Sunday, September 19, 2010

Planning Ahead

My friend Janie told me about another friend inviting her to lunch recently and how this friend, Ginny, was such a great hostess and produced a lovely afternoon tea, with home made scones. I instantly rose to my own challenge (I have such a competitive streak!) to produce an even better afternoon tea when Janie comes to visit me on Tuesday. 

So now, as Tuesday draws nearer and suddenly my schedule is really busy, I'm having to decide what to actually make. I got the Covent Garden Soup Co recipe book out of the library on Saturday and settled on the above recipe.

I'm also planning to do home-made bread, and various other additions (tomatoes, homous and such). And for dessert I think I'll make Nigella's chocolate pistachio fudge. 
Our Shake 'n' Bake at work is still going really well. We're on our third round and I think there are about 12 of us doing it. I'm really pleased that everyone is so enthusiastic and I also love the range of things that people make. On Friday Gavin made strawberry pavlova; the week before Sheila made raspberry muffins and rhubarb and ginger tarts.

So, with that in mind, and having just drawn up a new rota, I got a few chocolate recipe books out of the library as well. And I think I've decided to make chocolate pistachio macaroons and chocolate and mint biscuits (above). I've never made macaroons, though I am a great meringue-maker, and I really like the idea of sandwiching the biscuits together with peppermint icing sugar and then dipping them in chocolate! My Shake 'n' Bake turn is in the first week of October. I'll let you know how I get on. 

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Onions and Garlic for Winter

I've been drying my onions in my mini-greenhouse the last few days, and today decided to string them up and hang them in the shed, along with the garlic. It's the first time I've grown both, so I'm really pleased with how they've turned out.
I really like the idea of having enough produce to put by for use through winter. Very 'Good Life'. I haven't managed it this year, but would like to at some point.
I've taken the last couple of days kind of off. I've been feeling overloaded. Like I'm in one of those transparant balls that you can roll around in. Everything is shifting around me. So it was good to just be at home with Hagos and let go of my own expectations. String up vegetables, snuggle up on the couch with Hagos and fall asleep to an old film, read for pleasure, discover a new writer (Scarlett Thomas), and go to the cinema.