Monday, November 9, 2009

Oranges and Lemons

Despite the grape harvest been over, we are still enjoying our homegrown fruit as much as ever. The figs are still going strong (and so are we!!!); the apples and pears that we stored are being used and enjoyed with individual pear tatins, apple butter, baked apples, and with cheese; and our latest delight are the citrus. The lemons and limes are just gorgeous! Our limes are so strong in scent and taste. You can imagine what fun our cocktail hour is. I sit here typing this with my little cocktail in front of me and the wonderful citrus scent just makes your mouth water!

The oranges, grapefruit and mandarins are not ready yet - but wow, our little grapefruit tree is laden down with fruit. Not sure it can withstand the weight of all it's fruit, but it seems so sad to thin citrus. We try and thin out our orchard fruits, but you don't normally need to do citrus. Our grapefruit "tree" (more like "little plant") needs to do some weight training I think!

I recently made this "oranges and lemons" necklace for a friend of mine. She lives in the land of citrus in Florida. Did you used to sing the nursery rhyme "oranges and lemons" when you were young? I suspect it's just a British rhyme as it is talking about the church bells around London. It's starts off so nicely, sung in a way to emulate bells....but then gets quite sinister:

“Oranges and lemons” say the bells of St. Clements,
“You owe me three farthings”, say the bells of St. Martins
"When will you pay me?" say the bells of Old Bailey
"When I grow rich" say the bells of Shoredithc
"When will that be?" say the bell of Stepney
"I do not know" say the great bells of Bow
"Here comes a candle to light you to bed
Here comes a chopper to chop off your head
Chip chop chip chop - the last man's dead."

There's a little dance with children going under the arms of others...and then the arms go down when you get to the "chop off your head" part! The last three lines are because the Great Bells of Bow were used to time the executions of a prison nearby which for many years were done by beheading. The "here comes the candle" was when the warden would tell the prisoner the night before that his time was up. The executions commenced when the bells started chiming at 9am. When the bells stopped chiming, then the executions would be finished until the following day!

Gosh, the sweet little songs children are taught! I remember singing and dancing to it....but never did question the lyrics.

Anyhow - I hope this doesn't put my friend off wearing it. Maybe it's best to think of just how lovely those citrus are in your cocktail instead!



Mary said...

A brilliant excuse to join me and make limoncello!

Ruth said...

So is it coming along well? have you had a taste yet - or just a smell?