Thursday, 30 December 2010

Best of 2010


Well, what a year it was! After a whirl of gigging and crafting and working on the allotment, it's hard to believe that 2010 is over already.

The year will always be remembered as the first for our little garden, I never realised how much of our time it would take up; from March to September we were there practically every day. And the related activities too; reading allotment guides, preparing seedlings, researching pest control, and of course cooking and eating our delicious yield!

I hope you've all enjoyed reading about it.

The year was also filled with craft activities. After learning to crochet last winter, I've kept myself busy with various projects, a toy fox for Jonathan, a puppy for Nina and my favourite; a tiny Slytherin Head Girl for Chloe (See below). I'm currently creating a blanket of granny squares, to give a rustic look to my bedroom.

And as usual, there's been an awful lot of good music. Top 5 to follow.

Seeing as I like doing lists, here are a few of my favourite things this year...

Fave second Hand find: Beautiful Aran Jumper in Beyond Retro
Fave second hand bargain: £1 crochet jumper at Brighton Craft Fair
Fave second Hand Book: 1st Edition of Mrs Harris goes to New York
Fave eco friendly discovery: Composting Loos
Fave politician: Caroline Lucas, whose election to MP for Brighton Pav was the only good thing to come out of this year's poll
Fave Gig: A drunken Caitlin Rose at the Latest Music Bar.
Fave surprise: Marie visiting the UK in June.
Fave Game: Yellow Car
Fave cookery Book: Primrose Bakery
Fave food/drink: Hemp Hot Chocolate from the Jolly Green Cafe.
Fave recipe for allotment gluts: Creamy Courgette Lasagne
Fave shop: Urban Outfitters, which finally opened in Brighton (thank goodness now that I can't shop in Topshop anymore)
Fave bar in Brighton: Lucky Voice (Finally! A karaoke bar)
Fave feature Film: Whatever works
Fave docu film: Food Inc
Fave TV: Misfits
Fave TV moment: The Glee performance of Bad Romance (must've watched this around 20 times)
Fave theatrical performance: Before I sleep by dreamthinksleep (yes, even better than The Hoff in Panto)
Fave non fiction Read: Waste by Tristram Stuart ( a last minute entry "Teach us to sit still" comes a close second)
Fave fiction Read: Norwegian Wood (closely followed by Good Morning Midnight)
Fave thing ever: Ending 2010 as the only one of us in the pub still in my 20s.

Okay, that's enough. I understand that this is only of interest to me.

So to end, here are some pictures of my favourite craft project of 2010.
From left to right: Ogling Mister Schue during the Glee finale, drinking Cava on a train to Norwich, being cuddled/ squished by Celia.


Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Christmas cheer



I hope everyone's had a nice Christmas.

Sorry for the lack of posts. I've been busy, then poorly. And now I'm busy and poorly which is not a good combination.

I realise I haven't even posted many Christmassy things, so here's a pic of a house opposite the Park, the window is filled with hundreds of toys and it makes you feel all festive and cosy when you stop to have a look on a winter's night...


Saturday, 25 December 2010

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Obsessed with bunting


Hello,

I've spent the last few weeks doing lots of craft projects, many of which involved making bunting.

Vanessa and I spent hours sewing around 20m of the lovely stuff for her birthday party...


Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Christmas wrapping


I put Home Alone on last week and set to work wrapping the first of the presents!





Monday, 13 December 2010

Glam twigs


Here's my Christmas tree.

Anna and I found the branches by the allotments at work and I've decorated them with ribbons, baubles and some tiny bunting I made from last year's Chrimbo cards.





Saturday, 11 December 2010

An unusual sock


I bumped into my school friend Steve in the Three and 10 last night.

Was nice to see him after so many years. We discussed the fact that we haven't actually spoken properly since school although we roughly know what the other is up to through the facebook news feed.

We're intending to meet up for coffee next time he's in town.

In the meantime, here's a photo he took of a lamppost on the street where he lives in Portsmouth.

I love this. Yes, someone has knitted a sock for it!


Friday, 10 December 2010

Strange Weather




The weather here has been strange this year to say the least.

Snow to start, a scorching early summer, rain through most of August and a very warm Autumn.

So warm in fact, that the leaves have only recently started to fall from the trees and were covered with a blanket of snow last week.
Like I say, strange.


Thursday, 9 December 2010

A Christmas wrapping concept


The December issue of Neet Magazine is out!

My new favourite hobby is making granny squares since I learnt how to make them a few weeks ago but I'm not quite sure what to do with them yet.

Neet makes a clever suggestion. Maybe I'll use this next year, I've already come up with an idea for this year's wrapping. Watch this space for a sneak preview.


Sunday, 5 December 2010

Facebook Activism


As much as I try to avoid facebook, I do find myself checking it almost every day. This weekend, I’ve been watching as more and more people switch their profile picture to their favourite cartoon character and eventually was faced with almost a whole page of childhood memories. It was interesting to see what everyone had selected; a character with the same name, a similar haircut or a childhood pet giving an insight into how we picked our favourites.

The idea behind this was part of a campaign by the NSPCC to stop violence against children. It’s nice to see so many people supporting the campaign but I do question in what way this helped the NSPCC. Raising awareness is the first step, but people need to take action to really benefit these charities, by donating either time or money.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote an article for the New Yorker about Facebook and social activism a month or so ago which made for interesting reading and caused a ripple in the media. He reinforces a benefit of social networking in that it’s our acquantainces, not our friends, who are our greatest source of new ideas and information.

But he also makes the following point:

“The Facebook page of the Save Darfur Coalition has 1,282,339 members, who have donated an average of nine cents apiece. The next biggest Darfur charity on Facebook has 22,073 members, who have donated an average of thirty-five cents. Help Save Darfur has 2,797 members, who have given, on average, fifteen cents. “

He emphasizes that social networking encourages people to sign up to causes by not asking too much of them (or in a sense, asking nothing of them), or in his words:

“Facebook activism succeeds not by motivating people to make a real sacrifice but by motivating them to do the things that people do when they are not motivated enough to make a real sacrifice.”

The NSPCC are currently not recruiting volunteers but it’s worth keeping an eye out over the next few months to see what roles become available and in the meantime, we can each send them a fiver. It took me about as much time as it took to google “Mysterious Cities of Gold” and change my profile pic.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Snow Day


We've been snowed in!

Because Brighton is made of hills it means that most of us are completely stuck. You take your life into your hands just walking anywhere let alone driving so we've had a couple of days off work.

Today I stayed in to do some work and felt a little bit Bob Cratchitt typing with my fingerless gloves and trying to keep warm in my flat by hugging a hot water bottle.

But it was pleasant enough. I had 6 music on the radio and got to look out across the sea all day and see this beautiful sunset.


Friday, 26 November 2010

The Story of Stuff


“The Story of Stuff” is an inspiring film about the amount of stuff we buy, why we buy it, and the effect our consumption is having on the planet.

The film is part of a project to encourage us to make an informed decision to consume less stuff and to buy responsibly in the hope that reduced consumer demand will eventually lead to happier people, a healthier planet and a more sustainable economy. In contrast to the many misguided environmental initiatives and films (such as the self satisfying “No Impact Man”), this makes an important and well presented point which needs to reach as many people as possible. The 20% of us humans living in the developed world manage to consume 80% of the planet’s resources. Not only does this cause damage to our environment but also exacerbates the unfair distribution of wealth around the world.

Tomorrow is National Buy Nothing Day which I will be taking part in as my own little protest against consumerism and to remind me to think about what I’m buying and where it comes from. Thousands of people around Europe are due to join in.

I encourage you all to do the same.


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

How to be alone


Delightful video from Andrea Dorfmann.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Zines


A few weeks ago I spent a Saturday afternoon at a Popular Education crochet workshop at The Cowley Club on London Road.

Next to me around the table sat a friendly individual named Pearl, who helped me learn how to make granny squares and at the end of the session presented me with issue 17 of her zine.

When we saw Josie Long a few weeks ago, the programme was in the form of a zine and when I showed Jonathan the edition of Peach Melba that Pearl had given me, he showed me a pile of zines that he has been collecting over the years. A zine is a self published amateur magazine on a subject of the author's choosing, for fans of the same subject. A fanzine. The issues that Jonathan owns contain a fascinating mix of comics, stories, poems, lists and recipes amongst other things. Peach Melba mainly consists of lists, and the clever folding mechanism means that pages overlap, so that the bottom half of the 'Food for mice' list can also become responses to 'A sample menu of a stereotypical Wallace and Gromit themed party' and then, perhaps more confusingly, a list of weapons morphs into 'Words you can add the word cat to'. It's great fun and I hope this won't be the last issue of Peach Melba that finds its way into my possession. I'm not the only fan; Matthew over at 365 zines has dedicated many a post to Pearl's work! Really interesting to see what has been in previous editions.


Whilst we're on the subject of magazines, let me introduce you to another recent discovery; "Oh Comely", a magazine that is surely written just for me, about all the things I love. Here's their blog, hope you like it as much as I do.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Avocados

A subject I do not spend enough time blogging about.

There's an article in The Guardian this week in praise of Avocados and with reader comments on the best way to enjoy them.

We bought some nice, old fashioned avocado bowls a year or so ago and the best way to enjoy one is simply in the bowl , drizzled with some vinaigrette!

Mmmm.

Second best, mashed on marmite on toast with a soft boiled egg on top. The ultimate comfort food.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Blast from the past


I've had this Ohrwurm for a few weeks now. I remember it from when we were little but kept forgetting the tune every time I spoke to my dad so wasn't sure what it was.

Luckily it popped into my head at work on Friday and Ray was able to recognise my humming and direct me to this youtube clip.

It nearly made me cry in the middle of the office.


Gefunden



...Gefunden heute Nachmittag in dem Brightoner Flohmarkt.
Sehr huebschen Ausgaben mit vielen kleinen eingesteckten Notizblaetter von dem letzten Besitzer! Jaa.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

White Night


A few weeks ago, it was White Night in Brighton. In celebration of the end of British Summer Time, the city stays alive until dawn with dozens of events to take part in or watch throughout the night.

When we arrived at New Road around 11pm, we found ourselves thrown into a celebration of life and death. Life size puppets had been created to symbolise Maria de la Muerte marrying a Man of the Living. The warm weather has brought out hundreds of people and we slowly made our way through the bustling crowd into the Pavilion Gardens to catch our breath and look around at all the strange sights; actors, musicians and spectators all mingling with incredibly drunken, noisy freshers in Halloween costume celebrating with their new found university friends for life. We came across a couple of pianos on our walk, simple placed outdoors, in the park, surrounded bysinging and dancing and people having a splendid time. We saw a french singer and accordion player in the Dome and went to an all night knitting workshop at the Komedia. Onto the Lighthouse for an exhibition and a few video installations and we were ready for bed. We stayed out until about 3. Quite a poor performance considering I'd have loved to see the dawn chorus on the beach, but at least there's something left for next year!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Seed Markers


Look at these gorgeous upcycled seed markers from Not on the High Street.
They're made of broken ceramics and wooden sticks.

I'm feeling inspired to make some of these next year when I plant the next year's crops on the allotment, Broken crockery is easy to come by but save your lolly sticks for me please!!


Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Acorns




On my walk round to Jonathan's, I always pass a pretty little gift shop called Sixty Seven which I could quite happily live in. It stocks lots of bits and pieces from many of my favourite design sources; rice dk, lisa stickley and more recently Kissy Suzuki who makes teeny tiny crochet jewellery just like this Acorn necklace.


Monday, 15 November 2010

The life of a home made crumble




Mmmm, apples and blackberries all from around the site at work


Sunday, 31 October 2010

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Birthday cakes


Coming up in December, 2 very important people have very important birthdays.

I've been asked to make cakes for the parties (Vanessa is letting me be on her decorations committee too) so I've been looking for some inspiration...

Clockwise from top left:


Thursday, 28 October 2010

Allotment falafel



When you choose to follow a meat free diet, your meal choices can become somewhat restricted. Cooking for yourself isn't a problem and Brighton caters pretty well for the herbivores amongst us, but once you leave the city eating out tends to be narrowed down to goat's cheese tart or falafel. Luckily I do rather like goat's cheese, but falafel was never really to my liking, mostly because I find it too dry.

However, the summer before last, we had an awful lot of picnics and the beetroot falafel from Waitrose became a staple at these events. They were incredibly tasty and moist and easy to eat. Waitrose don't do them anymore and although I haven't thought about them for a while, they did pop into my head when I was thinking of novel ways to use the Beetroot on the
allotment.

I found a recipe for Carrot Falafel by Sophie Grigson and replaced the carrot with beetroot. It was so easy, I just mixed the chick peas, grated beetroot, spring onions (also home grown), garlic and cumin with a food processor then made into patties and shallow fried. Not only were they fun and quick to make, they also gave the chopping board, washing up water and my hands a beautiful pink hue.

The photos below don't quite do justice to the amazing colour but you can get some idea of how they looked.


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Found Items



Found these in the street on the way home last Saturday night.

Sewn Items


I just stumbled across Charlotte Brown's blog, it's full of gorgeous art projects and sewn items in particular.

It reminded me of Lou Trigg, a Brighton based artist who produced this lovely piece that I've got in my living room.

You can find her at www.screaminglulu.com



Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Josie Long at the Dome


It’s the Comedy Festival this month in Brighton so I went with Jonathan to see the delightful Josie Long do some stand up on Thursday. Previously I’d seen her on the TV, doing various panel shows as well as having heard her on the radio and her humour was always very sweet, observational comedy about people, places and the silly things she gets up to. I heard her being interviewed a few weeks ago saying that she was trying to be more grown up, attempting to make the world a more pleasant place in her own little way by sharing her ideas for a better world with her audience. It’s how I feel at the moment too, it’s time to start acting like an adult and develop my own grown up opinions and stuff.

After seeing the show, I am positive that if I ever met Josie Long, she would become my best friend. She even opened the show with a sketch about being an astronaut! That can’t just be a coincidence. We have a connection.

The show was hilarious, she talked about her travels, did a hysterical section on politics and introduced us to the flickr account of her new found friend Walter Ezell over in the states. Here’s the link to his project to photograph his breakfast every day for a year, it’s lovely, although Josie did highlight that Walter eats his way through a terrifying number of eggs. And I don’t know how he manages it, but even with his vast assortment of photographic equipment he manages to make nearly every breakfast look equally unappetizing. They remind me of the pictures from mum’s 1970s cookbooks in which the colour scheme consisted of brown and yellow with the odd red cherry on top of something.

Come back to Brighton soon Josie!

Pecha Kucha


Last Friday I experienced Pecha Kucha for the first time. In a nutshell, it’s an event where you watch strangers present a slideshow of 20 images, each of which they talk about for 20 seconds. It originated in Tokyo as a forum for designers to showcase their work but has expanded and now presentations are made on a multitude of subjects and events are held around the globe. On this particular occasion, the presentations were all linked to the theme “Queer Culture” and ranged from the story of a drunken night out at Pride to the dangers of erotic film. It’s a fun way to learn about things I wouldn’t normally have even heard of, a really nice way to spend an evening with Alice and Rach.

There are Pecha Kucha nights coming up in Miami and Zuerich on 18th November so I recommend you try and make it to them. They also hold events in Madrid, Munich and Berlin and tonnes of other cities all over the world. It’s worth checking the website every now and then and go and find out something about some of the strange characters we share this planet with.

Here’s the link to the list of cities:

http://www.pecha-kucha.org/night/

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Brew Tea Bar


When I was in Liverpool, I paid a visit to Brew Tea Bar after work one afternoon. Very different from the Tea shops we have in Brighton, Brew is one of a new breed of modern, coffee shop style takes on the tea ritual which don’t quite seem to have caught on just yet. With a wide selection of iced and hot teas and lots of tea and accessories to buy from the knowledgeable staff, it certainly wasn’t wanting in quality, and it seemed to fit in well to the commercial district in which it was located. I don’t know why they don’t have more places like this in London.

Although I had a delicious iced tea, it felt slightly wrong to be drinking tea from a plastic tumbler. The Tea Bar concept isn’t quite my cup of tea (erk, sorry) but I really hope we start to see more of these dotted around soon instead of the now ubiquitous coffee shops. It’s about time the tea shops start fighting back!



Tuesday, 21 September 2010

New Age Fun with a Vintage Feel.


Got annoyed with myself on Saturday for saying vintage when I actually meant second hand.

Seems like the makers of this video feel the same way.

Brownies


Check out these bad boys.
Yes, you know what the secret ingredient is...



Sunset on Dyke Farm, Pulborough


Monday, 20 September 2010

Caitlin Rose at the Latest Music Bar


It’s hard when you realise you’re turning into your parents. After years of fighting what I now see must be an inherited trait, I feel able to admit that I really enjoy listening to country music, a genre which we spent most of our childhood mocking our honourable father for. It started with Emmy The Great, and I’ve been secretly listening to Lady Antebellum on Spotify, but seeing Caitlin Rose play the Latest Music Bar on Tuesday clinched it for me. Her stunning voice, heartfelt lyrics and sweet persona made for a delightful performance and her increasingly drunken chatter between songs added to the charm of the evening. I woke up on Wednesday humming For the Rabbits and haven’t been able to get it out of my head today, it’s lovely. Jonathan has written a much better review than I ever could and has uploaded some snippets onto youtube here. Well worth a look.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Blackberry sorbet



Recently, I have discovered the joy of free food, I’ve started to notice blackberries everywhere and in order to avoid a) buying them overpriced from supermarkets and b) rescuing them from supermarket bins, I have been picking them from bramble bushes whenever I spot them. Luckily, there are tons of them around the site at work so on Friday I filled a huge bag aiming to make blackberry sorbet over the weekend. Overwhelmed by the selection of recipes on google, I used the failproof plan of picking the first recipe I could find which only used ingredients that I already had indoors. My choice had the added advantage of being one of the few recipes with gin in it too. Bonus. In the past I have been put off the idea of making ice cream or sorbet due to the effort needed during the freezing phase; once an hour for 4 hours you need to stir it to get rid of ice crystals. But actually this turned out not to be as much hassle as I though and I had quite a nice evening blogging, listening to music and getting up every now and then to pay my sorbet some attention. Thanks to the Woodlands Blog for the recipe. This was initially planned to be an accompaniment to Blackberry Friends from a recipe for elderflower which I planned to slightly adapt but in the end I used all the fruits in the sorbet so had to make apple cake instead. The apples were also free, found on a tree in front of reception at work!


An extremely delicious and cost effective treat for afternoon tea on a Sunday.

(Photos don't quite do justice to the beautiful colour, you'll have to come round and try some for yourself!)


Saturday on Upper Gardner Street


If you haven't gathered by now, I had a fabulous day yesterday. Also went to the Saturday flea market and fought the urge to spend all my money. Here's a couple of my favourite stalls:





Saturday, 18 September 2010

This evening


This is how the sky looked this evening. Beautiful.

September Gemuese


September war schon immer mein Lieblingsmonat, Wetter bleibt noch warm(ig), die ersten Blaetter werden langsam orange und fallen bald zum Boden, und ich kann Abends mit dicke Socken und Waermeflasche am Sofa sitzen waehrend die offenen Fenster die schoene frische Herbstluft reinlaesst (genau was ich jetzt mache, entzueckend).

Und nun wird September nur noch besser seitdem wir das Garten haben, dennes gibt gerade so viele Ware im Garten. Bohnen, Spinat, Rote Bete, (einige) Tomaten, Zucchini, jeder menge Kraeuter. Bald werden wir den Boden fuer den Winter vorbereiten muessen aber im Moment geniessen wir die schoenfarbigen fruechte unser Arbeit.

The Best Hot Chocolate in Brighton


Brighton woke up to a glorious sunny day today. The kind of September morning where the soft Autumn sun is low in the sky casting a misty, romantic sort of light over everything. I met Alice for breakfast in the new Brighton Farm Market which has only been open a few weeks but was comfortably bustling when we arrived this morning. There was lots of brightly coloured produce for sale, unusual varieties of vegetables, cupcakes and brownies, local cheeses and a beautiful selection of autumn squashes. We had the apple pancakes from the Jolly Green Cafe, tempted by the chef, (used to be head chef at Bill’s,) who claimed to serve the best hot chocolate in Brighton. He wasn’t exaggerating and I shall go so far as to say it was the best hot chocolate ever (Sorry Alba, even better than in Madrid).

Hopefully the Farm Market will be a success and I intend to pop in there as often as I can for a delicious treat!


Tuesday, 14 September 2010

veggies


Morning, Here is yesterday's haul from the allotment!!


Sunday, 12 September 2010

The best that £1.60 can buy



This is what is referred to as a chip barm in Liverpool.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Liebe Kate Bush


Auch in der Zeitung stand einen Brief von einem Leser an meine Lieblingssaengerin. Ich weiss nicht, was ihn aufgefordert hat so einen Brief an einer Wochenzeitung zu schreiben aber ich fand es grossartig. Und ausserdem...mir geht's genauso. Ich liebe dich auch Kate!


Liebe Kate Bush,
vor zwei Wochen hatten Sie Ihren Geburtstag. Herzlichen Glueckwunsch! Wie kann eine Frau nur so unsichtbar sein und gleichzeitig so praesent? Es gibt keinen Tag, an dem ich nicht an Sie denken muss, und wenn es wegen der Vogelstimmen in meinem Garten ist, die mich an den Klang Ihrer neuesten Lieder erinnern. Das ist Ihr Geheimnis: dass Sie uns zeigen, wie schoen die Einfachheit sein kann, ohne dass Sie die Komplexitaet aufgeben. Nur der Gedanke, dass irgendwo in England eine so unglaubliche Kuenstlerin wie Sie lebt, beweist mir, dass Menschen wunderbar sein koennen.

Edoardo Seianis, Schoenwalde-Glien, Brandenburg

Bunter Baden







In der Schweiz, habe ich mich gefreut, Die Zeit zu kaufen und fand neben Berichte ueber Vegetarismus und die Lage in Bhopal eine ganz nette Reisebericht ueber meine geliebte Heimatstadt. Der Wunder der Internet bedeutet, dass ich es mit euch teilen kann! Sehr sehr schoen und nicht genau nach den normalen Reiseberichte!


Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People


If you haven’t yet signed the petition to Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People, you can do so by clicking here. This 3 year campaign, run jointly by The Body Shop and ECPAT, aims to bring an end to what Anita Roddick termed the 21st Century Slave Trade by increasing public awareness of the issue and to call on governments to take action by monitoring and publicising individual countries’ progress towards three strategic goals.

Here’s a summary of the campaign and here is the full Global reportTheir Protection is in our hands – The State of Global Child Trafficking for Sexual Purposes”.

UNICEF estimates that 1.2 million children are trafficked for sexual exploitation and is one of the fastest growing criminal activities in the world, and not just in the developing world as is commonly believed.

In addition to the petition demonstrating the public demand for change, progress cards have been produced for each of 41 countries to highlight what national governments need to focus on to halt child sex trafficking in the long term. The three goals are:

Goal 1 - PREVENTION – Community based prevention programmes to stop child trafficking are reaching at risk populations.

Goal 2 - PROTECTION – International Legal standards for protecting children from trafficking have been incorporated in the national legal framework.

Goal 3 - ASSISTANCE – Specialised government services for child victims of trafficking are integrated in national policies.

The progress cards provide the public with straightforward information and offer a uniform and clear means of monitoring government action. Also, they are specific to each nation. For example in the UK, we are calling on the government to introduce a system of guardianship for child victims, in Switzerland one request is for victims to be granted an unconditional right of residence and in Germany, one of the necessary actions is for a helpline to be set up to allow victims better access to assistance.

So please take some time to read about this campaign, sign the petition online and when you’re next near a Body Shop store show your support by creating a handprint as RPatz has done here!





Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Courgette Blossoms




I am quite certain that Japan is my favourite country. My reasons for believing this are as follows:

Karaoke

Amigurumi

Kappa Maki

Origami

Miyazaki


I dream of the cherry trees and bridges and sake that Ishiguro writes of but as I won’t make it there any time soon I have had to satisfy my wanderlust by having a go at making courgette tempura instead. Hai si ja!


The courgette came courtesy of Anna’s allotment and I also picked a few flowers from the courgette plants on our plot. The word in the office at the moment is on courgettes; everyone who owns an allotment has a glut (gardening lingo for an awful lot) and Alice and I have finally caught up. As well as the fruit, courgette plants also produce a beautiful blossom which can be eaten and is in fact treated as something of a delicacy in the foodie world due to its short flowering time and refusal to travel well. It does feel quite decadent eating these rare and very expensive treats but they do work well as tempura!


Here’s what I did: 1) sliced the courgette and sprinkled on some salt to dry out for an hour 2) prepared the flowers: cut out the stamens and gave the flowers a thorough wash, then left them on some kitchen roll to dry out 3) put 100g of self raising flour into a bowl and gradually added sparkling water (probably around 200ml) until the mixture was runny like single cream. 4) seasoned with salt and pepper and a teeny tiny bit of harissa. 5) filled flowers with mozzarella 6) dipped vegetables and stuffed flowers first in flour, then in the batter then straight into some hot sunflower oil until they were golden brown. Then ate with some sweet dipping sauce.


I burnt my tongue of course but the melted cheese inside the flowers was just unbelievable! Here're some pics.





llamarama


I fell in love with this beautiful creature that we saw on the way into Broc.



Not sure if you can see it but he had the coolest fringe.