Wednesday, 28 July 2010

A-T Summer Rainbow RED

Over at Alphabe-Thursday it is the school holidays but Mrs Matlock, being a hard task-mistress, has given us homework to do so we are now going through the colours of the rainbow. Yes, here in the UK we spell it "colour", I didn't make a mistake Mrs M!
So I thought about the colour red and looked round my house and garden and thought some more and then I remembered that somewhere I had some photos of my old cars.
Let me introduce you to PGT 427E.

I bought this car in 1976 and it was quite old then. It was the first car I owned after passing my driving test. Technically I had owned a Morris Minor before that because I had lent my dad the money to buy it and he drove it and gave me some lessons but it was sold before I was able to drive it on my own.
"Piglet" was a Triumph Herald Estate. It had no heater, no radio, no power assisted anything and rack and pinion steering which was famous for giving it a wheel lock like a London taxi, which meant you could turn it full circle in not much more than its own length. It was therefore a really easy car to park. It had a walnut veneered dashboard though and I loved it. It cost me £80 and I sold it for £25 two years later. Funny how I can't remember the registration of any other old cars but always remember the first
Now I have a little question for my American readers. Is it the case that you do not eat runner beans? Someone told me that you grow scarlet runners like this for the flowers but don't eat the pods and I didn't believe them. Here's one I have grown but the beans aren't setting very well this year, maybe because there don't seem to be many bees about.

HERE is where you can see what "Red" has brought to other minds

Monday, 26 July 2010

Ladies who lunch #2

I know it will come as a bit of a shock to some of you, to find me blogging on a day that isn't Thursday, but I decided that I really must make an effort and as I know a few of you really like your food I thought I would tell you about my lovely lunch that I had today.
I have a friend called Rosemary who lives in Woodbridge. About 20 years ago I rented a room in the house she had then because circumstances had put me working in Woodbridge when I lived quite a long drive away from home and so the room was my bolt hole for times when the weather was bad or I had to work late. Only I liked it so much I ended up staying over quite a lot more than anticipated and joining in the Bible Study that she used to host and we have remained firm friends ever since. We don't see each other very often but now that we have more time we have promised to meet up now and then and today we tried out a new place in Woodbridge called The Moorish Lounge For anyone who knows Woodbridge it's where The Captain's Table used to be.
The weather was lovely and there were several tables outside under a good shady gazebo but we decided to sit inside as the chairs were more comfortable for fuss pot (aka me) If you follow the link you will see the sort of food they do, and their ethos. The web site is very good and worth a read. And the place itself is very good and worth a visit.
We had lentil carrot and something else salad (oh dear, my memory!) chick pea falafel, haloummi and roasted peppers, seared cauliflower with date and anchovies (yes, yes, I know but it really did taste wonderful) and spinach and feta parcels. The rose and vanilla creme brulee had sold out so I had apricot tarte tatin and R had chocolate pot.
It was a tad expensive I think, although I am a bit out of date these days so maybe other people wouldn't think so but it was all scrummy and I would certainly go again

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Alphabe-Thursday Black and White

Alphabe-Thursday is about to take its summer holidays and we have been given that end of term feeling with Carte Blanche to post what we will. I have chosen not to go back but to anticipate. The following seven weeks are to be a rainbow holiday and I am really looking forward to that. But I am of the age that grew up in black and white. The television was black and white. The photographs were black and white because colour photogrphy was quite expensive and my dad developed his own films. Even some of the pictures at the cinema were black and white. Life seemed a lot more black and white too, in that you knew what was right and what was wrong. And now my husband has discovered that the new trend is black and white. He used to do a lot of photography with SLR (single lens reflex) cameras that he bought as a young man and he never really go the hang of his digital camera. He has just read an article that tells him that those really in the know are eschewing the digital in favour of the old fashioned film cameras and he has found that it is suddenly possible again to get the film and batteries for his old cameras. Hurray, at last hubby has a hobby!
Goodness knows what other soup you will find HERE this week!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Alphabe-Thursday. Z is for Zebayda

First of all a big thank you to everyone who came to the birthday party last week (Y is for.....) and if you missed it there's still some leftovers in the fridge so do pop in!) Thank you to for the lovely presents.
Now let me tell you about Zebayda
It's curious how things jump into your mind sometimes. I have a very visual memory and pictures suddenly appear behind my eyes and take me back more years than I care to admit. The letter Z (and where I come from we say Zed, not Zee) suddenly took me back nearly 50 years to a place that was then called The Hutton Residential School. I can see myself in a corridor painted that institutional green that many Brits will know and loathe. The corridor was actually a hallway in a large Victorian house and the house itself felt very friendly. The HRS was a place where children from the London Borough of Poplar who came from difficult backgrounds, broken families or who were orphans, were cared for. My mum and dad had befriended a boy who lived there - why is a whole other story which I might find a slot for next time round - and so we used to go there for tea sometimes. I would be sent off to be with the other chldren while my parents had tea with the matron and I was a bit apprehensive as an only child, suddenly finding myself, albeit temporarily, as part of a very big family.
Now Zebayda was the first black person that I ever met. Where I grew up, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, black faces were not commonly seen. Her father was part of a singing group, an English version of The Inkspots, but her mother was dead and so she stayed at the School while he was on tour. She was a year or two older than me and watched out for me when I was there. I never stayed the night but I guess my mum and dad thought it would be an experience to see how they lived in that place. It always felt full of love and I hope that it was.
HERE'S what other people made of the letter Z

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Alphabe-Thursday - Y is for You are invited

It's Thursday the 8th July and you are invited to my virtual birthday party. The caterers will be here soon. I have ordered an exotic fruit punch for the drivers and champagne for the drinkers. There will be smoked salmon canapes, vol-au-vents filled with cream cheese and caviar, or lobster in mayonnaise. There is the biggest cheese board you have ever seen in your life and a choice of several wines, spirits, mixers and fruit juices . Salads incude pasta and asparagus, orange and watercress and seared peppers and tomato. There's cold salt beef or ham, and a whole cold salmon which has been dressed in thin slices of cucumber to look like scales. If you fancy something hot there's a mushroom rissotto, a lamb pasanda curry and all the trimmings, or a smoked haddock chowder with crusty multi grain rolls. There are other breads too. For dessert there's a dark chocolate torte, a milk chocolate mousee, ice cream in three different flavours (vanilla, coffee and rum and raisin) and a fruit salad. I've also made a huge cobweb pudding to my Auntie Elsie's recipe, which I posted up on this blog last Friday. And there's cream.
Coffee, liquers, or herb tea. Mints.
Bryan Ferry has got Roxy Music back together just for the event but if you go right out into the extensive formal gardens, past the second fountain on the left, you will find a small chamber orchestra and some comfortable seating where you can get away from the heat and noise and repose calmly in the cool for a while.
I will be wearing my black velvet and the second best diamonds.
So all I want you to do is tell me what amazing and fantastic present you are virtually bringing me!
If you are reading this before I get up in the morning then come back later for the link to other Y's or make your way there from Jenny's blog HERE

Friday, 2 July 2010

Auntie Elsie's Cobweb Pudding

A friend asked for this recipe so I thought I'd share it with you all. Not sure if you can read my auntie's writing so translation underneath!

1lb rhubarb
1 strawberry jelly
2 tablespoons strawberry jam
3 eggs
pink colouring
Cook rhubarb slowly without water until juice begins to flow, then more quickly until it is pulp. Liquidise, dissolve jelly in water in same pan. Stir into pulp add jam to sweeten and colouring if necessary. Separate whites from eggs beat yolks into rhubabrb mixture. Whisk whites to soft peak and fold in. (Auntie left that bit out!) Pour into glass dish leave to set
The top
3/4 pint double cream
2 levels tablespoons sieved redcurrant jelly
8 large strawberries
Whisk cream spread on top of rhubarb pipe redcurrant jelly in rounds etc like a cobweb, decorate with strawberries