On this day 26 years ago the first episode of the NBC sit com Friends aired – September 22, 1994. It was the beginning of a love affair for me and one that has continued till this day. The series lasted for 10 seasons but thankfully it is constantly one of the most popular shows in the era of streaming content. Which means they won’t be taking it off any time soon. I loved it and I still love it. And I still watch it. When I am feeling a little blue Friends is the best pick-me-up.
I know all the stories I have seen them many many times and yet I still laugh. Sometimes I laugh before the catch line because I know what is coming. My children yawn when I make a Friends comments but if you are a Friends fan there’s a natural tendency to quote the show in everyday conversation, I quote it to such a degree that it almost borders on banal; it’s like having inside jokes with myself. Last week I made a meat loaf and said when serving it “that reminds me when Joey ate the bread and butter pudding with mincemeat in it.” And when when we were eating outside with candles and lights I remarked, “this reminds me of Monica’s wedding in the remains of the church.” I could go on, but I realise I am at risk of making a complete fool of myself.
It’s a bit sad really so what is it that I love so much? Maybe because they are all nice people and in this world of nastiness ‘nice’ is appealing. And I guess I identify with some of the characters. I know I am not American, or young, or in fact beautiful but take Monica – we are both control freaks. We are both the glue that keeps everybody together and her flat, like my house is where everybody – before COVID – used to congregate. And Phoebe, well we are very scatty, have a somewhat unreal view of how we would like life to be and but we can also be hilarious. And then there is Rachel with whom I have nothing in common not even the hair, but I love it that she is so sexy.
And that’s just the women – I also have a close affinity with Ross. When I met Tod, he looked and acted like Ross. He was tall, Jewish, dark, slim and handsome. He was intelligent, could be a little nerdy, arrogant, kind, over sensitive, liked to be always right, funny and sometimes a little insecure.
And so, to my Grape Jelly. No connection here – this is an unnatural segway. Jelly making has taken up the entire last 48 hours of my life. If I see another grape this side of 2020 it will be too soon. A friend gave me 12 kilos of small seeded grapes from her garden. That’s a lot of grapes. I already discussed that wine making wasn’t going to happen so the only other option that didn’t entail peeling and deseeding was Grape Jelly
The recipe said it was easy. It lied. I had to re boil the liquid 3 times and add 3 sachets of pectin before it resembled anything like Jelly. And the recipe didn’t mention a word about about pectin. “Just add lemon and jam sugar, boil it until it sets,” it said. After 60 minutes of furious boiling and saucer after saucer of testing and the mixture had diminished to less than half of its original size, I realised it was never going to set which is where a trip to the shops to buy pectin came into play. It is now rock hard.
In future I will stick to blackberry jam and marmalade which I am rather a dab hand at.
“Let’s be careful out there and wear your mask”