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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

Grape Jelly Part 4

Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas OCTOBER. 26, 2020

[82-365] 26th. October 2020- Playing catch-up today, Blog catch-up and jelly catch-up. Just in case any of you thought I was all talk and no jelly, here it is. I always keep a jelly promise. Most of the way through the boiling today I thought I was not going to get a clear jelly but a sort of curd instead, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that at least the tiny ray of sun we had, managed to work it's way through the jar. The sun has gone behind a cloud again now. I think it knew just as I got the lids on that the time was right for a quick appearance.

So here is the Grape Jelly, I think I can fairly call it that, even if it does have a soupcon of spider in it as well. I'm not sure it does have a soupcon of spider but anything is possible, I did find some as I trawled through the bucket of grapes dusting, picking, and washing as I went. I am reasonably sure that

a. There aren't any in the jelly and

b. They are quite nutritious if there are.

The main thing is it has been strained though a jelly bag and then a sieve, as well as being frozen solid and then boiled at 106 degrees C. So all angles of spider contamination are covered. So do you want to try some?

Soupcon is my word of the day. I caught you out there. You thought I'd missed it.

Soupcon- or as people who are incredibly funny sometimes say, soupspoon which also usually works well in the same sentence. Interestingly the old Googleymonitor always advises a cedilla with façade and doesn't insist on it for soupcon.

Cedilla- Secondary word of the day. Squiggly thing under the C giving a soft sound. Trust the French. They probably have a government department somewhere deep in the Quai D'orsay with twelve thousand staff whose full time role is to uphold the cedilla.

Soupcon- no squiggly thing. Sorry to disappoint you but it has nothing to do with soup. It means suspicion. I'm surprised the French want to bring the word suspicion into a menu, it isn't a good start as you tuck into your Amuse Bouche. It's a word specifically designed for French restaurants in expensive parts of Paris who can advertise a suspicion of an ingredient in your dish of the day (Plat du jour), you see I did go on the school trip. The point being, you don't know if they added it or not and it seems they are up front about it.

It's a bit like a Covid vaccine trial, you don't know if you got the vaccine or the placebo. That means if you sneak some of your Plat du jour into your handbag and then take it down to Trading Standards to get it analysed, you can't sue them or fine them when it isn't actually there. That is personally why I would avoid a very tenderised, thin piece of steak with a soupcon of beef in it. It's probably had a career jumping over fences at Longchamp.

Just to be sure I Googled Longchamp to find it is as I thought, a racecourse, but amusingly and appropriately a chain of restaurants and also a leather goods brand. Enough of this horsing around. I only remembered that Longchamp was a racecourse because of those horsey pictures of Degas, not the ballerina ones where he seemed to spend a lot of his time in changing rooms with a big stick of chalk.

I am on a roll now, a jelly roll.

Double double toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble. I was inspired by the photo below to go back to my Shakespeare. I got quite excited because I felt sure spiders would come up. I distinctly remember spiders in the cauldron. But no, there are no spiders, just adders tongues and baboons blood, owlets wings, and wool of bat? Wool of bat? Who knew bats had wool? Can you imagine trying to shear a bat? Sheep are difficult enough, you have to hold them between your knees, I've seen it on TV. How would you hold a squirming bat between your knees?

We went to see Macbeth in the round. We were in the front row, we were about fourteen, when things like codpieces seemed hysterical. The stage was about a foot away, and during the fight scenes when the swords were flying we almost had to duck. Unfortunately at one point we started giggling at the size of the codpieces which seemed enormous, and of course we couldn't stop, and the more you try to stop the funnier it gets so we were rapidly losing control to the point where others in the audience started to notice.

What really wasn't funny was when the lead actor swung his sword around his head and pointed it at me about an inch from my nose while blasting out his accusatory speech from the play, projecting it to the back of the theatre right in my face. Suddenly it wasn't that funny anymore.

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