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Posts Tagged ‘apples’

Morning Glory, pink and purple – a painting a day

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

 Morning glory  –  

NFS size 6 in x 6 in 15cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

I went back to look again at the trees in the community orchard to choose five significant trees to concentrate my efforts upon.

I starred five trees to look at. Today I tried to key out a knobbly looking green apple. It has the look of a Codlin or a Catshead and in fact it has the internal structure as well. I also worked on a pretty red eater which seemed to come out as either a Lady Hollendale (very obscure) or Ingrid Marie, I am inclined to the Ingrid Marie which is a Cox descendant  which was used to breed Elstar. I begin to realise that apples are like thoroughbred horses they can all trace their lineage from a handful of famous forbears. Ribston’s Pippin begat Cox’s Pippin, which begat Ingrid Marie, which begat Elstar. Ribston’s pip which was grown into the tree was brought from France ( Cox’s Orange Pippin is really at least half French !! Its lucky the Mail doesn’t know about this, I can sense everlasting damage to patriotic pride would result)

On a different subject, there has been a beautiful full moon, I was waiting for some bad nights as last full moon some big moths got into the house and then as the moon shone on the window at night they bashed themselves against it trying to reach the light. Now, after I let them out, what did they do? I have to presume that they would continue flying towards the light source, the moon; as they got higher and higher at what point did they stop? Do they fly upwards until the cold air saps their energy? Does it do them any good? Hmm.

The tomatoes which came in from outside were beginning to show signs of blight. The recommendation in a magazine was to heat them to 40 degrees centigrade for twelve hours. I tried to do this in the dessicator. The temperature control was not perfect; however I have to report a partial success. Rather than seeing the healthy looking green tomatoes fill with blight just before they ripen, the tomatoes are mostly ripening. Where there is some blight development it has clearly been contained in patches and is not romping through the fruit. This gives one hope for the method.

My painting today is of the morning glory, it will not be for sale yet as it may have a taker already. The morning glory plants are now in full flower (they were sown very late). There are three colours and they are great every morning as long as the night has not been too cold. I have also found that the buds will open for several days if a stem is put in a vase.

#135 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog

Pear Precoce de Trevoux -a painting a day

September 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Day One hundred and thirty three  

   size 5 in x 5 in 13cm x 13cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

Today I am considering the subject of my blog, I have been asked to do some Morning Glory, I quite fancy doing an outdoor picture but it will probably rain on me, and then again there are flowers and apples in the garden which I like but haven’t put in a blog painting yet…some days to have plenty of choice seems a luxury and on other days it is too much. I have decided upon one of the stored pears ,you can tell its been stored its gone a little crumpled.

I made a big tray of apple sortofshortbread this morning for the weekend, but it smelt so lovely that when my neighbour popped round to look at the builders progress on their house( getting there) we got stuck into it with a cup of coffee. Apparently her daughter K. reads the blog which is lovely to hear.

The shortbreadsortof is an attempt to pass off more apples on the family in an acceptable form. I made a mix half way between shortbread and pastry using butter and stork and plain flour (1lb flour,3/4 shortening,1/2 sugar,1 cup raisins, two large aromatic eaters diced,pinch of salt…I used the Ellison’s Orange, but Cox or anything suitable for a French Tarte au Pommes would do. It’s quite crumbly but tastes good*. There are many opinions on what should go in a real French Tarte au Pommes, something like Calville Blanc d’Hiver apple is classic, it has a very strong flavour and thin slices cook but do not break up, however modern writers including French recipe sites suggest Golden Delicious or Granny Smith ,these will look right but they will not have the intense flavour of the older apples which are used by better restaurants in France. If you tend to think that Tarte au Pommes is OK but a bit insipid I suggest you seek out one made with the sort of apples around which the recipe was created. I wonder how many old recipes we miss the point of as we do not have access to the right varieties of fruit and vegetable to make them special. Ellison’s Orange is actually a cross between a French Calville Blanc d’Ete and an English Cox so it probably is a good candidate for a proper Tarte au Pommes. The apple can seem dry as soon as it starts to overripen , but that I think is the sort of characteristic required.

Last night I put apples in the salad and in the pudding and the night before I made Bolognese sauce with fresh garden tomatoes ( they thought it was marvellous…no of course they didn’t they moaned that it was different from the standard brew).

Method for recipe if you would like to try:

Put the flour and the shortening and the salt into a food processor, blitz until it is mixed and starting to stick together in lumps.

Mix in the raisins and the diced apple, press into a lined tray bake for half an hour in a medium oven or until it is firm and beginning to brown in places. Cut up when nearly cool and eat, but you could guess that bit.

#133 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog

Red apples on the ground – a painting a day

August 31, 2010 Leave a comment

   size 10 in x 6 in , 25cmx15cm  watercolour on heavy weight rag paper.

Today was beautiful the grass was sparkling in the sunshine this morning, the heavy dew which makes for ideal fungus hunting weather….yesterday we found about two pounds of bay boletes, today we went back and found three and a half pounds of edible fungi including three ceps, amethyst deceiver, and birch boletes. I will put some pictures in. The dessicator is now full and the Christmas soup is assured….it needs woodpigeon, ceps , cream and brandy in addition to the normal soup making things like stock and onion.

Yesterdays painting still needs to be finished, it is very wishy washy at the moment. I put off cutting the grass to get today’s painting of the early apple tree, it has got to where I can no longer rely on picking the apples that do not show from the view point so it HAD TO BE DONE. I wanted the windfalls to be in the picture too so had to pick them up in a great hurry at six this evening, in order to get the mowing done. It’s hard to believe that we have eaten pounds from the tree already, there are plenty there. The problem is now getting to be that if there is a windfallen Ellisons Orange apple I will eat that in preference.

Yesterday was our duty day at the sailing club, sadly we have been very little this year and it’s a waste of the membership really. Earlier in the summer there was a lot of work on the house to get through-there still is!

The woods where the boletes came from are a lovely mixture there are pine trees, coppiced hazels and sweetchestnuts, heathy bits and a little steep valley (a ghyll they call it in Sussex, but it’s supposed to be a Scottish word). The boys found a rope with a stick hanging from a tree , it swang over a watery hollow full of dead wood and mud. Naturally one of them fell in it.

Alison

 #121 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog

Todays ceps

Yesterdays Bay Boletes

Sunflower and Banana plant in the new flower bed,by tomorrow the Hedychium should be out.

Sibenik apples and pears – a painting a day

August 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Sibenik reworked #2 (#116)

   size 6 in x6 in 15cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

Sibenik reworked #1 (painting a day #114) with minor alterations

   size 6 in x6 in 15cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

Wedding pictures have begun to trickle through on the e-mail, it looks like I habitually turn my back on the camera as there are only pictures of me from behind! The boys are in some shots which is good.

I have spent a lot of time peeling pears and freezing drying and cooking them.

I also made a tasty salad from Blackstick blue cheese and pears diced with a few stems of Chinese cabbage diced to give a little crunch. The pears are now sweet and aromatic with their special pear drop kick. I also poached some sliced pear in a vanilla syrup…..beautiful.

Loads of apples are tumbling off the trees with the wind and rain, they are also being slowly peeled and frozen or cooked.

There are more and more fungi in the grass, I might collect the red cracking boletes as I have eaten them before and they are OK- not as good as ceps, but then nothing is.

The tomatoes have started to turn so I have picked eight slightly plum shaped ones which are a bit mushy but tasty cooked. The smaller ones are refusing to ripen…next thing the blight will be in there.

I have altered the last reworking of the Sibenik sketch and here is another.

No1 son got his required grades and we are all so happy for him, after all the teachers and life threw at him he has managed to get there. He hates me talking like this so I’ll stop.

 #116 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog

Sibenik – a painting a day

August 22, 2010 1 comment

Sibenik the passage ,reworked#1

size 6 in x 6 in 15cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

Sibenik the passage, f irst sketch

This blog covers the weekend just gone there were several painting that I did but did not get a chance to blog as there were so many other things competing for my time and my blogging partner with the technical expertise.

The humanist non-wedding preceded by a civil ceremony has been and gone. It occurred to me that it must be more difficult to get through saying your lines when you have written them yourself because they are  much more personal. I was very pleased with my dress and the green toenails, the non-bridesmaids were spectacular in shocking pink polka dotted dresses with black feather fascinators and netted gloves. The **ide (look I avoided the b-word as requested) had a dress by Vivianne Westwood which was gorgeous; the material twisted and folded into the shape of the body but had a magic effect once on. It was both modern and grand Edwardian in one object.

There was a lot of wandering round the Essex village from house to Parish Hall and finally back to our B&B in the Old Police House; it was, unlike some villages, quietly busy: an artist in the street accepting a commission, a bus turning outside the house, a butchers, a bakers and some other shops, people stopped in the street talking, cyclists making their way slowly to the allotments. I think the atmosphere is so pleasant because it is the end of the road; to continue east from Tollesbury you need a boat.

No1 son had a lovely time as he has decided alcohol is interesting, it was not till various people had reported back to me that the full picture emerged. Reports of Pimms added to fruit cup, glasses of wine filched from tables behind my back and glasses of red wine downed in one that I got close to an idea. He held it remarkably well and lived to eat five puddings that evening. Oh well he might put on some weight.

No2 son also had a lovely time but it was more to do with finding a wealth of friends and family to tease and run around with.

DIY dad did the barbeque the next day and got to inspect the magicians body cut in half act from the stage. He couldn’t work  out how it was done and the temporary assistant was not giving any secrets away afterwards. We started to pick the Victoria plums in the garden as some were dropping , our pears are now ripening at the speed of light and need eating, drying or freezing. The early apples are starting to tumble off the tree when you go to pick one. In Essex they had had a fantastic crop of greengages which made me jealous as it is one of my favourite fruit. I need to spend half a day on fruit preservation.

The pictures here are two sorts , firstly there is a picture of another fungus that has sprung up and then there are some reworking of the view from the quayside in Sibenik. I sketched it in about five minutes while waiting for the bus quite early in the morning, there is a sea passage between the two islands which leads out into the Kornati  archipelago. I liked the original sketch for its atmosphere but felt the reflection was in the wrong place. I have made about four attempts to rework it I will publish them even though none of them are definitive.

I am going to finish for now, but just want to quote a couple of things that came up at the wedding:

Scaffolding by Seamus Heaney 

Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;

Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.

And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.

So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me

Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.

I loved this and felt it very apt for A and R the non-bride and not quite groom who got married at the weekend.

Someone also quoted from Leon Rosselson’s song, using it to say that things had changed a great deal from the seventies, I remain to be fully convinced of that, however it’s still a great song:

So don’t get married, girls, it’s very badly paid
You may start off as the mistress but you’ll end up as the maid
Be a daring deep-sea diver or a polished polyglot
But don’t get married, girls, for marriage is a plot

Strangely I once sang it on stage with an American singer who moved away to my now husband’s aunt’s town where  Aunt Sue hired her to sing at her fortieth birthday…. the world is smaller everyday.

#114  a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog

Across the lake, evening light – a painting a day

August 16, 2010 Leave a comment

 

 size 7 in x 9 in 18cm x23cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

The time today has flown by, it tends to when you are having a spectacularly rotten time. The nasty bug has been coming and going for some of us, which means it’s impossible to know from one meal to the next who will be able to eat or what they might manage.
This was all, fortunately in a way, broken up with my brother’s belated fiftieth birthday celebration. He came south and so did my sister which was lovely. We spent some time discussing exactly how we used to break into the house when we didn’t have a key…it involved shinning up a pipe above some hard looking concrete…I’d read the riot act if I caught my kids doing it- which just goes to show I’ve turned into an old hypocrite. The window’s changed now so even a child couldn’t get through it.
In the middle of the mass vomiting outbreak I noticed that the pears were ready to pick and that the birds had also noticed this fact. I started picking last Thursday and got some help by Friday. There are about 35 pounds of good pears and another eight or so of damaged fruit. The pears have to sit inside until suddenly the yellow tone brightens under the red streaks and they sweeten and soften. We can’t possibly eat them all; so some get given away and some go in the fridge to delay their ripening. Some I will dry in the dessicator as they have a very strong flavour and are good dried. The damaged fruit have almost all been cooked either in a crumble or stewed in red wine with cinnamon, sugar and cloves . I will freeze some for future crumbles and/ or my own favourite chocolate pear pudding, an upside down sponge pudding. We think the variety is French, Precoce de Trevoux, it is the strongest pear I have ever tasted having a real affinity with the yellow and red pear drops we all adored as children. The apples are ripening very fast so lots of them need distributing to relatives, friends and neighbours as well.
This picture is of the view across the sea lagoon from Babine Kuce in Croatia, the house is rented out in the summer we were told. I have only just remembered to make the final changes to this painting so it has not been blogged before. I started it on the same day as the view across the lake to the monastery, it is the view looking the other direction from the view of the village and moored boats.
We have a wedding coming up …clothes shopping with teenagers oh horror horror horror.

111 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog

Trio of early apples – a painting a day

August 11, 2010 1 comment

 this painting is framed and for sale in the burgess hill open house event see blog June 4th

Day One Hundred and ten –   a painting a day

size 6 in x 11 in 15cm x 28cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

Oh fantastic, we all get back from holiday and THEN we all go down like in sequence with something akin to the winter vomiting- starting before the holiday wash is complete but after DIY Dad has partially demolished the downstairs loo. He has removed the door giving an uninterrupted view of the hall and front door.

I think I have the less serious version I feel dreadful but not as if I am going to die (unlike the people I have been mopping up for).

There have been some very kind comments on my holiday pictures, for which thank you. I can whole heartedly recommend the beautiful landscape  between Dubrovnik and Split, that is the order to do it in as the ferries can be booked in advance going north but NOT going south, unless you are as persuasive as I am….

The garden looked like an autumn scene this morning, the dew was so thick a shining drop hung on every blade of grass, red apples lay on the ground and branches hung low with fruit. How can this have happened?

#110 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog