Sunday, January 16, 2011


If only one could take pictures of smells ... the smell that was seeping through the house this morning was one of marmalade cooking: an annual ritual in which my father hurls himself on the Seville oranges that are in season (do we get these in the US, he was asking?) and makes several batches of marmalade - enough to last the year.   Only I haven't been in the house at marmalade time for the last decade or so, which meant that it was a very nostalgic smell.   Here he is crushing some kind of pulp through a sieve in the sink with a wooden spoon, before turning back and re-amalgamating it into the simmering mixture.   I'm not quite sure that today's batch quite worked out as planned - he filled two large stone jars with the stuff, and half of what looked like a small goldfish bowl (but was probably a flower bowl of some kind) - which, this evening, he turned upside down, and it didn't budge.   That's a suspiciously solid consistency, even for thick chunky marmalade.

I'm especially pleased with the lighting of this - it looks like one of those pictures in which the photographer has studiously modelled his or her style on Vermeer's paintings - Tom Hunter's "Persons Unknown" series, say - yet wasn't remotely posed, apart from my shuffling around to get the line of light right.

Alas, I've never liked marmalade - except the smell of it, cooking.

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