Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Lots of lovelies

I shall be at the Gisborne Sunday Market this Sunday if you want to have a lovely day out (and visit me!). I'm at stall 123 near the fountain roundabout. There are many great stallholders - the herb lady, the spiral potatoe chicks, jam ladies and the honey man. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Virtual Gardening or Creating cards

I love vintage images of seed packets, they seem to represent such sweet hope and promise. I have been collecting lots of seed this year towards the end of summer and autumn but I am a very cruel gardener or just without patience as I don't pot up but fling them in the garden to fend for themselves - I resolve this minute to be a better sower! I'll let you know how I go, somehow I think my little cards may be the only ones that bloom with certainty!
New card sets "Vintage Seeds" will go into the store today. All blank inside for your own sweet message.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Cold and grey-just how I like it.

Cold and windswept- I love it! Perfect for baking and cozing up at home with a great book. I'm reading the last of the Game Of Thrones series and I can't wait to find out what will happen. The weather suits the books as they are about raging battles taking place often in wind and snow swept lands. George RR Martin has a wonderful turn of phrase, very poetic and this is one of the best realised "this world/other lands" fantasy I have read in ages with twists and turns that will make you gasp. Definitely up there with the Gabaldon Outlander series and Raymond Feist Magician series too. Beware- don't get too attached to any characters.
 While I read the family feed on Ricarellies as they take only minutes to whip up and bake, while seemingly being health you don't mind if that’s what is had for dinner!
 Cousin Riccarellies (slightly made up version of the famous Sienna biscuits).

1 500g bag of almond meal.
3 eggs whites  (use the yokes for an omelette)
1 cup caster sugar (you can use less sugar and more honey if you like but you need enough sugar to whip the egg white)
1 cup honey
zest of lemons (as little as one and as much as you like)
sesame seeds to decorate.
 Simply  whisk the egg whites and slowly add sugar until it is fluffy and thick, sprinkle in the meal and drizzle the honey in, the mixture will be thick and sticky. If too sticky just add more meal or a sprinkle of cornflour until it has all come together and you can roll it in some baking paper. I place the sesame seeds on the baking paper so they cover the outside of the roll of dough which is about 3 cm in diameter but make them smaller or bigger as you choose. I usually end up with 2 rolled logs both of which I freeze until needed then I pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees and while it heats I cut the logs into 1cm thick coins of dough. Don't make them much thinner as they will burn quickly because of the high honey content and you need to keep a careful eye on them as they only need 4-6 minutes, just until they are kissed by gold in the oven. I sometimes like to let them go over a bit more as it makes them more chewy but it is a fine line between dark gold and burnt! They should be slightly crisp on the outside and chewy inside.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Nature Study

I love the chill in the air, it's the perfect excuse to curl up and dream. I have to make some plans for the new garden areas so bulb hunting is a must and still it's fine enough to spend all day in the garden and save the dreaming for the night. There is a picture I love at this time of the year - Autumn Leaves, painted by John Everett Millais.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Sweet Skylarks and English Roses

Lovely new aprons have arrived. I wear my aprons every day and do find if I don't I feel very odd without one on. And I have resolved to be completely guilt free in my addiction, after all what price happiness? Particularly when they are practical too and often the inspiration for baked goods!

"Skylark Pink" and "Skylark Blue" aprons and "A Summers Rose Apron"all in the ebay store right now with matching tea towels.