Wednesday, 10 August 2011
Cherry plums or mirabelles?
It's happened again: another word I had not heard or read in, oh, ages, has sprung to life. This time it didn't just appear in my head. I saw it first in a French supermarket the other week, then it cropped up again last wee (though I can't remember where) and yesterday I found it on another blog. Mirabelle.
I was introduced to mirabelles, or cherry plums as they were known then, shortly after my cousin and her husband took over Manor Farm. They had a cherry plum tree in the garden. That's my cousin in the picture harvesting the cherry plums. (The picture was taken when she was both younger and considerably more active. The dreaded MS now has her confined to a wheelchair.) Vert few people had ever heard of cherry plums and the crop from that one tree was almost too much for the family to cope with.
A few years later, the Telegraph newspaper food writer published a recipe using mirabelles and suddenly the world and his dog wanted cherry plums - or mirabelles, as they now had to be known, the French name being much more alluring. The local fruit stall was happy to buy the surplus crop from my cousin. Gradually, though, the fruit fell out of fashion again so it was no great loss (except to the family) when that cherry plum tree died and had to be cut down.
While we are on the farm, I should like to share this picture of a greater horseshoe bat. They roost in a nearby building and their nightly flight takes them through the garden on the farm. That is where this photo was taken by my cousin-in-law. He really should not put his pictures on Facebook if he doesn't want them borrowed!