Mirabelle Plums

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sharpshooter1
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Mirabelle Plums

Post by sharpshooter1 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:54 am

Mirabelle Plums

Our wonderful Richard comes from the pen of the brilliant Mr B Cornwell. No coin changing hands, no disrespect just having a little fun to offset the Autumn chill.
This story is specially written for Govi wishing you a happy birthday. Much love also to dearest Mooms and Vera
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Mirabelle Plums
A chill autumn wind had blown during the night and they had all snuggled down under their woollen blankets.
‘A bit too cold last night’ Lucille commented as she poured her coffee.
‘Aye it was that. I’ll bring down the feather eiderdowns from the loft and Patrick and I’ll give them a good beating afore you put them on the beds.’ He finished his tea and he and Patrick left the table. There were grunts and groans as they hauled the large, heavy eiderdowns down the stairs, a soft thud and a hissed ‘bugger’ set Lucille and Dominique giggling.
‘Dominique I forgot to ask you, how are the Mirabelle plums doing? They should be ripe now, better pick them before the first frost. Don’t tell your father, we will make a treat for him later, a delicious, Mirabelle plum Clafoutis a nice surprise for after supper. Pick as many as you can, I’ll keep some back for jam. I noticed your papa was eating them from the tree the other day I have never seen him voluntarily eat fruit.’ Dominique picked up a basket and took down her shawl then warned her mother,
‘I will try and pick some for us and leave a few for the birds but Papa has eaten most of the plums!’ Lucille raised an eyebrow and they both laughed at the novel idea of Richard liking or eating fruit.
Later Lucille went out to the yard to collect eggs from the hen house. Richard was now splitting wood and Patrick stacking it against the wall. Watching them she smiled her beloved men, Patrick almost full grown, a ray of sunlight caught Richard’s hair and she noticed with a stab of pain that the silver was overtaking the gold.
‘Richard, Patrick, lunch time come and take some soup.’ He looked up and smiled at her, his face full of love. ‘‘Right you are lass, just a quick wash up, Patrick come and wash up lad, time for soup and is there any ham in it Lucille?’
‘Might be, my hungry hero’ laughing they went in to the kitchen. Dominique soon arrived back smiled then nodded at her mother.
They lunched on bread, cheese and green pea and ham soup – the only way Lucille could get Richard to eat vegetables was to hide them in a good soup. She watched him yawn and stretch remarking … ‘Richard, sit for a while, you are tired. Patrick can finish stacking the wood.’
‘Erm think I’ll take a little walk. Won’t be long I promise you.’
‘I’ll come with you we haven’t taken a walk together for a long time.’
It was pleasant holding hands, meandering peacefully along until they came to the Mirabelle plum tree. Richard paused then shouted
‘I don’t believe it, those bloody thieves, those bloody birds they’ve eaten all the bloody plums.’ Hiding her laughter Lucille frowned at a very cross and bothered Richard.
‘Richard enough, I am shocked that you use such language in front of me’
‘I’m sorry but the buggers, sorry, could have left a few for us. I like the odd plum now and again’ Lucille covered her mouth to hide her smile. Richard stomped and muttered all the way home. Smiling she remarked ‘I thought you didn’t like fruit? He glared and said nothing. Back home Lucille asked him to dig out some onions, carrots and turnips for the kitchen and left him, still muttering, bent over the vegetable garden. She paused to enjoy the fine rear view.
Lucille and Dominique added more wood to the range; then reaching up in the cupboard Lucille got out the large baking dish then she whisked a good rich batter full of cream, butter and eggs thickened with flour and then she poured half into the baking dish.
Dominique had cleaned then removed the pips from a very large bag of Mirabelle plums. The kitchen was warm and cosy and her mouth watered as Lucille removed the baking dish from the oven. The batter was almost cooked and they arranged the Mirabelles on top of the set batter, they then poured the last of the uncooked batter on top of the plums and put the dish back in the oven. Lucille sat down smiling
‘Your papa is going to love his special clafoutis.
‘Maman can I ask you something?
‘But of course?
‘I know you love papa so very much but sometimes when you spoil him, I look at you and see pain in your eyes?’
‘Ah dearest daughter you are growing up. One day I will tell you and Patrick all about your father. He had a very hard life. There were no treats nor sweets for him so I make sure he gets his share now. He deserves them.’ They smiled at each other.
‘Can you check the chicken? It should be done to a turn by now’
‘Mama did you know that papa’s back was aching him a lot I saw him holding his back and moaning the other day I told him to tell you but I don’t think he did.’
‘That man, he still believes I will think him weak if he complains. Pouf - how many times do I have to remind him I am not Wellington. Please fetch me the pot of goose grease and some of the dried ginger.’
The evening was drawing in and cold by the time Richard came in and was met by Lucille with her arms folded smiling she announced
‘After supper, you, my beloved husband need a hot bath and then a good back rub – I heard from a little bird you are suffering from back pain so after supper a good hot soak’ Richard muttered ‘T’were nowt.’ but Lucille noticed he was trying to hide a broad smile on his face at the thought of a hot bath and a back rub.
Patrick came in rubbing his hands ‘It’s as cold as a …’ he started to say, then saw his father shaking his head and mouthing ‘Not in front of the ladies.’ Lucille raised her eyes to heaven and hid her smile.
The roast chicken platter and the deep plate piled with stuffing made from dried bread, suet, sage and mixed with hot juices from the chicken were licked clean. Richard leant back in his chair declaring he was full.
‘I am sorry to hear that because I have a treat for you I hope you are not too full?’
‘Dear Dominique to thank you for all your hard work today so to you goes the honour of removing the clafoutis from the oven’ said Lucille.
Dominique knelt then removed the dish, the top was now browned by sugar and the fragrant smell of cooked Mirabelles and a rich cream batter was greeted by a chorus of delight. Dominique scolded her father – ‘It was me papa not the birds that took all the Mirabelle plums from the tree – I have picked enough plums to make jam for the whole of winter.’ She received a bear hug from her father and a whispered ‘I’m really sorry.’ She kissed his nose and replied ‘Forgiven…this time. They finished every scrap of the clafoutis, Patrick was caught wiping his finger round his plate and he pointed out he was only copying his papa.
‘Children, please clear the table and put the dishes in the sink. Tomorrow we will clean them. Remember to bank the fire up. Your papa needs a hot bath and some treatment for his back so I need hot water to help him relax.’
Later Richard soaked happily in the hot bath water Patrick had brought up to their room. Lucille gently rubbed his back with goose grease with a little ginger to spice it up– then nibbling his ear whispered ‘I think you made up that aching back story knowing Dominique would tell me.’ He yelled as she laughed and poured cold water over his head, giggles, the creak of springs, the sound of water splashing and some talk about pulling the eiderdown up over him. A mention of a very special part of him needing a good rub with goose grease because it was so cold it had shrunk. This comment heralded much loud laughter and giggles.
Later, much later, Patrick and Dominique wearily wound their way up the staircase to their rooms.
‘I think they have finally quietened down and gone to sleep. Bonne nuit Dominique’ muttered Patrick
‘I hope so, I am shattered’ yawned Dominique. ‘Bonne nuit Patrick’
Outside a chill Autumn wind blew, inside all was warm and peaceful.

Fin










A chill autumn wind had blown during the night and they had all snuggled down under their woollen blankets.
‘A bit too cold last night’ Lucille commented as she poured her coffee.
‘Aye it was that. I’ll bring down the feather eiderdowns from the loft and Patrick and I’ll give them a good beating afore you put them on the beds.’ He finished his tea and he and Patrick left the table. There were grunts and groans as they hauled the large, heavy eiderdowns down the stairs, a soft thud and a hissed ‘bugger’ set Lucille and Dominique giggling.
‘Dominique I forgot to ask you, how are the Mirabelle plums doing? They should be ripe now, better pick them before the first frost. Don’t tell your father, we will make a treat for him later, a delicious, Mirabelle plum Clafoutis a nice surprise for after supper. Pick as many as you can, I’ll keep some back for jam. I noticed your papa was eating them from the tree the other day I have never seen him voluntarily eat fruit.’ Dominique picked up a basket and took down her shawl then warned her mother,
‘I will try and pick some for us and leave a few for the birds but Papa has eaten most of the plums!’ Lucille raised an eyebrow and they both laughed at the novel idea of Richard liking or eating fruit.
Later Lucille went out to the yard to collect eggs from the hen house. Richard was now splitting wood and Patrick stacking it against the wall. Watching them she smiled her beloved men, Patrick almost full grown, a ray of sunlight caught Richard’s hair and she noticed with a stab of pain that the silver was overtaking the gold.
‘Richard, Patrick, lunch time come and take some soup.’ He looked up and smiled at her, his face full of love. ‘‘Right you are lass, just a quick wash up, Patrick come and wash up lad, time for soup and is there any ham in it Lucille?’
‘Might be, my hungry hero’ laughing they went in to the kitchen. Dominique soon arrived back smiled then nodded at her mother.
They lunched on bread, cheese and green pea and ham soup – the only way Lucille could get Richard to eat vegetables was to hide them in a good soup. She watched him yawn and stretch remarking … ‘Richard, sit for a while, you are tired. Patrick can finish stacking the wood.’
‘Erm think I’ll take a little walk. Won’t be long I promise you.’
‘I’ll come with you we haven’t taken a walk together for a long time.’
It was pleasant holding hands, meandering peacefully along until they came to the Mirabelle plum tree. Richard paused then shouted
‘I don’t believe it, those bloody thieves, those bloody birds they’ve eaten all the bloody plums.’ Hiding her laughter Lucille frowned at a very cross and bothered Richard.
‘Richard enough, I am shocked that you use such language in front of me’
‘I’m sorry but the buggers, sorry, could have left a few for us. I like the odd plum now and again’ Lucille covered her mouth to hide her smile. Richard stomped and muttered all the way home. Smiling she remarked ‘I thought you didn’t like fruit? He glared and said nothing. Back home Lucille asked him to dig out some onions, carrots and turnips for the kitchen and left him, still muttering, bent over the vegetable garden. She paused to enjoy the fine rear view.
Lucille and Dominique added more wood to the range; then reaching up in the cupboard Lucille got out the large baking dish then she whisked a good rich batter full of cream, butter and eggs thickened with flour and then she poured half into the baking dish.
Dominique had cleaned then removed the pips from a very large bag of Mirabelle plums. The kitchen was warm and cosy and her mouth watered as Lucille removed the baking dish from the oven. The batter was almost cooked and they arranged the Mirabelles on top of the set batter, they then poured the last of the uncooked batter on top of the plums and put the dish back in the oven. Lucille sat down smiling
‘Your papa is going to love his special clafoutis.
‘Maman can I ask you something?
‘But of course?
‘I know you love papa so very much but sometimes when you spoil him, I look at you and see pain in your eyes?’
‘Ah dearest daughter you are growing up. One day I will tell you and Patrick all about your father. He had a very hard life. There were no treats nor sweets for him so I make sure he gets his share now. He deserves them.’ They smiled at each other.
‘Can you check the chicken? It should be done to a turn by now’
‘Mama did you know that papa’s back was aching him a lot I saw him holding his back and moaning the other day I told him to tell you but I don’t think he did.’
‘That man, he still believes I will think him weak if he complains. Pouf - how many times do I have to remind him I am not Wellington. Please fetch me the pot of goose grease and some of the dried ginger.’
The evening was drawing in and cold by the time Richard came in and was met by Lucille with her arms folded smiling she announced
‘After supper, you, my beloved husband need a hot bath and then a good back rub – I heard from a little bird you are suffering from back pain so after supper a good hot soak’ Richard muttered ‘T’were nowt.’ but Lucille noticed he was trying to hide a broad smile on his face at the thought of a hot bath and a back rub.
Patrick came in rubbing his hands ‘It’s as cold as a …’ he started to say, then saw his father shaking his head and mouthing ‘Not in front of the ladies.’ Lucille raised her eyes to heaven and hid her smile.
The roast chicken platter and the deep plate piled with stuffing made from dried bread, suet, sage and mixed with hot juices from the chicken were licked clean. Richard leant back in his chair declaring he was full.
‘I am sorry to hear that because I have a treat for you I hope you are not too full?’
‘Dear Dominique to thank you for all your hard work today so to you goes the honour of removing the clafoutis from the oven’ said Lucille.
Dominique knelt then removed the dish, the top was now browned by sugar and the fragrant smell of cooked Mirabelles and a rich cream batter was greeted by a chorus of delight. Dominique scolded her father – ‘It was me papa not the birds that took all the Mirabelle plums from the tree – I have picked enough plums to make jam for the whole of winter.’ She received a bear hug from her father and a whispered ‘I’m really sorry.’ She kissed his nose and replied ‘Forgiven…this time. They finished every scrap of the clafoutis, Patrick was caught wiping his finger round his plate and he pointed out he was only copying his papa.
‘Children, please clear the table and put the dishes in the sink. Tomorrow we will clean them. Remember to bank the fire up. Your papa needs a hot bath and some treatment for his back so I need hot water to help him relax.’
Later Richard soaked happily in the hot bath water Patrick had brought up to their room. Lucille gently rubbed his back with goose grease with a little ginger to spice it up– then nibbling his ear whispered ‘I think you made up that aching back story knowing Dominique would tell me.’ He yelled as she laughed and poured cold water over his head, giggles, the creak of springs, the sound of water splashing and some talk about pulling the eiderdown up over him. A mention of a very special part of him needing a good rub with goose grease because it was so cold it had shrunk. This comment heralded much loud laughter and giggles.
Later, much later, Patrick and Dominique wearily wound their way up the staircase to their rooms.
‘I think they have finally quietened down and gone to sleep. Bonne nuit Dominique’ muttered Patrick
‘I hope so, I am shattered’ yawned Dominique. ‘Bonne nuit Patrick’
Outside a chill Autumn wind blew, inside all was warm and peaceful.

Fin
Way2prickly
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Post by Way2prickly » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:02 pm

You are such a great writer :bow:
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sharpshooter1
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Post by sharpshooter1 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:27 pm

Thank you sweetie - happy you enjoyed this little story.
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morvgal58
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Post by morvgal58 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:23 pm

That was a sweet story, Sharps, thank you. The shops here are full of Mirabelles right now - the best of the plums. Coincidentally, I made a clafoutis from them last night! Bet it was not as good as Lucille's.
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Post by sharpshooter1 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:30 pm

What a coincident! Yes I must admit Mirabelles are my favourite fruit they grow in abundance here in the Autumn. I am always very impatient to pick, cook and eat them.

I bet your clafoutis was delicious ~ on a par with Lucilles' such a lovely dish to make.

Thank you for your kind words.
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Post by gmcw » Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:48 am

What a lovely, warm story, Sharpshooter! Thank you!!
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Post by gmcw » Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:48 am

What a lovely, warm story, Sharpshooter! Thank you!!
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Post by sharpshooter1 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:21 am

Thank you - I am happy you enjoyed this story.
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Post by mjcd1951 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:24 pm

Loved the story. Thanks for this. Keep up the good work.
JOY :-D :-D :-D
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Post by sharpshooter1 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:33 pm

Thank you for your comments - the bounty of Mirablles locally gave me this idea for a story. Glad you enjoyed it.
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Post by gillian » Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:51 pm

Lots of thanks for the story.
Mirabelles jam is my favourite one although it has become a sweet memeory from my childchood, I cannot get them where I live now to make it.
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Post by morvgal58 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:47 pm

sharpshooter1 wrote:Thank you for your comments - the bounty of Mirablles locally gave me this idea for a story. Glad you enjoyed it.
That's amazing. I used to live in Hampton (S.W. London) but had never come across this fruit till I moved to France. I should have been living in Berkshire instead! (Sorry Lou - off topic. I'll behave now.)
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Post by Moominmamma » Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:18 pm

Lovely, sweet, story. Thank you. abighugs_gif
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Post by sharpshooter1 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:34 pm

Bless Mooms - thinking of you. Hope you have some fine Mirabelles to enjoy where you live. Hugs.
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