Sunday, May 16, 2010


Spending yesterday's warm and lazy afternoon rifling through Southbank's book market, I picked up an old gem - really to give to a friend, but which I couldn't resist reading myself. This morning was stolen by 2 hours of solid contentment in the old and woody smelling pages of Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee. A 1959 Penguin edition no less.

Not only does it have the perfect title to get anyone in the summer mood, but it is written in that way that makes you want to get sodden in mud puddles like Loll, be so small in the long grass that it becomes a treacherous and interminable jungle (I still know the feeling), and be dizzy on summer cider...

'Huge and squat, the jar lay on the grass like an un-exploded bomb. We lifted it up, unscrewed the stopper, and smelt the whiff of fermented apples. I held the jar to my mouth and rolled my eyes sideways, like a beast at a water-hole. 'Go on,' said Rosie. I took a deep breath...

'Never to be forgotten, that first long secret drink of golden fire, juice of those valleys and of that time, wine of wild orchards, of russet summer, of plump red apples, and Rosie's burning cheeks'

Oh what joy. Now that definitely calls for a Westons...


  1. Loved that book when I was a young lad. I've been playing with a cocktail called cider with rose' - yet to perfect it but when I do you'll be the first to know.

  2. What a great edition... but it's quite dark in places, isn't it?

  3. Excellent find - I do love the book market and that is a really lovely edition. Glad you enjoyed your new read - i loved it when i read it years ago and always mean to read the others, I've heard 'As I walked out....' is especially good.

  4. OOh I'll give that a try. So it took me one and a half days to read it. Non stop. And I can truthfuly say it's one of my favourite books. Even the dark bits carry humour...

  5. What a wonderful find. Thanks so much for your lovely comment on my blog, and for following. Your blog is so pretty, love it.

  6. James, cannot wait to try the cocktail. I heard of a 'cryptonite' concoction at dinner tonight; it sounds vile: WKD, lager and red bull. And it goes green apparently...give me a bucket. I imagine (and pray) that 'Cider with Rosie' will be more manageable. Maybe a cider, elderflower, and rose petal? When is your next Secret Larder?
    Lickedspoon, thank you, thank you! Great to have you on board! xxx

  7. You blog awesome i love it i m following it and i gonna said to my mom please cook me these tasty dishes