Archive | February, 2013
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Vintage china :)

27 Feb

Vintage china :)

My mum surprised me today with this lovely vintage tea set she found in our local charity shop! 🙂 Its so beautiful I can’t wait to have a tea party and use it! Thanks mum! 🙂

On The Road…to boredom!?

25 Feb

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On The Road by Jack Kerouac was one of those books that has been on my to-read list for a very long time, and having heard and read so many great things about it, I was understandably excited when I finally got my copy! It wasn’t long before I was seriously disappointed!

 

The story moved at a good pace at first, but it slowly descended into madness and incomprehensible gibbering on the part of Dean Moriarty, one of the main protagonists. I understand that the story is about being on the road and being wild and crazy, but it got to the point where I would re-read sentences and still not understand what was going on! I found the language difficult to follow and downright annoying at times. I know that this book and its author are from another time, but I felt like i was going to scream if he described one more person as ‘that cat’ or told Sal (the other protagonist) how much he ‘digs’ various things. Some speeches from Dean were so broken and unbearable to read, such as;

                  ‘Ah-ah-you must listen to hear.’ We listened, all ears. But he forgot what he wanted to say. ‘Really listen-ahem. Look, dear Sal- sweet Laura- I’ve come- I’m gone- but wait- ah yes.’ And he stared with rocky sorrow into his hands. ‘Can’t talk no more- do you understand that it is- or might be- But listen!’

I mean seriously!!?? 

 

I almost feel sad that I seem to not understand the hype and success that this book has enjoyed! I wish I did get it. I felt like the story had no solid plot, and when I thought the story was finally going somewhere, it would take off again…along that god damn road! I also found parts of this book sad, with its drugs, prostitution, broken relationships, and abandoned children. Even with these sad themes, I found it hard to really care about the main characters, Sal and Dean, whom I felt brought much of their trouble on themselves. Their quest to ‘find themselves’ resulted in them becoming the most selfish and loutish characters.  

I’m sorry to all you die hard On The Road fans out there… but it just wasn’t for me. I’m hoping the recent film adaptation can shed a bit of light on what I’ve just read! I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone who wants a nice easy read. Again sorry to all the fans…and sorry Mr Kerouac. 

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Thornbury Castle

19 Feb

Thornbury Castle

Went to a wedding fayre at my wedding venue this weekend, so thought it was the perfect opportunity to take some photos of this wonderful setting!

Rachel Khoo’s madeleines

7 Feb

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Having purchased Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen cookbook at the end of last year after seeing her BBC series, I was really keen to try my hand at her madeleine recipe. So for Christmas I put a madeleine mould on my wish list and waited hopefully! 🙂

I am glad I got the ingredients the day before I planned to make them, since the recipe requires you to make up the mix and the lemon curd and to store them in the fridge over night. I found this to be quite helpful though if you were planning to make them for a party, since then all you need to do is pop them in the oven for the 10 minutes that they need to bake!

Unfortunately the madeleine mould I had was a mini madeleine mould ( which I didn’t realise until after I started to make them) so I had TONS of mix…and therefore TONS of madeleines! Not a bad thing I suppose! The only difficult part was putting the raspberries in the mix without them overflowing, but enough so that it would encase the raspberries. I also worried about my lemon curd as I didn’t think it was going to thicken up, so I just turned the heat up a little more as I whisked and then as soon as it got to the right consistency I took it off the heat! The baking instructions are rather odd, requiring you to bake them for 5 mins, then turning the oven off for exactly 1 min, before turning the oven to lower temperature and baking for a further 5 mins. Therefore if you plan to make these (and you totally should!) then an oven timer or egg timer would come in handy. The most fun part about this recipe is filling the madeleines with lemon curd using the hole at the top of the raspberries! I could have done that all day!

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy these were to make (despite my lemon curd panic) and will definitely make them again…but perhaps not with raspberries. I really loved the colours the raspberries and curd created, but I found that the raspberry pips put me off a little. Since I didn’t have enough raspberries to cover the amount of madeleines I made, I made some plain ones and some filled with just lemon curd which were just as tasty, especially since the mix has lemon in it also.

I am always happy when my culinary creations come out looking like the photo in the book, and I don’t think I did a bad job for my first attempt at making these little beauties!

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I would love to make them again and use a different filling or topping, any suggestions!?

Link to the recipe from the book is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/madeleines_with_lemon_65371

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Graduation

7 Feb

Graduation

I am sooo behind on my blogging, but I have been working and also graduating last week so I do have an excuse! 😛 So to begin, here is a photo from inside the Wills Memorial Building in Bristol where my graduation ceremony took place. Seemed surreal going back there since I finished uni back in September last year! I almost forgot I had done my degree! Such a beautiful building, don’t you agree?

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New shoes!

1 Feb

New shoes!

Nothing like a new pair of shoes! They make me so happy! 🙂