Tuesday, May 29, 2007

like the wine? then tear off the tab


A friend once told me how her Mum use to steam off the labels from wine bottles she liked and then stick them into a scrapbook for future shopping reference.

I've never gone to that trouble but I have jotted down the name of bottles we have enjoyed only to forget the place where I have jotted the names down.

Yesterday, Stu bought a tasty bottle which very cleverly had a tear off tab, thus eliminating the need to steam labels or jot down 'must buy again' name. Needless to say, I found this bottle with label in tact in the recycle bin which just goes to show that we can't even remember to peel off the label, let alone keep the tear off tab in a safe place. Useless.

Monday, May 28, 2007

gallette par snail mail


I'm often dreaming up little catering ventures, and one which reoccurs
often is the possibility of making biscuits both sweet and savoury, which I would package creatively and sell.

An off shoot of this idea, is to send food parcels in the post, perhaps people could sign up
for monthly subscriptions for gifts or for themselves.

Lately, I've been
experimenting with different flours, aiming for a healthier, lower carbohydrate treat, and have come up with some crisp-breads to rival Dr Kargs made with Kamut (an ancient Egyptian flour high in minerals and protein) as well as rice flour chocolate & salt sables, and old fashioned spelt-flour digestives.

Anyone interested in receiving a trial package, email me your dietary requirements and I'll see what I can do...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

solo exhibition


We dropped in at Bircham Gallery, Holt to see Angie's (Lewin's) prints on the first day of her solo exhibition yesterday and what a selection of entirely desirable art there is. I hadn't seen a lot of the work and I'd never seen her collage's, which being a fan of cutting and gluing, I liked very much.

Arriving late in the afternoon, I wasn't surprised to see so many red dots beside the prints - not surprised because the prints are so beautiful and desirable. If you're around Holt over the next 4 weeks, I really recommend a visit.

Amusing metal sculptures by Kim Ellwood and Mike Abbott are also on show at the gallery.

banoffee meringue


The label says 'luxuriously creamy, rich and smooth' but it forgets to mention 'addictive, fattening and totally unhealthy'. Still, that hasn't put me off from delving spoons of varying sizes into the jar at moments of greed/need.

Dulce De Leche is a food from Argentina and it is thought that it was created by a forgetful maid who was boiling milk and sugar. Sometime later, she remembered her pan of white stuff and to her horror (soon to be delight) she discovered in had turned into a brown, thick and sticky mass.

Today we had friends over for lunch, good old roast chicken followed by a made-up pudding using the Dulce De Leche (I've got to get it out of the house with out consuming it all myself  haven't I?) I decide to make a take on the sickly but pleasing banoffee pie - pecan meringue filled with a mixture of lightly whipped cream, 'the' toffee sauce and slices of banana rolled into a roulade.

I have to say it looked a little bland, too much of the same colour but it tasted good. If you find yourself snatching a jar of this sticky nectar into your shopping trolley and need to share out the calories you could always try and make the roulade. Here's how:

  • 5 egg whites

  • 150g pecan nuts, chopped

  • 275 g castor sugar

  • 150ml double cream

  • 1 tbsp Dulce De Leche

  • 2 bananas, thinly sliced

Roast pecans in low oven (140ยบ) for 8 Min's, cool then roughly chop.
Line a large baking sheet with silicone paper.
Whisk egg whites until stiff then add a tbsp of sugar, a spoon at a time.
Add the pecans and dollop mixture onto baking sheet and spread evenly.
Place in oven and cook for 20-30 Min's or until it peel away from paper base then leave to cool for a few minutes before turning out onto a large sheet of grease-proof paper or foil. Peel away the base paper gently.

When ready to serve, lightly whip the cream. You can either have a go at spreading the toffee onto the meringue or if you think it will tear the meringue, lightly mix spoonfuls into the cream and then spread.
Top with slices of banana then using the foil or paper the roiled is lying on, pull it towards you, pressing it down to tighten the roll as you go. Dust with icing sugar and eat.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

holiday celebrations

I rather missed writing my blog while I was away. Typically, I could have written about goings on a daily basis as well as uploaded photo's of wet ducks and row boats and the rather un-nerving neatness of Thorpeness, Suffolk but the lack of Internet access made this impossible.


Over a week ago now, my parents very kindly organised a Sullivan family get-together to mark
my Mum's and her twin sister Ce's 60th birthday (along with little Matilda who also shares their birthday, but being just one doesn't really count). We stayed in
Thorpeness, a pretty holiday village designed by  Glencairne Stuart
Ogilvie in the late 1800, who relocated from Scotland and bought a huge
chunk of rural and seaside Suffolk.

Ogilvie decided he would turn Thorpeness into a sort of fantasy
holiday village, building homes with mock Tudor and Jacobean styles
around the man-made large boating lake, the Meare. It was a house with
a garden leading down to the Meare which we stayed in last week. It was beautiful with large
rooms, wood panelling, fabulous old oil portraits and a full sized
billiard table in the top of the house not to mention the views over the lake.



The week was fabulous, it was just so lovely to spend some time with my newly married brother, his wife and daughter; my sister, her husband and daughter and of course my wonderful parents. Time just went too quickly, I needed to have at least another 3 days with everyone as I seemed to spend the first 3 days cooking and panicking about the surprise Hawaiian themed birthday BBQ party to be held at Mum's sisters rented holiday house, at nearby Southwold....


Despite the weather being far from tropical, the party was a great success. I know the events of the day made Mum and Auntie Ce extremely happy. The entertaining organisational emails between siblings, cousins and fathers had made it a party to remember, our Mum's were made up. It was so lovely to see them laughing, smiling, reminiscing  and to be so content to be surrounded by their children and grandchildren as well as surprise family guests. It was a great day and one I will always remember as I know they will too.

Dad, thanks for making it all possible.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

great grandma dora's dress


Stu's Grandma Dora was a bit nifty with a needle and thread and made endless beautiful dresses for her only Grandaughter, the gorgeous Fi.

Dottie, Stu and Fi's Mum, kept all these dresses and passed them onto Fi when her Tara daughter was old enough to wear them.  Tara, now nearly 7 has out grown them which means that the collection of patterned dresses has been passed our way. I'm so pleased. I love handmade items and knowing the history of these gems and knowing they were made with love for Fi makes them so much more special.

I'm also really pleased that Evie also loves them. The tutu's have been cast aside and every morning she puts on one of Grandma Dora's dresses. In fact, one morning she put two on at once. Oh the fashion dilemmas of a 3 year old.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

where were the april showers?


How crazy is this weather? Almost no rain to speak of during April and today, yet another scorcher on July proportions. Not that I'm complaining, it's so good to be able to spread the cluttering toys and the chatty girls to the outside once again.

I am concerned about the plants though, although they are looking fine, I'm sure that they must be getting quite thirsty. I've started saving my non greasy washing up water to pour on some plants in the evening although I'm told that watering plants little and often is actually more detrimental than an occasional big soak. But seeing as we're not getting the occasional soak from rain, I'm sure the green things will appreciate some moisture even if it does have the odd piece of pasta and pea keeping it company.