Invincible summer |||

Enough bitterness

Saturday morning and my colazione inglese alla Milanese for Stefano: ciabatta, buttered eggs with basil, sliced tomatoes fried with pancetta. Topped off with bitter lemon marmalade for the ciabatta, and his Saturday Special: pastis and water. Good to go.

I frown on the purchase of souvenirs, trifling evidence of foreign travel, a habit no longer reserved to the rich. Naturally I prefer to suggest such trips too commonplace to mark. In similar vein, loading our bags with foreign delicacies. London abounds in shops dedicated to treats from abroad. While travelling, we enjoy the local forage as we do the scenery, without trying to take it home with us. (I concede Miki does not share these principles. The boot of the car crackles with bags of dried pasta and, curiously, rolls of paper towels decorated with pinup girls from the 1950s, apparently not to be had in Hampstead at any price.)

Marmellata di limonia di Sicilia

I make an honourable exception for Italian bitter lemon marmalade, especially if made rough-cut with Sicilian lemons. This produces a marmalade of such bitter fragrance as not even Frank Cooper, with all of Oxford’s resources, can surpass. The owner of our local Italian deli in South End Green admits he can get hold of it, but can’t see how to sell the stuff cheaper than £10 a jar. I’ve told him I will buy any amount of it at this price, but naturally he does not care to predicate his business on selling to madmen. My new Italian phrase: Che casino, la mia vita. At times even my life fails to produce enough bitterness. So two jars of this preserve nestle at the bottom of my overnight bag.

Up next Desire and cocktails Mechanical men ‘Th-they think I don’t care, any more. “You can observe without passion.” Bastards… No I didn’t mean that… Slothrop, we’re all such mechanical men.
Latest posts The rest is silence Bergh Apton revisited What makes a language flourish? A duty of care Crispbread economics Learning vector programming The Underground The Post Office scandal A plea for simplicity BoJo the clown Days are of two kinds Trollope What we saw in Roswell The orkestra bows out Imagine Hampstead village and South End Green with no through traffic What makes this so dangerous Rural rides Crank it up Rediscovering our animal nature The high streets of Hampstead The beneficiaries of the status quo are in no rush to change Among the many things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, the present, and the future. Animal Farm: Special illustrated edition Nuclear-armed rogue states The Sixth Extinction Food of love War on Terror Terror is a tactic Global worming Art of the possible Liveable London