Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Forest room

I have plans for my new living room, it's going to be a woodland glade. Wallpaper from, and beautiful grassy rug from Ikea.
I'm also going to make little crocheted mushrooms, to look as if they're growing out of the rug and nooks and crannies.

Pineapple upside down cake

You will need:
100g self raising flour
100g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
1 tin pineapple rings in juice
2 or 3 tsp dark brown sugar
2 large free range eggs
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cochineal
8” cake tin

1. Cream the butter and sugar
2. Beat the eggs lightly, then stir into the creamed butter and sugar
3. Add the cochineal and stir until mixture turns deep pink
4. Sift the flour into the mixture and stir until combined
5. Open the pineapple rings and set four aside along with about 4 tsps of juice (eat the rest and drink the juice, it’s nice with vodka straight from the freezer!)
6. Put the juice in the cake tin, and sprinkle on the brown sugar, then arrange the rings prettily
7. Cover the pineapple rings with the mixture and smooth over, put in a moderate oven (200 degrees - gas mark 5) for about 30-40 minutes
8. Take the cake from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack
9. Serve warm with cold cream or *custard, will keep in an airtight container for a day or two

*Please follow the custard rules. They are as follows:
Cold dessert = hot custard
Hot dessert = cold custard
Anything else is just wrong


We recently went camping in West Wales, a lovely little site called Brynawelon (Google it, they have a website); and even though we forgot pillows, matches and charcoal and it was freezing in the nights, I still loved every minute of it. There's something quite primal about sleeping in a tent, think about it... small communities sleeping under waterproof materials stretched over sticks, cooking and eating meat huddled around a fire; that's basically a campsite. Patrick and I also went foraging for the first time, with these two great books:
Food for Free by Richard Mabey
Edible Seashore by John Wright
We didn't get enough stuff to make a meal, but I'm a lot more confident in my foraging abilities now - so that next time I go, I'll gather enough delicious things to make (or at least add to) a foraged meal. We correctly identified, and tasted: alexanders, wood garlic, hawthorn (although I knew what that looked like anyway), wild thyme, rock samphire and sea cabbage (but we didn't pick any of that as it is scarce in the wild, and the plants we saw didn't have that many leaves). There is a recipe I am desperate to try - Hawthorn Spring Pudding. You make a suet pastry and roll it into a long oblong, then you scatter lots of young hawthorn leaves and press them into the pastry, cover it with strips of bacon and roll it into a swiss roll. Then you tie it in muslin, steam for about an hour, and serve with gravy. Sounds delicious! I also want to make candied alexanders, very Redwall kitchens.
We visited Nevern church, where there are eight bleeding yew trees. Their sap is deep red. Far from being eerie, the graveyard is a beautiful place, and there is wild garlic growing on the graves which date from the 10th century. There is a Celtic cross and some stones have been carved with ogham. Obviously the site has been used for religious purposes for a long time.
Eventually we'll buy a bigger tent, with more than just one room (one for the dog, when we get one!) but I'm happy with our little tent. It's big enough for us two, there's a little porch to store the bucket barbecue and gas stove, and it's really quick to put up!
I love camping.

Saturday, 5 June 2010


I've just watched The Delicious Miss Dahl. The credits are vaguely Quentin Blake-y, and are the same pastel colours as every Shopaholic book. At least I know the audience they're aiming for, and that I'm not it - but how offensive is this programme. Her voiceover during the credits: "I've been as round as Rubens, and a thin slip, and everything inbetween", "Cooking should be an adventure". Please. Cooking should be to make food. We don't all have days to spare like you, Sophie, to wander round antique shops, good fishmongers and cheese shops - and there's no way on Earth you eat like that every day. No fucking way.
She's like Nigella, but without the charm. Or charms! Nigella looks like she eats the food she makes, and good on her.
I love cooking, love nothing more than to spend a whole day making food for my family or friends, but it's not an adventure. An adventure is travelling the world, writing a book, having a baby - cooking is a necessity, Sophie. Stop spouting boring, girly, stereotypical platitudes.

Credits are now rolling at the end of the show. She has a 'food stylist'.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Folksy Friday *4th June 2010*

I missed last week, real life got in the way again.

Theme this week is ‘horror’.

Okay, from top left:
Cute zombie head brooch (on sale too)!
Howling wolf necklace
Frankenstein cube - adorable
Terrifying and beautiful art doll
I loved this fang necklace so much, I bought one!
Alice memento mori taxidermy art box, I wish there were more things in this shop!

Buy 'em quick before they go!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Aberystwyth Street

I've had the completion date on my house! It's 10th of June... and OMG that's next week!

I'm planning to document the whole process of renovation, redecorating and moving in. With that in mind, here are a few photographs of the house (with the current owner's stuff still in there) which we took on the second viewing; and a few pictures we made of our garden design. Made using Google Sketchup, an amazing free 3D program.

Here's the living room

Here's the master bedroom

Here's the lovely turquoise bathroom, that's coming straight out and a new plain white one installed

Here's the spare bedroom/studio (what that means is LOADS of shelving units, and a table for me to make things on!)

And here are the beautiful 3D garden pictures. And Yes, we will have a secret garden, complete with ivy-covered walls and a garden shrine... always wanted a secret garden!

Related Posts with Thumbnails