Monday, June 15, 2015

20 minutes (here and there): Boxes within boxes; stag beetles, broken biscuits and unmentionable soup.

Our friends are addicted to generosity. A most enormous parcel arrived, to sign for. A gift from G&A, the main item commissioned and acquired before they came to visit but then inadvertently left at home. It proved to be a magnificent plate, of the kind whose magnificence is underlined by its being called a charger, from a pottery in rural Pembrokeshore. Its main glaze that shade of ochre gold to be seen on some very old ware, but its striking feature is the motif of stag beetles of various sizes embossed on its surface.

Wishing to put it to use straight away, I put such fruit as I had on the table into it, which consisted of three rather specky bananas and a pile of Brazil nuts from the winter (I like Brazils better than most nuts, but find them almost impossible to get into). As it turned out these were rather a good match:

The effect was that the beetles were emerging from below to snatch at the fruit and nuts,

a scene which changed as one shook and stirred things around, a veritable drama going on in the middle of the table.

And this wasn't all. As well as a large box within a box of clever polystyrene construction which ensured its safe arrival, there were all manner of interesting comestibles used as additional packing, doubtless the work of A, who loves to feed people. These included an enormous box of broken biscuits: 

(pic taken on the webcam, as I forgot to photograph it). Tom's eyes lit up when he saw these, I think it's an austerity childhood thing. Though I must say they are rather wonderful, the act of dipping into them has something of the appeal of archaeology, careful sifting through for recognisable shards and fragments, a corner of a chocolate digestive here, half a Nice biscuit there, a partially defaced jammy dodger or mishapen choc chip cookie below... before carefully covering them over again.

Oh yes, and then there was this:



The Crow said...

Hmmmmm....very interesting contents.


Anonymous said...

What an interesting bowl! And ooh, I do love a broken biscuit; I always quite like it when I open a new packet and some of them come out a bit broken, as you say it's quite fun sifting through them. I don't think I've ever actually bought a packet of broken ones though, I may have to treat myself!

Catalyst said...

Your friends truly have a sense of humor.

Lucy said...

Thank you.

Crow - they were indeed. In fact we made up one of the packets of soup and Tom had it, and very much enjoyed it, it was very spicy(!) and he was blowing his nose for a while.

Chloe - I didn't know one could buy such things in fact, I've never seen them, but it's an ENORMOUS box, with all kinds of varieties. They're all just loose in a big bag inside and you have to do quite a lot of unpacking and packing up again to save them going soft, though Tom says he doesn't mind. We groaned rather when we saw them as we try not to eat biscuits, but in fact you eat less this way I think, and it is fun!

Cat - Indeed they do, albeit a rather dubious one sometimes... refrained from describing the soup in the text as the last post but one where I used the correct name for the lesser cormorant received a suspiciously large number of page views!

Sabine said...

Beautiful bowl!

So how DO you get into Brazil nuts? I've tried everything incl. attempted smashing with a paving stone from the patio (= crumbs of nut + shell + sand) and yet remain frustratingly curious.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Gorgeous photos of the plate and fruit, colours absolutely made for each other - it's unusual to see Brazil nuts with their clothes on, and such beautiful midnight blue clothes! I've only seen them naked inside cellophane packets. If I'd known they look like this in full dress I'd have painted a still-life.

Double-entendre soup....who knew?

Avus said...

Love the bowl, Lucy - not sure about that soup though. Unfortunate naming, I guess "chicken" might have been better?

Roderick Robinson said...

A risqué bisque you might say. Mine arrived as one of my table presents at Christmas dinner. I looked for info on the packet that might form the basis of a genteel comment - better suited to Box Elder than those that immediately sprang to mind.

The instructions give the title in full: Grace Cock Flavour Soup. Don't you think there's something almost sacerdotal about that? No? I won't go further.

the polish chick said...

gorgeous plate, though rather disturbing given my less than positive relationship with all things insectoid creepy crawlies (says the woman who cradled a snake for as long as was polite at a recent fundraiser for the SPCA, and would have cradled it longer).

as for my (far smaller) parcel, it sits, finally packed now, awaiting the addition of address and stamps. oh, if we could simply email our gifts!

Julia said...

Lovely :)

Rouchswalwe said...

What fun! I wonder what shoppers 'round here would do with Broken Biscuits and Grace Cock Flavour Soup Mix on the shelfs. I'd love to do a Candid Camera like segment ... or be that sample lady at the market. "Hello, would you like to try some ... ?"

Francesca said...

I love stag beetles, and have never seen them celebrated in such a lovely way before.