It's interesting how thoughts have a dynamic breath-like life of their own, one connecting to another in a seamless pathway towards some sort of understanding. Whether or not that understanding is complete and satisfying is irrelevant. One late afternoon my sister and I stopped by the allred orchard stand and purchased a bag of the most beautiful, fragrant, incredibly late first of the 'season' peaches. I took mine home, and when it was time, looked for a basket to display them atop our kitchen table.
We only own two baskets, one of which has a broken handle. The other, as far as baskets go, is one of my favorite. The weaving is loose and delicately patterned but sturdy, there are no need for handles, I love the way it feels in my right hand when I pass it along to the next eater, and I think its an exact replica - just smaller - of one of my mother's. You don't have to reach to far into it to get what you want, and it's not so bulky that it seems out of place among other seemingly more important platters and tureens. It's a temporary home to some of my favorite things, warm freshly baked breads, an overload of tomatoes or fragrant stone fruits set atop a hand embroidered tea towel, and even on occassion, our television remotes.
It got me thinking; why baskets? why do I love a basket of fresh food more than a vase of flowers? why are they so welcoming? so comforting? so intimate? I concluded that it must be the shape. My fellow educated dancers will understand what I mean when I say it holds a characteristic of carving to it. To explain it better to the non-somatical folk, when you carve, your movement pathway or shape becomes a certain kind of enveloping motion. Think: carving a pumpkin.
When you hug someone, you are carving, scooping the other person into yourself, bringing them in. They say people who carve in life, are appealing, captivating, and inherently cause others to gravitate towards them. The shape of a basket is similar and the most appealing baskets have a deep gravitational pull that brings your focus into their center where they display the beauty of what they hold, tempting you to take part, and of course you do. In fact, you give in to this subconscious sense of enticement so often, that eventually there is nothing left. But strangely enough, it's not just the basket that is empty, but you yourself feel as if there is something missing. It's not right for a beautiful basket to stay empty, for nothing to share. It seems unnatural and you may even become out of sorts because of it. So you fill it with bounty from your garden, or even your television remotes because a filled basket gives a sense of belonging, a sense of comfort that really cannot be understood when there is nothing inside.
who knew one could go on about a basket.
I'm so glad both ours are full.
a mixture of stone fruit with apricot vanilla jam
a variety of stone fruit, in season
apricot and vanilla jam
Slice the stone fruit into thin slices, discard the seeds. Add however much jam you want to the fruit slices and mix well, taking care not to handle the fruit too roughly. Serve with shortbread cakes or gingersnaps.
- feel free to use any type of stone fruit that is in season including cherries, plums, apricots, peaches, nectarines. And any jam for that matter, although I like the tempered-ness of our apricot jam; and of course homemade jam is preferred but not essential.
- I imagined mixing the jam with sparkling cider or water and coating the fruit just before serving but it didn't happen. I also imagine champagne would be lovely for those who drink spirits.
- if you'd like to add mint or other herbs, go for it.