Sunday, 12 September 2010

Wintry summer fruits


This summer has been an incredibly sad one for us, and that has eventually led to an unintentional blogging break for me over the last couple of weeks. It just stopped feeling right to continue to talk over the frivolity of all things fabric: too surreal and too far removed from what has happened in real life.

I have counted back and realised that it is 17 days since I last posted anything...something of a record for me. So I break the blogging ice with these frozen Scandinavian berries. I think I have blogged about them before, but these ones were the best we'd ever tasted*. We got up early this morning and went fruit picking and then turned the freezer to 'Quick Freeze', laid the berries on a tray lined with non-stick paper and left them to harden. After lunch I heated double cream and chunks of white Milky Bar chocolate over a pan of boiling water for half an hour, until it was piping hot. The sauce is then poured straight over the plates of frozen berries and dusted with icing sugar. The heat of the sauce defrosts the berries by just the right amount and the contrast of hot and cold, sweet and fresh is not to be beaten. We sat around the lunch table hardly talking. It's that kind of food: so good you can barely speak. The recipe comes from The Ivy in London and can be found in their wonderful cookbook.

Florence x

* Yes, that perhaps means that I think I may have produced a better version of the dish than The Ivy...that's quite a claim, I know. Unfortunately I think it had everything to do with the freshness of the frozen berries and very little to do with my culinary prowess, It is, after all, a stunningly simple dish.  I last tasted it there over a decade ago...so there could be memory issues too...I wonder whether it still appears on their menu?

And...thank you so much to the lovelies who noticed my lack of posts and wrote to ask if all was well...I'm so sorry I haven't replied yet - my laptop has been mostly off, but I'm hugely appreciative of your kindness. x

32 comments:

  1. Sorry you've had a sad end to your summer. Those berries look like just the thing for some temporary lightening of the mood, however.

    I have heard about this recipe before - in a legendary sort of a way - and have always wanted to try it. It looks beautiful, as well as sounding delicious.

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  2. I'm sorry you've had a rough Summer-- from someone who has been there, I truly hope things improve!

    I've never heard of the recipe before, but it looks divine and I'm putting it on our "to try" list! Thank you!

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  3. Oh dear. I had also noticed your absence. I have had some bad times in the past and hope things improve for you as time goes on. Platitudes dont cover it really but I hope your blogging helps you in some way and i for one look forward to next post. Hugs all round if only virtual. The recipe sounds like one to try. Now where is my fruit basket. xxx

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  4. Dear Florence, so sorry to hear there's been sadness in your life, I hope things improve soon!
    Danielle x

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  5. so sorry to hear that florence. I was just thinking of you the other day and wondering what you've been up to. I agree, when I'm not happy or bad things are going on, I find it really hard to talk about non-essential things.

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  6. I have wondered if your absence meant sadness in your life. I am so sorry to hear that there is. I hope that time will gradually ease your feelings even if it cannot change the facts.

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  7. I'm so sorry your life is filled with sadness. I've only just found your blog recently. I do hope that things get better really soon. {{hugs}} deb xx

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  8. I thought you must have gone on a late holiday or be caught up in the back to school rush - so sorry to hear it wasn't either of those things. Strengthening wishes being sent your way.

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  9. Sorry you've had such a sad summer Florence. Thank you for the recipe, it sounds amazing.

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  10. Sorry to hear things haven't been going so well. Wishing you all the best.

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  11. Oh Florence, I am so sorry to hear you have been dealing with such sad times. I too thought you may have been busy with the back to school/end of hols and so held off from mailing. My love to you and hope things improve xx

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  12. Oh..Florence, so sorry that you have had an awful time. I do understand though when your head and heart is just not in the right place for frivolousness. I must say, that is the reason that I am totally addicted to your blog, because when the world is sad, dark and just altogether awful, I tap into your world of sheer loveliness, full of colours and textiles and it gives one relief from all the awfulness. I couldn't have got through our past year here without your funny, inspiring blog. You also have by the way, an impeccable sense of style and taste, which is sadly missing in everyday life.
    All the best, elissa

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  13. Hi Florence
    I'm sorry to hear that my gut feeling of something not being right with you was correct.
    Sounds as though that pudding will have made the stomach happy if not exactly heart healing.
    Take care and use your blog and sewing as a refuge from the sadness that life can sometimes throw at us.
    Bertie x

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  14. Sorry to hear your news, I too have had a rough summer but things are much improved now and I truly hope it's the same for you too. Keep well x

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  15. Sorry to hear about sad end of summer. I really hope things slowly start looking a little brighter. Fantastic looking dish!
    Florence

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  16. Hi Florence

    I feel guilty for thinking also that you had gone on holiday. Sorry to read that it has not been a good time - come back to us when you are ready. In the meantime take care.

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  17. I've never written a comment on anyone's blog before, although I did email you once (thank you for your response). I've been worried about you, but hoping all was well. I woke at 3:30 this a.m. for some reason, came to my computer to check on you. I was so relieved at first to see the pretty picture and cheerful title of your post. Then, I read that something is wrong. I am sorry.

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  18. Dear Florence
    I'm so sorry that you have been feeling so sad. Blogging really is separate from reality - well it's 'real' but usually the happy and perfected version and I think we like it that way as it makes us see life as we would like it to be rather than how it is - it distracts from the harsher elements of life. I really wouldn't have wanted you to stoically carry on posting as if everything was OK when really you were feeling anything but. When I have been going through bad times my favourite blogs are like little beacons of friendly light. I hope that it works the other way around too and that it can give a little solace to you when you need it. I wish you a lighter heart and happier times again xx
    Siobhan

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  19. Hey Florence

    I'm so sorry to hear you had a sad end of summer. I wish you and your family all the best. Take your time to recover, I'll be thinking of you and hoping, that the sadness will go away.

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  20. So sorry to hear things have been rotten for you, Florence. I must admit, I had wondered if you'd gone away or were terribly busy.
    We love this recipe too, a local restaurant used to serve it. Have you tried freezing sweet grapes just before a meal and eating them striaght from the freezer at the end? Yummy!

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  21. I had noticed you weren't around so much and assumed it was back to school-itis - so sorry to hear it wasn't just that. Sending warm thoughts and virtual hugs and the hope that you can feel happier very soon.

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  22. Sending you big hugs, Florence. I hate to think of you being sad. You're such a dear girl. Lots of love, Amanda xxxx

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  23. I have been concerned by your absence and am so sorry that it was caused by sadness. I hope that you will find some ease and brightness soon. {{xoxo}}

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  24. And you were having such a lovely-sounding summer... sending you virtual hugs.
    xo,
    Bethany

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  25. I'm sorry to hear that it's been a rough summer.

    Hm, 17 days without posting would be nowhere near the record for me, mind, even when life is just fine. Still, I have good intentions for this year.

    Take care and best wishes

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  26. At the risk of sounding a bit stalker-ish, I've been worried about you! Glad to have you back but so sorry you've had a rough time. I lost my younger brother 2 years ago and found that doing crafty things did help in a strange way - it doesn't take the sadness away but sort of gives you a break from it. Maybe you will find some solace in your sewing corner.
    Love Nicky xxx

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  27. Hey Florence,

    I'm deeply sorry to hear of your rough summer. I, like others, had assumed that you were busy with children and your summer holiday, so I am sorry to hear it was something more.

    It is good to hear from you again and I pray that you can find peace and love with family and friends/ fellow bloggers during this difficult time.

    Hopefully you can find healing through your creativity.

    Stay strong.
    Blessings!
    Karen in USA

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  28. Sorry things aren't great. Sending hugs xx

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  29. Sorry for your sadness. I think this year's a bit of a funny one. After our sadness we found extreme happiness that we still feel a bit tentative about. Hope something happy comes along.

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  30. Sorry you've had a rough summer, I hope things are looking up a bit now?
    I still love reading about all your loveliness
    xx

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  31. Best wishes to you and your family x

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x