Saturday 14 August 2010

Blue onions

Fruit, glorious fruit, as Oliver Twist never sang. We know the damsons are ready when we hear them rolling down and bouncing off the garage roof. Himself has got out the ladder and a bucket and is on collection duty. The damsons are small and fiddly to stone so I tend to stew them whole before freezing. When it's just the two of us having a meal together we are happy to unceremoniously discard the stones into a dish as we eat. I don't serve them up for guests because I'm on my best behaviour when I'm entertaining; if I offer plums you can be sure that they will be laboriously stoned Victoria's!

We've had a sociable few days, starting with a birthday lunch, when I cooked a sea trout to accompany the garden produce. I served it on an oval platter that had belonged to my parents and been used on many happy occasions. The pattern is called, 'Blue Onion'.

It was designed by Johann Kaendler in 1739 and manufactured by Meissen in Germany. My platter was made in the potteries area of England, in Stoke on Trent, date unknown.
It is thought that the pattern was copied from a Chinese bowl, decorated with peaches and pomegranates, of the K'ang Hsi period. These fruits were unknown to the European makers, so they painted blue onions instead!

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