Writing with a plum in my mouth…

Patrick, one of our neighbours, arrived at our house yesterday afternoon with a box piled high with sun warm mirabelles that he had just picked from one of his trees. He’s not a man of many words but the words he has , in my experience over the last 10 years, are good kind words. The plums were in payment for pictures that I had done of his vintage tractor which I think is a very acceptable fee. Mirabelles become eau de vie, jam, tarts and compotes and the smell of them cooking creates an atmosphere of “convivialité” which is real currency. There is a feeling in the air that tells me that high summer is already preparing to set off to the south. It’s a feeling that I remember from my teenage years when the last days of  what I had hoped would be endless summer holiday were clearly in sight. The sun is lower and the nights are beginning to close in. Market stalls are beginning to fill with the warmer colours of plums  and the russets, golds and reds of pears and apples. Today I’m going to cook some of the golden mirabelles with a few dark plums to make a version of a Nigel Slater recipe, “Plum Crumble Tart”, that I saw on Gourmandistan, a well written blog that is packed with good things to cook and which I avidly follow. In fact the two writers of this blog are coming to France very soon to spend a day with us  at Camerahols to learn a bit more about their cameras, Photoshop and  photographic technique. Have a good Sunday.

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in apples, Art photography, Baking, Childhood, Childhood memories, Cookery Writers, Cooking, crumble, Digital photography, Eau de vie, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, friendship, Fruit, Markets, Memory, Mirabelles, Nigel Slater, Pears, Photography, photography course, Photography holiday, Plum Crumble Tart, Still life, swimming pool, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to Writing with a plum in my mouth…

  1. Beautiful image Roger, those mirabelles are getting me excited about my own ripening away on the tree in my garden, thinking of the possibilities……

  2. Love the blush on those mirabelles.

  3. Michelle says:

    Those are some fine-looking plums. And thanks for the shout-out!

  4. You’re the second person I’ve read today that has mentioned Nigel Slater. I will have to look into his cookbook now.

    • He has written so many wonderful cookbooks it’s hard to know what to recommend. The good thing is that ALL of them are brilliant – not a single bad one. He is definitely the heir apparent to Elizabeth David which is as high praise as I can give.

  5. ceciliag says:

    Isn’t it poetic how nature gifts us these deep reds and golds, aubergines and rusty oranges just as our hearts loose slightly from the warm comfort of the summer. I am feeling my way through this thought sparked by your plum filled vowels. But is occurs to me that right when we cannot bear even the thought of losing our endless summers, our fears are stroked and cajoled and settled with the warmest of colours and scents. hmm.. have a lovely day roger, I suggest you down the wine before the wee lie down. celi

  6. I felt this change in the wind as well.. I didn’t think I’d welcome it, but I am so looking forward to market baskets overflowing with these colors. Beautiful photography today and lucky, lucky Gourmandistan!!

  7. Tessa says:

    Beautiful photo of the plums. If I lived closer (and not on the other side of the planet), I would take photography class from you in a heartbeat. I’m just learning how to use my camera and reading food blogs such as yours and Rosemary’s Cooking in Sens have really helped me step up my game. I know that it has because when I look at my older work from a year ago, I laugh… Hopefully when my schedule allows I will be able to take a class. Thank you for sharing your lovely work!

  8. ambrosiana says:

    Oh! This is great! Gourmandistan guys are ginna have so much fun! I just checked out their site and is lovely! How envious I am!

  9. ChgoJohn says:

    Beautiful still life, Roger, but, then again, with those Mirabelles, how could it not be? That tart sounds like a wonderful way to use your neighbor’s “fee”. Whatever would you have done with the francs anyway? Buy a tart?

  10. spree says:

    I’ve been eyeing that recipe of Nigel Slater’s Roger, and have just been nudged over the edge. And oh the lucky Gormandistans to spend a day with you in Camerahols!

  11. Eha says:

    May one-track boring nutritionist me humbly suggest plum in mouth perchance preferable to cookie? 🙂 ! And thank you for ‘Gourmandistan’: now, have to take a look whether ’tis to the W or E of Uzbekistan . . or Kurdistan or . . . well, had to subscribe to find out, didn’t I???

  12. Tandy says:

    Enjoy the plum tart and the end of summer 🙂

  13. Mad Dog says:

    Great picture and no sign of Algie, though I bet Hockney is lurking just out of shot 😉

  14. Perfect transitional shot for this time of year. Not ready to let go of summer just yet. . . .

  15. Nor I. The evening may be cooler, but the mid-afternoons are still as hot as ever.

  16. Gorgeous looking plums and the crumble tart is sure to be wonderful. I agree, Nigel Slater is heir to Elizabeth David – he has a natural feel for and enjoyment of good food.

  17. I just love how neighbours in France show up with food – apples and walnuts seem particularly abundant near us. Nigel Slater just rocks – never a bad recipe in my experience. And what wonderful writing.

  18. Sensual post. There is something about a bowl of succulent plums in the heart of France: like basil, the light here never does them justice, nor can the palette quite capture their flavour. Why is that? Is it something in the air?

  19. A really lovely gift from your neighbour, and a well taken shot of it. I am going to be sad to see the end of summer. It’s been humid, rainstorm-filled, and hot… but I long for it, despite its occasional discomfort. Enjoy the plums.

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