You’ve probably all seen the magazine-type articles which promise to tell you what clothing style is right for you. You may have taken the quizzes, or even tried to follow their advice. But the problem, I find, is that they have a limited number of stereotyped options: French chic, bohemian, avant-garde, glamorous… For some reason “time-travelling Anabaptist” never makes the list.
As it is with clothing style, so also with garden style – including, alas, an increasingly rapid change in fashions. Suggested styles may include cottage, Mediterranean, formal, Japanese, coastal, prairie or post-modern (plants optional). But again, what if you and your dream garden don’t fit neatly into one of those boxes?
If I had a dollar for every time I found a recipe which called itself ‘simple’ but was actually simple only to those with larders like specialty stores and a mis-spent youth watching food-related television, I would be… well, marginally more plutocratic than at present.
This baked apple recipe, however, actually is simple. It has few ingredients, many of them optional or variable, and the processing required is minimal. Nor will it have a noticeable effect on your power bill as it does not require an oven to be heated, thus greatly speeding up the whole process.
First, catch your apple – the more or less compulsory part of the recipe. In my case, it is a Bramley from the back garden. Ballarat apples are also suitable (albeit less fluffy once cooked) or, probably, any other kind of cooking apple. I haven’t tried this with any but the two apples named, as this is an unspectacular two-person kitchen, not the National Baked Apple Research Laboratory. Which, I’m sorry to tell you, is not a thing.
Not the sort which forms on the inside of kettles when your water’s a bit on the hard side. That kind is something that simply happens of its own accord. The kind we’ve got is something else entirely – it’s intentional.
We have a little lime tree in a pot. It wasn’t doing terribly well earlier this year, so I dosed it with nitrogen and Epsom salts and compost and mulch, and it perked up a bit. It perked up a jolly lot more when I discovered the existence of scale insects, and gave it a drenching with some organic anti-scale spray.
In due course I moved the lime into a larger pot, and it continued flourishing. But hist! the plot thickens. The ants which had always seemed interested in the lime continued their attentions in the new pot. I don’t usually interfere with the doings of ants who keep outside the house, but this…seemed odd. I suspected. I inspected. I learned the dreadful truth.