Thursday, June 12, 2008

Saffron Delights

I have never been one for yellow. I adore green, I am taken by pink, I swoon over purple. I also fear red and long for blue. But yellow... sorry, just not my colour. Yet, they say that yellow promotes happiness and, boy, do I need a dash of happy at present. I was thinking about yellow this morning, as I was perusing my open wardrobe, and realised that, much as I may say that I don't like it, there is actually plenty of yellow in my life. Just thinking about a few of these dashes makes me feel better. Saffron risotto for one, my all-time favourite risotto. How curious that saffron is really red, yet it yields the deepest yellow when used in the kitchen. It wins over turmeric for me because turmeric is nothing other than a natural dye; it doesn't actually taste of anything. If you can find it, buy it in strands and buy Spanish or Indian saffron, they are much more tasty than ours. You know, I love saffron so much I would call my daughter Saffron, just like Edi's in Ab Fab, though, hopefully, she would grow to look far less frumpy and more like her mother (me, not Edi).

Then of course on my list there are daffs, which I posted about in passing a few weeks ago and, surprisingly perhaps, dandelions.

I know that dandelions are the gardening equivalent of adverbs and adjectives; they spring all over if one lets them (and the way to writing hell is paved with them), yet, I rather like their spikiness. They remind me of the spokes of bicycles and even though I cannot ride to save my life (a bike that is, I can ride a horse to save my life although as of late it has felt more like I can ride a horse to lose my life), I like the sense of movement encapsulated in the flower. You can tell I am no gardener, for these are not so much flowers but weeds and are detested as much as slugs.

Madeira cake is one of my favourites. My benchmark is Nigella's from How To Be A Domestic Goddess and I keep tweaking with the recipe usually by adding saffron, turmeric and various herbs. See here for one of my many variations.

The farm is currently swamped by buttercups and they look so lovely we all take pics of our horses in a sea of tiny yellow dots as they graze peacefully around them. It's lovely to see the fields mowed within an inch of their lives but all buttercups still standing. Horses do not eat them and I am glad they don't, for they look so lovely that they make me wish for a good horse-like roll sometimes, but I am going to have to mind the poo.

Today I wore yellow, a first for me. I was complimented by many people and I therefore presume that it must not look too ghastly next to my face. Perhaps it does not bring happiness as such but it lifts one's spirits. Considering where I was last night, I can tell you it surely worked for me.

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