not since and probably never again
Once upon a time, and it was a very, very long time ago, there was a young woman who had received a gift of more tomatoes than she could possibly ever eat in one sitting – or even four. Being somewhat frugal and hoping to earn some brownie points in the domestic arena, the maiden (against her better judgement it must be said) consulted “she who is never wrong” for the best way to preserve the quickly-ripening fruit for the long, cold winter ahead. Complex instructions were dictated, interspersed with anecdotes of how “she of the bad temper’s” recipe was not up to snuff and why “she who never listens” methodology was questionable, amongst other digressions.
The process was supposed to be an easy one but like so many culinary endeavours that masquerade themselves as “a pleasant afternoon” spent in the quest for the authentic flavours of yesteryear, it wasn’t. It was tedious and messy, labour-intensive and messy, dangerous and messy. From knife blades sharp enough to slice a single hair lengthwise to industrial-sized pots of boiling water threatening to erupt at a moment’s provocation, it was not fun. The young lady was not pleased but completed the task, placing the many precious jars in a very high, very dark cupboard.
Three months down the road and well before the first snow, the hint of an odd odour in the kitchen began to tease the maiden’s nostrils. She was told it was all in her head, that she had an over-active olfactory system, that it was the age of the building, the damp weather or, heaven forbid, the possibility that something had reached an unforeseen demise between the walls. The last option was not to be tolerated and so “she who always persevered” crawled up to the top rung of a very tall ladder, gingerly opened the cupboard door and discovered the unthinkable – no rotting gypsum, no black and creeping fungus, not even a nightmarish rodent corpse – worse. 42 jars of fermenting tomatoes oozing a slick and noxious liquid out from under once-tight metal caps and down their sides to corrode eighty years of paint off the shelf in perfect circles. A crucial step had obviously been omitted – or not transmitted…
Last week, Across the Bored put forward an age-old question – “How does clean appear to you?” – The lines of a Countach or curve of her back, fresh laundry on the line or graphics of a sign, raindrops, old-fashioned string mops, even spinning tops, is it sudsy or soapy, stringent or strange, glossy and glassy, fancy or plain… We would love to see your vision.
For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this fortnight’s challenge can be found here. Need more info or want to browse past themes? Have a look at HOW DOES THIS WORK.