Waiting for Inspiration

Garden Inspiration - Guenette photo

The days slip by since my last post and my blog views fall into the basement of the stats page as I wait for inspiration to come a calling. Lest it seem I sit still and attempt to drag that inspiration out of the air, nothing could be further from the truth. My hours and mind have been active with many things.

The rain has come to our corner of the earth. Yesterday, I was out on my recumbent, stationary bicycle making my way towards Sayward on my imaginary journey across Canada and the rain was coming down so hard beyond the covered deck, I simply couldn’t believe I was staying dry. Recovery on my injured knee is going well. I can now ride thirty minutes at a stretch virtually pain free.

Proofreading - google imageI’m proofreading Maelstrom and making incredibly important though picky changes while ensuring that I don’t mess something else up. The mistake in the little Google graphic to the left says it all about what one is up against at this stage of book production. The process is time consuming and draining. Bruce reminds me once again that cement is an ingredient in concrete and thus there is no such thing as a cement dam. Thanks … really … I mean it.


Home preserving is going on at a steady clip. An abundance of tomatoes and a large gift bag of apples turned into five-alarm chutney and the most amazing Yellow Tomato Marmalade. If you are a marmalade fan, give this recipe a try. And don’t be limited by not having yellow tomatoes. I chose a selection of not-quite-ripe, on their way from green to red tomatoes and they worked out perfectly. Bruce says he’s not a big marmalade fan but this stuff is definitely bringing him into the fold.

Yellow Tomato Marmalade - Guenette photo

Yellow Tomato Marmalade

· 4 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes (I sieved mine to make sure they weren’t too juicy)

· Rind and juice of one large lemon (I added the juice and rind of a small lime to make things interesting)

· 6 cups of sugar

· 1 bottle or package of Certo ( I used crystals rather than liquid and it worked fine)

· Optional: I added some chopped crystallized ginger in one batch and it added a nice flavour.

Cook tomatoes, covered, for ten minutes without water. Add lemon rind, juice and sugar. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Boil hard for one minute. Turn off the heat. Add Certo and stir vigorously for 5 minutes. Bottle in sterile jars. Makes 3 pints.

Now, as to that chutney – next time I will not follow exactly a recipe that calls for 1 tablespoon of dry mustard and 1 teaspoon of cayenne. But on a lentil daal with sour cream, this chutney is going to rock.

Grouse in the Apple Tree - Guenette photo

On alternative days from stationary bike riding, I get out around the place for walks. Greta the Grouse has been a constant companion. In the picture above, I caught her up in the apple tree. She’s great company except for those times we startle each other. Then she fluffs herself up like a stuffed version of a grouse and makes a racket that has me thinking I’m about to be run over by a bear. It is easy to see in the picture below how one could almost walk right over a grouse and not see it. They blend into the background like one of those crazy Waldo pictures.

Grouse - Guenette photo

A recent purchaser of the Crater Lake Series checked in the other day to say that she couldn’t put the books down once she had started reading. She went right through the whole series and said the stories were addictive. I love the feedback. What writer worth her salt wouldn’t enjoy knowing someone couldn’t put her books down?

Well, there you have it. Inspiration decided to show up this fine Sunday morning. As Milton Berle is quoted as saying,

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.

I wish each of you the best of luck with all your September projects and endeavours. And may inspiration crawl through a window if you can’t knock out a door.

29 comments on “Waiting for Inspiration

  1. Silver Threading says:

    I am so glad that you are recovering well. Take care and keep writing. ❤

  2. smilecalm says:

    jelly calling
    to enjoy
    and its
    inspiration 🙂

  3. Jane Tims says:

    Hi Fran. I have also been slack on my posts. I think it is the summer and how busy everything is. One great thing about the stationary cycling is not getting wet in the rain!!! Jane

    • There is so much to recommend stationary bicycle riding – I am a total convert. Wish I had done this years ago! Here’s to putting the miles on the bike with all the extra benefits that come with the imaginary trips.

  4. Knee and back pain are the worst. I hope your knee continues to heal, Fran. I love the shots of Greta!

  5. Inspiration to edit is a hard thing alright, all the best with the process

  6. Behind the Story says:

    It’s good to hear from you again, Francis. It’s wonderful to hear that kind of feedback from a reader. Oh, dear! Five-alarm chutney. It sounds like it was aptly named.

  7. diannegray says:

    Sometimes life just gets in the way of blogging 😉 I’ve got a truck load of tomatoes on the vines in the yard so I’m definitely going to give that Yellow Tomato Marmalade a whirl! 😀

    • Do try it, Dianne. I hope it turns out as well for you as mine did. But it sure makes me wonder, since the marmalade I made has tomatoes as the main ingredient and bears no taste resemblance to tomatoes – what is actually in marmalade? Oh life – so full of interesting questions.

  8. Sounds as though life is very busy and interesting for you, Fran. Continued success with the writing–wherever inspiration comes from!😊

  9. P. C. Zick says:

    What a great recipe! I will try it one day when we’re back to gardening. Glad you’re keeping that knee moving!

  10. Gallivanta says:

    I am inspired by your tomato marmalade. Just last night I was thinking about marmalade, as it applies to Paddington Bear who always has a marmalade sandwich under his hat in case of emergencies. Since Paddington Bear came from Peru, one has to wonder if his marmalade was actually marmelada, made from quinces ;). Here’s a fun little history of marmalade which your post inspired me to find. http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/m/marmalade/index.html

  11. Roy McCarthy says:

    That marmalade looks good Fran. Bread is one of my devil foods though and I don’t fancy eating it straight from the jar 🙂 The grouse is cute and probably quite tasty as well, minus the feathers.

    • A grouse is the type of wild animal that one could sneak up on, conk it on the head with a small rock and there you have it. Pluck, cook and eat. We are not so back to the land to do any such thing. But perhaps it would be a more healthy dish than marmalade. Minus the bread, I did make a wonderful marmalade/mustard dip the other day for chicken.

  12. noelleg44 says:

    Keep on healing! You need to push that knee (this, from someone with two knee and two shoulder replacements), The marmalade looks yummy. My husband is partial to lime…

    • Yes – lime – that makes me think of trying a green tomato marmalade with lots of grated lime peel and juice. I was careful with the knee during the genuine pain phase but now I am getting better and better at giving it a good go and it is responding well.

  13. Yellow tomato marmalade? Wow! I had never heard of that but for some reason it sounds scrumptious. I’ll have to try it. Loved the pictures. Thanks for the kind wishes. Happy writing!

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