Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Tasteless Retail Frenzy

I know it seems a bit tasteless to hit the shops in the current doom and gloom but the British love the sales too much. Sadly, the reaction to old and much loved shops like Woolworths closing seems to be a moments regret followed by charging out to a closing down sale. I hate closing down sales, morbid and depressing, especially of old department stores which I really love.

Anyway I went to the normal sales and bought in Monsoon, John Lewis and Waterstones (as usual really). Mega bargains were a book of German fashion photography (Regina Relang) reduced from £40 to £4.99 and a turqoise linen dress reduced from £85 to £25.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

The odd project

Weird one for Xmas cooking experiment...Turkish Delight! The amount of sugar and (cow hoof...)gelatine is off putting but it's great as it sets in the tray. Sadly it is brown rather than pink, should have used white sugar not fairtrade golden granular I think. Also made choc truffles which are deformed blobs but taste great. Chocolate, cream, rum. What's not to like as they say.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Icing Infinity

I honestly believe my Xmas cake icing could spread itself in an atom thick layer across most of the known world at this rate. This year I got the ready mix, last year the roll out. Making the cake is.....er.....a piece of cake but confectionery stuff is v tricky. Hopefully the Santa, Holly, Robin, Penguins, Polar Bears, Teddies and Xmas Trees on it will conceal most of the icing......

Last year I did a marzipan replica of Castle Fraser, where I work, on the cake but all the towers were too big for the tin. So this year a North Pole theme for the cold winter.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Asthma Island

Do try and catch this programme on Iplayer.
It sounds obscure and depressing but is a fascinating and uplifting story of the inhabitants of the world's most isolated British island Tristan de Cunha. People have only lived there since 1803 and all 300 inhabitants are descended from seven settlers and two victims of shipwreck, half of whom, bizarrely, were asthma sufferers.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Xmas Booze

Around the season our thoughts turn lightly to the joy of booze. A warming, tasty drink on a dark, cold night. My Xmas favourites are....red wine, port, sherry (has to be Manzanilla the lethally dry one). And all those untrendy drinks like Madeira (really nice) Ginger Wine (yummy and spicy) Pudding Wines (WHY do people drink normal wine with puddings...mostly it's disgusting....) Tokay (very odd almost hallucinogenically weird wine made in Hungary from aged and mouldered grapes, try it). My friend Barbara is almost a paid up member of the champagne marketing board so I'd better mention that too......I am also strangely attracted by a recipe for Wassail Bowl, a spicy beer punch with apples which seems wonderfully medieval.

Monday, 1 December 2008

December Already!

December today! And I don't have an Advent Calendar even. I like the ones with just pictures, not the chocolates ones and certainly not the Hannah Montana ones I saw today. Ugh. Also my mum in law already has all her Xmas food in her freezer and I don't even know what I want to have.......there is always that Turkey v Pheasant thing going on. Or goose if you want to get old school, or what's wrong with a really nice free range chicken even? Turkey is a bit of a non-event for two.....