Tag Archives: Memory lane

Embracing with brie

On Sunday we headed off after church to our biggest park, Central Park.

(Not to be confused with Central Park, NY. lol. Which we’d love to picnic in one day, too.)

I had packed in some Little Man-friendly food (roasted sweet potato wedge, blueberries, grapes, baby sweetcorn) but the star of the show for us was our absolute favourite, and oh-so-simple baguette and brie.  We didn’t take any cutlery or plates or anything, just tore into the bread and cheese, squeezing honey onto a bread and brie stack of deliciousness… our idea of bliss 🙂

So to emphasise my point of how much we love this ‘meal’, I just had to share these old photos with you before we get to our ETC picture for today:

This is in Nice, at the end of our honeymoon. We strolled along the beach after stopping in at a little grocery store for the supplies… baguettes, brie, ham.

We couldn’t think of a nicer way to end our time in France than to celebrate with this spread. Again, no cutlery (who takes cutlery on honeymoon??), just a hot evening… dipping sun… icy sea… and our favourite baguette & brie combo.

[I feel like I need to point out that the highway information sign at the bottom left is in Italy, taken while we were driving back to France. That’s why the date is ’24 maggio’ not ’24 mai’. Just in case there are overly critical very observant readers out there 😉  It’s there to show how gorgeously hot it was! ]

And here’s today’s actual ETC photo, taken on Sunday in the park:

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Luscious Lemon Meringue

I love lemon meringue pie. It’s another childhood favourite of mine.

I made one recently, and couldn’t quite figure out why it had been so long since I last made it.Errrm, nope – this one’s not mine. I wish!

If you click on the photo you’ll be linked to where I got the picture from.

{Great, now I want a cake stand like that}

You see, I got distracted (what??) while mine was baking so the top got a little more way more golden than it should have. And I just couldn’t bear the thought of putting a photo of a brown lemon meringue pie on my blog. Yes, I’m a faker.

But still, the recipe is pretty easy and the result is very tasty, even when the top comes out tanned 🙂

Pastry case (although I usually just use crushed digestive biscuits and butter. Have a look at the photo above to see my very high tech biscuit-crushing technique)

Melt 125g butter, then mix in a heaped cup of flour and 3 teaspoons sugar. Press into a pie dish and bake at 150 deg C for 15-20 mins until golden. Leave to cool a little before pouring lemon filling into it.

Filling:

Mix together:

*1 tin condensed milk

*2 egg yolks (keep the whites for the meringue)

*Half a cup of lemon juice

Pour into the pastry case when cooled a little.

Meringue topping:

*Beat the 2 egg whites until stiff.

*Add half a cup of caster sugar and beat briefly until smooth and glossy.

Gently cover the the lemon filling with meringue. Make pretty swirls with a spatula 🙂

Bake for about 10 minutes until golden brown (not brown brown like I did!)

Aha! I was about to type a little ‘warning’ about the uncooked eggs and pregnancy – bingo! That’s why I haven’t made it in ages… So the little 10 minute golden brown-ing time doesn’t really count as baking. The eggs would still be pretty raw, so if you’re pregnant and worried about eggs (as they are in the UK), then don’t make this one. Yet.

PS: Dad, if Mom shows you this, don’t drool too much 😉 My dad and I always had this as our birthday meal dessert.

And another PS: A friend recently mentioned using cream cheese in the lemony filling bit. I haven’t tried it yet, but if any of you have a recipe like that – let me know!

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Cheat’s Pizza Base

Ok, I mentioned last week that I had made a last minute pizza lunch. You probably all have your own quick and easy pizza base recipes anyway, but I thought this deserved a mention from me to make up for the fact that I have snubbed it for years in favour of  ‘real’ pizza base. Y’know – yeast, time consuming, kneading. And then, just like that! I need to save time and suddenly I turn to the quick and easy again. I’m so fickle.

So this is my way of apologising to you, O Wonderful and Easy Pizza Base Recipe.

2 rounded cups self-raising flour (or cake/plain flour + a heaped teaspoon baking powder)

pinch salt

Add:

75ml oil

175ml milk

Mix together, press into a baking tray or pizza tray.  Spread tomato and toppings, bake at 180C/350F.

*** I usually pre-bake the base for a few minutes (5-ish) before adding the tomato and toppings. I prick it with a fork a few times, then pop it in the oven while I tidy up and get the toppings ready. I started doing this after having slightly undercooked base a few times… but I think it’s because I overload with toppings!!

This pizza recipe makes me think back to all the camping trips we used to go on when I was a child. My parents learned very early on that having food to eat in the car (padkos) goes a long way to pass the time when travelling. And that also meant less time for squabbles to break out between siblings in the back seat… This pizza was quick to make inbetween packing all the camping stuff, and easy to store in the car, and relatively un-messy to eat with our fingers. Yay 🙂

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Embrace The Camera

 

Emily over at The Anderson Crew has a lovely idea – Thursday is ‘Embrace The Camera’ day… Click on the picture above (or the button over to right below my categories) to go over to her blog.

 

Basically, it’s a way to ensure that you take photos with you in them.

Huh?

It’s so easy in the hustle and bustle and busy-ness of every day to miss moments. And before you know it, weeks or even months may go by without you taking photos to remind yourself of the now.

I write ‘you’ but of course I mean me. This way, I’m committing to taking a picture at least once a week. And not a perfectly posed, ‘I’ve showered this week and my hair is not greasy’ kind of photo… A real ‘this is my life right now’ kind of photo.

I find that kind of photo hard to take. Who wants to show off their bad hair days?

No need to show them off. Even if you just save the photo onto your computer and don’t look at it again, it’s evidence of you and your life on this day. One day you can go back and look through all your dodgy photos and have  a good ol’ reminisce and chuckle… That’s awesome!

Go on, do it.

Click.

Eek -terrible light/shadows! But at least we have photographic evidence of sunshine in Plymouth, UK.

My Embrace The Camera moment. Proudly showing off my washed hair and my spring-hayfever-red-eyes 🙂

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PASTA

When I was growing up, my mom would always ask us what we wanted her to make for our birthday meal. Oooh, I looked forward to my birthday so much – I got to choose what we all had to eat that night! [I was very easy to please, clearly!]

My poor family, it was always one of two meals: Lasagne or Tetrazzini. And I am still not particularly adventurous with food – I like what I like.

Chicken Tetrazzini is great. And, wonderfully, LOML likes it too, so I don’t have to wait for my birthday to force it on him.

You need:

Spaghetti and chopped up chicken fillets (enough for 4 people)

Whole button mushrooms (a whole punnet if you can)

50g butter  (+ more if you want to cook the chicken and/or mushrooms in butter)

5 Tablespoons flour

425ml chicken stock

75ml/5 tablespoons white wine

150ml cream

Grated cheese to go over the top

Here’s how:

1. Get the spaghetti cooking.

2. Cook the whole mushrooms until browned and tender. Drain and remove.

3. Cook the chicken pieces.

4. Melt butter in the pan with the chicken (you can remove chicken before starting the sauce if you prefer, but when I do it this way my sauce doesn’t get lumpy!)

5. Turn down the heat before sprinkling in the flour. Stir well.

6. Gradually add the chicken stock, stirring until smooth and thick.

7. Add the mushrooms.

8. Remove from heat, pour in white wine and cream and stir gently.

9. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg (if you like).

10. Drain the spaghetti, then combine with the sauce.

11. Pour into a large dish, sprinkle grated cheese over the top, and bake for around 30 minutes at 180 C/350 F.

Give it a try. And let me know if you do 🙂

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Oooh La La!

Schengen Visa.

Two words that strike fear into the hearts of South African travellers. If you don’t know what on earth I’m talking about, consider yourself lucky.

But, boy, were those Schengen visas worth the hassle. Boarding the Eurostar at Waterloo Station (yes, Waterloo back in those days – very very conveniently quick from Clapham Junction) was always the start of a wonderful journey for me. A good book, a sandwich, maybe some Millie’s Cookies, and the anticipation of arriving at Gare Du Nord… {Give me a whoop whoop if you know what I mean!}

Getting to Ashford was always a big deal. Into the tunnel, knowing that the next time you saw daylight you’d be in France.

Those trips to France to visit LOML (back when he was Boyfriend) every school holiday mean that I have not really been anywhere in the UK (*ashamed*), but they did expose me to another culture, another lifestyle, another world, that I would never have experienced if I had simply been on a quick weekend break to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower and eat a Royale Cheese at McDonald’s. (Don’t get me wrong, I love Paris. I think it is beautiful. And as far as big cities go, it’s done well to retain it’s quintessential Frenchness. But there is just no way one can immerse oneself in the culture in a weekend to it’s capital city.)

I could go on waxing lyrical about the joys of arriving in France, but really what I want to write about (daydream about, think about, write songs about) is the food. Sigh. The bread! Oh, the wondrous bread! Pastries! Going to France made me want to become a baker. I’d still love to have a bakery one day – Born and Bread I’ll call it – but I fear I could never ever create a croissant that was quite up to French standards. And I don’t know how well I’d do with 4am starts…

But anyway, I am sidetracking myself. I had planned to tell you all about the wonder of the Tarte Tatin, but I have wasted used up all my space just getting to France in the first place.  You see, even the French can mess up a simple dish. But apparently they are just as good at rescuing things When Good Dishes Go Bad, as they are at creating incredible cuisine in the first place. The story of the Tarte Tatin is such an instance…  but that, as they say, is another story. The riveting details, recipe and lovely photos will have to wait till next time. Sorry!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Back in my uni days I discovered the poetry of e. e. cummings.

This is one I have not been able to forget…

(How is that I so easily forgot the stuff I studied, but remember some random poem?)

love is more thicker than forget

love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail
it is most mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea 

love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive

it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky

 

Have a love-ly day, one and all, whether relishing the romance or bah-humbugging the commercialised gimmickiness of it all.


PS. I consider myself very lucky to have a wonderful husband and a gorgeous little boy. Both of whom I am very much in love with. And as for me and my peeps, we are thankful to our God who invented love in the first place, and who uses the most incredible ways to show us love, and to show us how to love.

 

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