Many years ago I spent a week in Tuscany, painting watercolours with friends. My colour palette consisted of the colours recommended by il Professore the previous year. I struggled with them but didn’t understand why.
One of the colours was olive green. I hadn’t brought an extra pan of olive green with me, so when I ran out of olive I had no green. You get green by mixing yellow and blue, right? So I thought. Well, it depends on the yellow and the blue you have. The yellow I had was Cadmium Yellow Deep which, I can tell you, is a very warm yellow, practically orange. Orange and French Ultramarine do not make a nice green. Orange and Indigo do not make a nice green either.
I can’t call myself a hunter gatherer, as I don't hunt, but I can call myself a fisher gatherer – with some restrictions.
I bought three fish trap permits this spring. One is for the trap thing I use. The others are for fish nets my brother plans to use. They’re probably more efficient than my trap.
There is something very satisfying even in putting the trap into the lake, not to mention catching something
– fish, I hope. I feel more connected to nature. I feel more in control of myself and my life in catching my own livelihood, so to speak. Even if it’s just two small perch I can fry in butter for lunch.
The other day I made my first ever batch of ghee. Sometime, don’t even know when, I’ve copied a recipe from Vasant Lad’s book Ayurveda, found in the library and leafed through between shelves. Quite simple really. I did make the mistake of covering the kettle with a lid when the butter started to sputter. I should have let the water evaporate, not keep it inside the kettle. When I realized this I just cooked it a bit longer, without the lid. I hope this was alright.
You should use unsalted organic butter but my local supermarket only had salted organic butter (and an Ayurvedic friend said that’s ok). An organic store may have the right stuff, or at least more right, as ghee should (according to some articles I found on the web) be made using unsalted cultured butter.
It tastes nutty. Good. As this was my first try I only made a small portion, using 250 g butter. Next time, I’ll double the size.
The recipe? Mr Lad says to heat 450 g unsalted butter at medium heat. Then let it it boil for about 12 minutes. You do not skim the foam that rises to the top because there’s something medicinal about it. Turn the heat down and gradually the butter turns gold and smells pop-cornish. Let it cool down a bit and strain into a clean, dry jar. Cover tightly. When using, always use a dry untensil. Don’t let water enter the jar as this may spoil the ghee. No need for a fridge, ghee can be stored in room temperature. Some recipes say it should be stored in a fridge.
I’ve been to three big auctions this year. All the same, yet different.
One I went to was an auction people went to for a Good Buy. The quality of the goods for sale was high, but not prohibitively so. It was a rainy winter day, everyone looked more of less the same, wrapped in their winter coats. I came early so I managed to find a seat. The outside door was right behind me, it was a bit draughty at times. There were a few male voices who did a lot of bidding. They were probably making acquisitions for their antique shops. Then there was that couple who came for a specific painting. The lady who came for the necklace. The men who bid against each other over one lot of three statuettes. Paintings by well known and recognized artists didn’t even reach their estimates. An unsigned watercolour someone said was a Kandinsky got a bit more action. Antique furniture is just old furniture and doesn’t fetch high prices. What does fetch high prices is design from the 50’s and 60’s. I wonder, when the 50’s and 60’s are so not interesting any more, what comes next? 70’s chipboard?? IKEA flatpacks??
I'm Piisa and I will be sharing with you my thoughts on this and that, maybe even on whatever.