Friday, 29 July 2011


It was lovely to find that Jillian, of the Delirious Kitchen blog, read An Atlas of Impossible Longing and concocted out of it.... a mango chutney! You can look up the recipe here and her blog here. I know the feeling -- that need for a deep red glass of good wine, softly ageing camembert cheese and herbed olives that charges at you exactly five and a quarter pages into A Year in Provence. Miles away from both in Ranikhet, I saved myself pain and shut the book on the sixth page -- but Jillian's is a better solution.

Talking of chutneys, an eighty-plus writer I knew used to sit out in a square of sun in front of his cottage and drink gin and lime. A glass jar with decaying pieces of lime stood on the window sill next to him and he claimed it was lime pickle in the process of being made: each time he squeezed drops of lime into his gin, he tossed the used piece into the jar, sprinkled a bit of salt over it and shut the lid. Sure enough, a few months of perseverance led to a whole jar of salted, pickled lime wedges.

The process doesn't seem that different from the writing of a novel...

(image of lime pickle from here)

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