Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Mykonos here we come!

Alright I know it's the island of getting your kit off, however I'm taking no chances. Everyone knows today the damage sun does to your skin, nut brown bod and wrinkles are soooo last season. Factor 30 summer and winter is my mantra, in a gentle light and with a following wind I could pass for 60 anyday!
Tomorrow we're off, so today I will be throwing clothes (vintage of course) into my case, short-listing the 26 books I just can't manage 10 days without and trogging off to Heathrow. Lettice is booked into her 5* accommodation (she lives en famille) in Tatsfield (where?) The island's best hotel awaits our arrival. What they make of us ageing hippies, well me anyway, kitted out in my £5 maximum spend dresses and old, much worn and loved gear heaven only knows. We cut a swathe through the folk who dust off the old tiaras and change for dinner. We know how to live frugally....... hang on a minute, best hotels, 5* doggy residence, AIR MILES, high carbon footprint, excess in all its forms. It makes me feel guilty just typing it.

Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye, cheerio here I go on my way...

Monday, 27 September 2010

Can anyone help me identify this?

I'm only now unpacking treasures from my move of 2003! Imagine my delight on finding these (6 in all). For the life of me I can't remember where I bought them. Was it in York? Was it when I lived on the West coast of Scotland? Deepest Kent? Crumbs, can I remember, can I heck! And worse than that, what the devil are they for? My first thought was chop-stick rests. Hang on a minute Linda, I don't think they had Chinese take-aways in the 30's? I'm quick like that - grease lightening in the brain stakes!

They are made of unmarked china and shout Thirties.

Are they knife rests? Why in the world would anyone want to rest their knives?


Sunday, 26 September 2010

Kentish pear & loganberry cinnamon sponge

I'm on a recipe sharing kick at the moment, don't ask why!
Could it be the mercury is dropping? Maybe!

This is a pud I made last night after I had posted the blog on Lemon Goo. My sweet genes had obviously kicked in with all the talk of desserts (think I'd be far more interesting if that was spelt deserts) I have known.

Anyway ...

The only reason I really made it, was to use the ageing pears languishing in the fruit bowl and the delish loganberries given me by a visiting friend.

The ONLY reason?
Tub tum will testify I'm telling the truth!

Here goes ...

110g butter (I only ever use butter, don't give margarine house-room)
110g golden caster sugar
2 free-range eggs
175g SR flour
4/5/6 pears depending on size
handful of berries (loganberries are the tops)
demerara sugar
sprinkle of ground cinnamon


Butter a shallow dish and sprinkle with the demerara sugar and cinnamon.
Peel the pears and lay in the dish cut-side down, fill in the gaps with berries
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
add the eggs, one at a time together with a tablespoon of flour to prevent the mixture curdling. Carefully fold in the remaining flour together with a little milk if necessary.
Spread evenly over the fruit and bake for approx. 45 minutes
Oven temperature - 350F 180C Gas mark 4
Just be careful it doesn't brown too quickly before the middle has had time to cook.
I put a butter paper over it if it looks likes its getting too dusky!

You'd never think I have a cookery book to my name would you?

brought to you by Linda
the founder member of the 'That'll Do School of Cookery'

Friday, 24 September 2010

Lemon Goo

What has this picture got to do with Lemon Goo?
Absolutely nothing...
To photograph it I have to make it and guess what?
If I make it I will eat it which I don't want to do, especially as this time next week with a bit a luck, I will be swimming in warm seas.

This recipe is donkey's years old and a firm favourite of my son Aaron. Who at the age of seven named it Lemon Goo.

For three years in the middle nineties I cooked for one of the families of our Royals. One Sunday morning I was out of ideas as to what to serve for pudding at lunch time. I was tired and frazzled and guess what popped into my mind... Lemon Goo.
I made a large one for the family and a smaller one for the staff. The roast chicken with all the trimmings was served followed by the delectable, deceptively simple dessert. Battling with the washing up of the pots, pans and paraphernalia of a full-on luncheon (the butlers did all the fine china, silver and crystal - luckily!) who should steam into the kitchen in full cry but the main man saying "We've eaten all our Lemon Goo we want the one made for the staff!"
That day, the staff went without pud!

It made me smile ... Out of the mouths of babes and Royals ... Lemon Goo.

After I left I got a panic phone call from the cook asking for the recipe ...
"Help they're asking for Lemon Goo!"

Here it is:-

2 packets of ginger nuts
4 oz butter
1 tin condensed milk
1 pint cream
5 lemons, juice and rind

Whizz the biscuits into crumbs
Melt the butter over a low heat
Combine the crumbs with the melted butter and press into a flan dish. Chill
Juice and finely grate the lemons
Into a large bowl, combine the condensed milk, lemon juice and rind and the cream.
Pour this mixture over the top of the chilled biscuit base and leave to set in the fridge.

Top with slices of caramalised lemon ...
(caramalise sugar in a saucepan and 'shushle' the lemon in the mixture to coat)
Carefully lift them out of the pan onto baking parchment and cool.
Decorate the top and devour!

And to this day I'm sure they still call it ... Lemon Goo.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Are fluffy dice the Marmite of motoring?

I hate to confess this but one of my great loves is my 'scratch' black Smart car.
No ordinary car this... it sports a Persian rug, essence of amber to perfume the air, heated black leather seats, an electric sun-roof and to add an air of sophistication two red noses and the creme de la creme -
a pair of FLUFFY DICE.

Kitsch isn't even close to giving them their due reverence. They are so far off the scale of bad taste they are meeting good taste coming the other way.

I just love 'em!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

My much loved Bertie shoes

Trawling through other peoples' blogs I've seen lots of pictures of beautiful shoes. So I thought you might like to see mine.

I have a bit of a thing for old clothes (not the 'in' thing - vintage nor yet retro), yes, old clothes, the ones you love and wear until they fall apart. Comfort of an old slipper kit that you have to negotiate your way into, threading your arm down the sleeve missing the splits and holes. The more faded and fabric-fatigued they get the better I like them. Vivian Westwood type on a bad, bad day.
In a past life I well remember roaring into the yard on my little red Fergie tractor to be met by a rep, who on seeing me seemed a trifle distracted, I couldn't work out why? It was only after he'd gone I realised that my frilly white lawn blouse had given up the will to live, exposing my left DD to the world. Alright I know it was a dairy farm but even so.

Yes, Linda, but what about the shoes?
These were bought by me in Madrid. Boy did I love those shoes, I wore them with stripy socks, I dressed them up, I dressed them down, I wore them to bed, I paddled down the garden in them. They were my best buddies until the day they died. Their final resting place is, as you see in my garden. I couldn't I let them finish up in land-fill. They now greet me every time I come in through the garden gate. I've resisted the urge to plant them up with primroses... How naff would that be!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Selvedge magazine - my all-time favourite periodical

July/August 2010
(the next edition will be arriving any day now)


What has this bag got to do with Selvedge magazine?

I bought on ebay, the most monumental velvet curtain to cut down and recover the sofa cushions. Unpicking it I discovered that the material had originated from The Royal Ontario Museum. I was blown away with the selvedges and the faded unpicked seams which were too good to waste. On seeing my newly made shoulder bag Debs the teacher* at my soft furnishing class, said people make an art form of selvedges. Getting home I googled selvedge and up came Selvedge magazine. I instantly got where they were coming from. So much so, I've bought all the back-issues. They have gone into the cupboard together with all the other bits and bobs. I ration myself to reading one only very occasionally, otherwise I would totally o.d. The amazing talent people have is a tad unsettling. A bit like this blogging lark.

The bag does draw lots of comments, one guy even asked if he could stroke it. There's a chat-up line. At my time of life. I had to go and have a lie-down, it was all too much for me.

*pretty goods blog

Monday, 13 September 2010

Am I alone I wonder?

I buy loads of interesting bits of fabric, retro, vintage,
beautifully embroidered traycloths and treasures of yore.

My nose inhales their musty scent evocative of a bygone age,
I admire the hours of work that has gone into them, I imagine
the stories they could tell.

I squirrel them away in the cupboard.

Silas Marner like, at night I dream of the value.

Gold coins running through my fingers.

I'm rich!

But wait...

In my dreams I plan, I scheme of all the glorious things
I will make.

I cut, I style, I snip............NO!

How could I?

Back into the cupboard they go...

Silas would be proud!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

I've just started wearing a watch!

Can you believe it?
After all these years?
Too many to mention!
So I won't!

Sorting out my old toot, I discovered a watch that I'd forgotten I'd got. Over the years I've been the recipient of many a time piece, all of which were ceremoniously chucked into a drawer... Madam to the last ... me.

This one however was my Aunt's, so to cut a long and tedious story short I have deigned to wear it. Looking on ebay I nearly fell off my chair to discover this model is on offer for £745.
Could this have any bearing on my decision I wonder?

I've had a superb solo day, doing very little; although these days are rare, they are always overlaid with a tinge of guilt.....
Ridiculous I know.

I have packed my ebay treasures finishing this evening, most of them are languishing on the opening bid. Why is it when I really, really want something every other bod does as well? Looking on the bright side I must have burnt off a few calories bobbing up and down to my eyrie in the sky to check the non-existent bids.

I had intended to make some more things to sell...
Cheese scones and the Sunday papers got in the way.

I know this picture has nothing to do with this particular blog - I'm new to this so...
I though you might like to see this brooch made by me!?!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

I keep walking sideways up to this blooming blog!

This was me in the days before recycling became so PC!

You may be able to see that the pram is made out of orange boxes, the hood was made with a hinge at the back. On a sunny day I could lower the hood, alright, even then I did feel a bit stupid, because when it was down it exactly resembled a cow-catcher on the front of a train.

This was made for me by my lovely eccentric grandpa. He of Barclays Bank; in the days when bankers were held in high esteem. A bank manager by day, the formal dress of pin stripe suit swopped for a Gannex mac and beret off duty.
Even at the great age of five I was totally bowled over by this apparition astride his motorbike. What set the scene was the all-pervading smell of fish coming from the back of the bike. What? Fish heads of course for the cats!

Peter's rabbit sits under one of my grandfather's carvings. Oh! I forgot to tell you he was the most amazing woodcarver as well.

Brawn was another one of his specialities, made from half a pig's head. I can taste it to this day. We knew all about recycling, make do and mend. Survival it was called in those days.