Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
So to continue with our preparatory Christmas tidings, Team Pretty Bakes' only mostly-work-free weekend before Christmas that was reserved for preserving also happened to coincide with Melbourne's wettest weekend for the year. So as we headed for the hills, the rain fell steadily, and in the quiet atmosphere broken only by the squeaky wiper that refused to keep time with the anticipated Faure piano trio deconstruction, there was a slight sense of foreboding. Fortunately for us, many of the farms we visited has a similar disinclination to have hapless city folk roaming their precious fields in such inclemency, and had adopted a 'no u-pick' policy, instead opting for shed sales and ensuring that we all became only slightly drenched.
Despite the constant precipitation making for a rather miserable occasion, our second country adventure was still rather pleasant. Our inflexible timing did lead to stone fruit disappointment, and a cleverly camouflaged green pole managed to incur the wrath of Miss Rose, but the happy lads provided adequately delicious produce (and who can go past $8 boys, I ask?), and the forest drive complete with curiously foaming eucalypts did help to take the edge off the inner private turmoil. So I'm afraid there will be no scenery shots this week. If you are left feeling slightly disillusioned by my lack of dedication to the cause, can I suggest a quick trip through a carwash should sufficiently replicate our scenic experience for the weekend.
Returning from our adventures a little wet and only slightly bedraggled, we set about conserving our procurements. There's not that much to say about jam, really. Fruit. Sugar. Jars. Repeat. So once again, I will simply offer a few temptations regarding our ever-growing Christmas bounty…
The mother-load of immense satisfaction
And just a little something for dessert
After a night of rest well-deserved, Team Pretty Bake returned to the kitchen to draw to a close the proceedings of the preserve. While this primarily consisted of trimming, labelling and readying our precious goods, there was just time for a little quality control…
And at the request of Dr. Sandy (for whom an exclusive package awaits), Team Pretty Bake made their first ever cherry pie. Miss Rose could not resist a quip about popping her cherry pie cherry; and for those of you currently humming a horrendous excuse for an 80's anthem to permed mullets and tight pants, please cease and desist immediately.
Sufficiently stuffed with baked treats, we retired from our busy weekend with the satisfaction of a job well done. As always, there will be plenty more to come, but for now we'll end with just a little egotistical wankery demonstrating how clever we are…