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Showing posts from November, 2006

sugar rush

Surprised to find myself in the Crystallised Fruit Centre of the Universe at the weekend. Every fruit imaginable had been drenched in and dusted with sugar and joyfully wrapped for Christmas. One shop had a river of fruit running through it. It all looked so lovely but, let's face it, crystallised fruit never lives up to the promise. The texture is always a bit weird and the sweetness too sweet. Gimme a packet of Fruit Pastilles any day.

heston blumenthal's black forest gateau

...takes two or three days to prepare. It involves using a dyson, several plastic bags, a cocktail shaker, paint rollers and trays, an aerosol spray, lots of banging things on counters and sweat. This homage to Seventies kitsch cooking takes so much effort to make that you would actually lose weight just making it. However, I think Heston is missing a trick here. All the layers in his gateau have a perfectly acceptable, ready made, authentically 1970s equivalent which means you could knock together a Blumenthaley-stylee-gateau in about ten minutes and save a load of money. So here is my alternative recipe: For the biscuit base - use two or four Jaffa Cakes (this saves you having to make the apricot compote) Place a bar of milk chocolate Aero on the top of the base Add a layer of chocolate Instant Whip Add some cherries (glace or tinned) Add a good thick slice of chocolate Swiss Roll which has been soaked in kirsch Add another Aero (optional) Add another layer of Instant Whip Add some

foreign goods

Brian's been blogging about funny foreign stuff so here's my contribution! The coffee is from Spain and is just the thing for a post-prandial pick-me-up, while the can of "refreshing water' was purchased in Japan. My all-time fave was a bar of chocolate I bought in France called Crap! ah - le plaisir de crapsiller. I ate it and it was indeed a plaisir. I should have kept the wrapper. There also used to be some French Lemonade called Shittt but they've stopped making that now which is a pity.

colds are so much more expensive

...than they used to be. In Days of Yore a cold was an excuse to snuggle down on the sofa with the cats, a pot of tea and High Society. Today, feeling coldy and unwanted at the various social things I had lined up I have spent the afternoon in the study with my credit card, Amazon, iTunes and Britart. I will not end this month (or the next) in credit.... The telly beckons now but I'm not sure I can face Planet Earth as apparently the Polar Bear dies. I still haven't quite recovered from the grieving elephants on BBC Two last week and am certainly too low on tissues to risk too much more Natural Cruelty. At least I still have the one millionth episode of The Archers on Tuesday to look forward to.