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Showing posts from September, 2014

Travelling bites

Is there a difference between travelling and taking a holiday? The former makes me think of gap-year students roaming around Asia and the Far East or older adventuring types who will happily drink warm yak's milk or sleep under a Landrover in the Sahara. Compared to that shuttles from the airport and room service seem rather tame although both of those things are guaranteed to make me happy. There does seem to be a bit of snobbery around what you call yourself and what you do during the weeks, or months, away from your home turf: travelling is challenge, holidays are fun. But the older I get then convenience, comfort and safety are towards the top of the list of any holiday requirements. Fun and laughter are right at the top. 
Tony and I are staying in Montepulciano for a week checking out its possibility as a base for a longer 'learn Italian in school' trip next year. Sometimes I feel as if I'm on holiday, that 'freshly risen dough' feeling when all is bright …

Bread love

Bread is on my mind. Literally, as you can see. A local garage on the A20 just outside of West Malling, has upgraded its grocery section into a full blown 'buy-everything-you-could-possibly-want-while-filling-up-the-car-or-even-not-filling-up-the-car' Spar. Spar with bells and whistles: delicatessen, butchery counter selling local meats, flavoured olive oils you can buy in exquisite long necked glass bottles. And oven baked bread. And they are the best French baguettes we've tasted since we left France nearly three years ago.
There is no photo of the baguette Tony bought yesterday. There isn't even a photo of the crumbs. They are that good.
Hungry Writing Prompt Write about crumbs, what's left when what you once had, is gone.
Some of you may know the Billy Collins' poem called 'Litany' that springboards off lines written by Belgian poet, Jacques Crickillon...
You are the bread and the knife, The crystal goblet and the wine...
...then dives into a list of thing…

There was no cake...

Or flowers. No cars or bridesmaids or best man. No mother, or father, of the bride or groom. No guests. No invitations to guests. There was no veil, no shimmering dress train. Nothing borrowed or blue. Neither of us wore a hat. Or socks. There was no music, no witnesses, no confetti. 
There was an office where we bought a license for $95, a woman, who looked like Whoopi Goldberg, wearing a ribboned sash printed with 'Jesus Loves Me' who said, 'You guys!!' when we told her we didn't have a camera in a paving slabbed garden where she asked us if we'd be each other's best friends. And we said yes. 
Later there was a swim in the Atlantic Ocean on Florida's east coast, a glass of champagne with mango juice. And pancakes with maple syrup. 
There was 22 years of togetherness behind us and the bureaucratic procedure of buying a house in France ahead of us that favoured married couples. There was the surprise and disappointment and some annoyance from the people we…

Singing the blackberry sorbet song

I have made something extra-ordinary and I am singing about it because I want you to make it too and listen to you sing. Extra-ordinary because it does not taste as I imagined it would. Blackberries and sugar syrup combine to make so much more than themselves. Nothing at all like blackberry jam or jelly. It is floral. It is rich. It is like the happy endings of fairy tales. It is almost beyond words but I'll keep searching: it is the taste of deep summer, it is church bells at a wedding, it is the silence after a firework show. It is the song you hum before you fall asleep under a starry sky. It is the perfumed bramble of sweetness. 
You have to help me out here:
Boil 240 ml of water in a saucepan, remove from the heat and stir in 250 gr of white granulated sugar until it's completely dissolved. Leave to cool then chill.
Pop about a pound of washed blackberries (sorry about the shift from Metric to Imperial: I'm a child of the 60s, what can I say?) into a blender and purée th…