This is one of my ‘go-to’ recipes if I’m looking to cook up a quick breakfast or dessert. What makes this truly, ‘fast & furious’ is that — using a silicone cake form I can put this in my microwave oven at approx.750°C and within 7 to 8 minutes, have a good looking cake to serve up! But I must also add that the microwave version will dry out very quickly, and so it’s best with the addition of some jam in the middle, or even with a scoop of ice-cream or a drizzle of cream, custard or sweet sauce if you are serving it as a dessert.
Well it’s been taking up a whole bunch of room gathering dust on one of the kitchen shelves for a couple of years now, so I knew I would be called to justify its existence at some point. I had thrown out our 5 roller hockey sticks and skates without batting an eyelid, so how could I possibly claim sitting rights for a huge bread machine that we never use.
The time had come to put it through its paces again. The awful part of all this is that in the past, apart from the tantalising aroma of home baked bread, the actual bread itself had always been a major disappointment to the palate. So I studied at length the manual because I had always been told to RTFM, and decided that perhaps I should try a different recipe – the ‘French’ bread. Just the very name had always put me off in the past – here I am in Italy using a recipe for French bread! I daren’t tell my mother-in-law since her state of health is already a bit iffy.
Almost 4 hours later – the kitchen floor smothered in sprinklings of flour, sugar, salt and oats – after an irritating sequence of whistles and beeps and churning blades, the ‘French’ bread is ready.
I think my daughter must have followed the aroma from her house further along the island, because just on cue, she arrived with the spud heart in the picture and begged a chunk of newly baked bread to take home for tea. Hubby complained sorely about the amount of crumbs each time you cut a slice, but as you can see, the loaf is almost finished, so it couldn’t have been that bad, even if it was ‘French’ !!!
is what I said. There are all sorts of occasions for wanting to take a cup of hot tea or cocoa to someone outside – maybe it’s for the lads working under the car bonnet – or for the gang around the bonfire letting off fireworks – or even for the snowball fights when there’s too much fun going on to drop everything and go inside. Helps you to keep those dirty feet outside the door for a bit longer too!
So this is my solution – a thick felt holder for hot mugs so that you can take the hot drinks outside and be sure that they won’t go cold straight away. What do you think?
A couple more of the gorgeous colour pigments to add to my collection. I just wish I had taken a pic of the shop window to show you what a fantastic display these powders make. I was wondering around town with my photographer friend Mark, and whilst I was chatting to the shop owner and making my purchase, he was outside taking a pic of the shop window. Can’t have it all …so Mark gets the pic and I get the pigments!
Anyway, on the subject of Mark, we had a great few days wandering around town doing a couple of exhibitions and getting in a couple of nice meals…catching up with our news and meeting up with some of my old friends too. A couple of them own a lovely restaurant called “Il Covo” where Mark and I ate a delicious meal yesterday…I can hardly believe that some 40 years have gone by since I first met Cesare the owner! Anyway, if any of you are ever around these parts looking for something local to do in Venice, Cesare does cookery lessons for small groups…he has a passion for food and can make even an omelette sound like heaven!
Mark has just called me from the airport… as a travel photographer, he is off on…well…some more travels. I think the next few weeks see him in London, France, Turkey and then the States again. It’s a hard life!!
Anyway, it’s done now, and the next 24 hours will be the test. If the jars don’t explode, then I can have a taste of the stuff on my toast tomorrow morning.
Watch this space (as usual!)
ps. I’m sure I would be better off messing around in boats or roaring around on motorbikes!
When you buy something from an artist, you are buying more than an object. You are buying hundreds of hours of failures and experiments. You are buying days, weeks and months of frustration and moments of pure joy. You are not only buying a thing, but a piece of heart, a part of the soul, a moment in the life of someone.