it'd click and we'd make plans again, and sometimes it was just nice and we'd go through the motions of trying for another meet-up but after three cancellations each, things would naturally fade out. I have good reason to hope this one will be a good match: she takes lots of pictures and she's cute and she's been funny in our digital communication. This is pretty much all I require out of my friends; that and a little bit of madness.

Speaking of madness, look at my darling nieces! These pictures are from my last visit home:

On the left is Hunter, a voracious reader and a formidable opponent in Bananagrams. She also tells a LOT of interesting stories. You should see the monologues my sister gets on video. It would put any theatre major to shame.

On the right is Hunter's mischievous little sister, PeyPey. And yes, she's holding her shirt up for this photo. That's just the sort of girl she is.**

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to my Vancouver post.*** Until we meet again!

*And that's not a metaphor.
**Also, like her mother.



  2. SO jam/jelly/chutney/preserve making runs in the family, kinda? Sounds delicious!!!

  3. I see you're already making my hostess gift! ahee. Told Garrett you might be coming over soon, and he was delighted, which makes two of us. Oh my gosh Alan Rickman is here at the moment (not in our house) playing the lead in an Ibsen play at the Abbey. I'm hoping to get tickets for opening night as thanks for some volunteer work I did for them. That, and a personal introduction, you know, only a modest gesture of gratitude required--the equivalent of salt and pepper shakers, really.

  4. So jealous, LOVE the salt and pepper shakers!
    They remind me of weebles, ya know, weebles wobble but they don't fall down!
    anywho...DON'T squeeze the jelly, I don't fancy going out in a hot sticky mess, unless of course it's a chocolatey sticky mess. Now there's a thought chocolate jam/jelly/chutney/preserve type of thing. YUMMY! I'm thinking a peanut butter and chocolate jelly sandwich! Now tell me that doesn't sound delish! But then again I guess you would have to be a chocolate fan for that to sound good ;)
    Awesome pics of the girls!
    Good luck on your blind date.

  5. It would probably cost a lot less to ship the watch to ol' grandad! Or replace it. Love the cutie pie nieces!

  6. Regardless of what you might think, I do NOT lift up my shirt that often! Thanks, Sis! :)