Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,--
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble." ~ Macbeth
oup ~ tomato generally. They live high in the tree tops, feed on the gum blossom, nest in the hollows in trees & make an abominable screeching as they come in to roost at night. As a general thing I'm not overly fond of any of the parrot family. They are noisy & quarrelsome & quite aggressive but just the same the idea of turning them into jam was not an idea that had ever crossed my slightly haywired brain!
When we first moved to the island we received an invitation, a rather special invitation, to morning tea at The Farm. The Farm is situated halfway down the island, perched high on the hill, the road cutting away below, the dark green of avocado leaves spreading like an undulating sea to the very edge of the swamp. Between the avocados & the ancient house lay the garden, an old fashioned, straggling, riotous garden full of exotic & native plants & the pride of the island. We had heard so much about The Garden, & been told so often how rare it was for invitations to view it to be issued, we were a little in awe because it was the garden we had come to see. It is my sort of garden. The beds are deep, the fragile flowers shyly peeking out from under a tangle of bushes, big old trees waving their gay flags in the breeze, birdbaths full of tepid water, lichened stones & meandering pathways but not much grass. Grass should be banned in this country.
We dutifully meandered. We ooohed & we ahhhed & we exclaimed. We discussed the merits of this & that & eventually happily accepted an invitation to stay for morning tea. I was sorry almost as soon as we'd agreed. Apologising profusely our hostess told us it was only scones & Rosella jam!!!! My mind boggled. I seriously envisioned something full of feathered bits & hollow bones, bits of beak, brazen eyeball ~ eye of newt, toe of frog, wool of bat, adders fork & blind worm's sting. I was feeling a little unhinged to say the least.
My look must have said it all, though being a well brought up child I was politely spreading jam sparingly on my scone because it looked just like big gooey globs of clotted blood & I was just hoping I wouldn't gag in the wrong place & give myself away completely.
Rosella is a bush. It is one of the edible hibiscus, an introduced species, & commonly grown throughout the northern states. As a Sydney girl I'd never heard of it though both my parents are Queenslanders & had certainly eaten it before. Not being much of a jam eater I guess I missed this one somewhere along the track.
Rosella is a jam. It tastes red & not in the least bit like bird.