Medlar (cheese)

Mum and Dad have never known so much about my social life as they do now I have a blog.

It’s not that I advertise my hourly movements. But they do get a whole lot more info that they’re used to.

Their exponentially increased knowledge of what I’m doing, where I’ve been and what I want to do is less about the quantity of information I’m uploading, and more a reflection of the fact that, historically, I have updated my parents through the medium of mono-syllabic teenage boy grunts. You know, phone calls tended to go a bit like this:

‘Have you had a good week?’
‘Oh, good, what have you been doing?’
‘… OK, excellent … well, your father has been jet washing the patio and mowing the grass …’

I would be amazed if the ‘rentals ever got anything interesting from me. For which I am sorry. Sort of – I kind of liked being stealth and I’m not sure how I feel about Mum and Dad knowing everything. It also makes life difficult now that I’ve recently decided to use more than one syllable.

‘So, yeah, I went to this really nice restaurant the other evening’
‘Yes. We know’
‘Oh, erm, right’
I get so stumped by the fact they already know what I’ve been doing that I’m forced to be polite and ask what they’ve been up to.

‘So, uhmm, how has your weekend been?’
‘Well, your father has been jet washing the patio and mowing the grass …’

You can imagine my surprise the other day when Mum started talking about something I hadn’t even done yet.

Have you had any medlar yet?‘ [said Mum in a knowing mother-figure way]

No‘ [grunted I in a ‘nice try but you can’t ‘have’ a restaurant, and anyway, how do you know about Medlar, that restaurant that’s owned by a friend of friends that I’ve been meaning to go to ever since day one of the soft launch but have to keep cancelling and now it’s not even the best kept secret in West London because loads of people have written about it in the papers and on blogs?’ kind of way.]

And then I remembered Medlar had been on my ‘Wish List’ for July and so the comment shouldn’t have surprised me, particularly as I’ve recently determined that Mum’s pretty much the only person who pays any attention to that part of the site.

And then she educated me by informing me that a medlar is a little fruit (and also the name of the tree that bears the fruit) and that historically it’s a euphemism for the bum and sometimes a lady’s front bum too, but less embarrassingly in a mother to son conversation it’s also like a mini quince and gets made into jelly or ‘cheese’ that is well nice with proper cheese.

And then she produced a pot of medlar ‘cheese’ from behind her back.

And then, just briefly, I felt mildly embarrassed and ashamed for having tried to appear superior when mono-syllabically responding to her original question.

And then I was like, ‘Yeah, whatever, I knew that, God you’re so embarrassing, URGGHH‘.

We tried it later that day. It was good – very subtle but, like quince jelly/membrillo, slightly sweet and quite more-ish. It’s the kind of thing parents have with cheese at dinner parties instead of the overly aggressive chutney I serve. I have no idea whether you can pick the stuff up commercially, so keep a look out in farm shops and WI markets if you fancy trying it.

So, basically, I am writing this post for two reasons:

The first is because I found out that medlar is a tree and a fruit as well as being a restaurant that, even when I had it on my ‘Wish List’ I still failed to get to, but will go at some point. Maybe when I’ve been I won’t write about it so I’ve got something to surprise Mum and Dad with. Though that would of course leave less time to hear about the jet washing and the mowing of the grass.

And the second is to say that you, like Mum, can check out the ‘Wish List’ that I updated for August earlier today, just to the right of this text and up a bit.