Sunday, June 24, 2012

Breakfast: How the Cornish do it

Cornish clotted cream on scones is a pretty amazing thing, right?
I'm certainly not going to say anything bad about that combination... but it isn't my favourite way to eat clotted cream.

The way my Cornish Grandmother taught me to eat clotted cream was for breakfast, on white bread, covered with golden syrup.

It tastes phenomenal.
It's very much an example of 'the whole is greater than the sum of its parts', and its parts were pretty amazing to begin with.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

London Life: The Old Operating Theatre

If you like old, eccentric, rag-tag museums then the Old Operating Theatre at London Bridge needs to be high up on your list of places to visit.

It's equal parts fascinating and horrifying, although never too graphic.

It will also make you very glad you live in a world with plenty of anesthetic sloshing around...

Monday, June 18, 2012

How to: Bleached Henna Peacock

Bleach is fun!

And if you don't think so you're not using it right.

It's all very well putting it down the toilet, but it's much more fun to paint with it.
I think henna designs particularly lend themselves to this technique as they're basically line drawings, which makes them relatively simple to replicate.

Plus, the colour the bleach reveals also reminds me of henna staining. 

But anything goes really!

1 - Use a appropriately sized piece of study cardboard to both stretch the design area flat, and also protect the back of the t-shirt from the bleach you'll apply to the front.

2 - Sketch out your design in chalk or some other visible yet washable marker. Once the bleach has started working you won't be able to stop it, so you want to get your design right first time.

3 - Using an old paint brush (the bleach won't destroy your paint brush, but it won't do it much good either, so use an old one) and a glass of bleach paint over your design.

Apply more layers of bleach to areas you want to be a lighter shade.

4 - Once you're done, wait a few minutes then wash the t-shirt as usual. 

I would wash it by itself this first time, just to make sure nothing else gets accidentally bleached.

Obviously, don't get bleach on your skin, clothes, surfaces etc. 
It's a good idea to protect all of those things.

Do you want more fun with bleach? There is also a great tutorial for bleach tie-dying over at Honestly WTF.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Gilded Afternoon Tea

What does your standard afternoon tea lack?

Gold and silver, obviously. 


We celebrated a special birthday this weekend with a Gilt Afternoon Tea.

Because a standard scone just isn't shiny enough.

Gilt scones with strawberry jam and almond cream
Sparkling Eton mess from tea cups
Banana and chocolate loaf
Chocolate mousse from Moroccan tea glasses
Cucumber sandwiches
Salmon and cream cheese sandwiches
Asparagus eggs custard from willow pattern cups
Eggs and cress sandwiches
Mars bar chocolate crispy cakes

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Glamping: Tales from cooking on an open fire

We took advantage of the long Jubilee weekend to get the hell out of London and retreat to a beautiful bell tent in Surrey for a few days of walking, visiting village pubs, reading in the sun and cooking on an open fire.

It was beautiful. It was also quite rainy.

Although reading in the sun was sadly curtailed due to limited sunshine, we did manage to visit multiple pubs and a few walks (mainly to pubs), but most of all we cooked!

We really did do a lot of cooking.

We made smores, carbonara, cooked breakfasts (including bacon, eggs, fried bread, garlic mushrooms etc.), soda bread, drop scones, orange cakes, fried potato hash, pasta with a tomato-anchovy sauce and butternut squash risotto.


I'd previously not done more than boil water over an open fire, so cooking all our meals by fire was certainly a learning experience...


  • It takes an age (especially when you're hungry) for a fire to be ready to cook on, so start early. However once it's ready make sure you are because it cooks hot and fast!
  • You can speed the process up by getting your pots and pans warming up before the fire is ready. We had pots above the fire and the dutch oven/kettle below from the start to minimise cooking time once the fire was ready.
  • The cooking life of your fire can be short - Dutch ovens sit in the embers to eke out the use you can get out of each fire. 
  • Consider cooking time-consuming breakfast foods the night before. We made some incredible fried/roast style potatoes in the embers of an evening fire to use for breakfast the next day with fried eggs.