Friday, 15 February 2013

Valentines. The aftermath...

So how did you all fare on Valentine's Day?

 I am firmly of the opinion that there are more or less two types of people - those who adore Valentine's Day and people who could really quite honestly do without it.  Mr NT and I have never really been ones to to rush out and spend lots of $$$ or £££ on gifts but we do usually exchange cards and I can't see anything wrong with a day which is committed to love... Suppose you could argue that every day should be dedicated to love however this is the real world and that doesn't always happen does it... ?
So, if there is a special day where we can take that extra time and let people in our lives (and specially that significant other) know that we really love them... well, that is IMHO, a Good Thing....

So, as I was saying, we don't usually exchange gifts so when a box arrived in the mail (around a week ago) I quickly tore it open - and spoilt the surprise....  Oh dear. 
Mr NT had sent me :

Delicious and wonderful body lotion by Byredo in their yummiest of yummy smells (my NBF - new best fragrance) which is, Gypsy Water... On their website the flowery blurb is as follows :

Gypsy Water is a glamorisation of the Romany lifestyle, based on a fascination for the myth. The scent of fresh soil, deep forests and campfires illustrates the dream of a free, colourful lifestyle close to nature.

Oh and for my birthday Mr NT gave me the Eau de Parfum... So now I am totally 'gypsy-fied' and can wander around wafting my imaginary gypsy petticoats and flouncy skirts.

The ingredients are as follows :

Top notes : Bergamot, lemon, pepper juniper berries

Middle : Incense, pine needles, orris

Base: Amber, vanilla, sandalwood

Doesn't that sound lovely to you?

Happy weekend to one and all and do tell if you received a gorgeous surprise or two for Valentine's Day....

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Marmalade - my first attempt

How pretty are these colours ? Pink grapefruit and lemon into the pan - waiting for the sugar

The finished product - so quick and easy too
Fairly proud of myself as this is my first go at making marmalade - and I wonder why on earth I have never done it before in all of my 50+ years.  My parents are prolific and talented marmalade makers and do all sorts of special (proper grown up things!) like boiling the pips in a muslin bag in the marmalade. I wanted something far easier and so used an extremely easy recipe but "ooomphed" up the taste by using pink grapefruit.  This is the one that I followed:  It was listed as "Absolutely Foolproof Easy Marmalade" and I can assure you, it was.  As I did not have a huge pan (nor may I add many jars) I did reduced the recipe by a quarter.  So my combination was 4 fruits and 750gram of sugar and as I said earlier I used pink grapefruit (2) and lemons (2). Honestly, try it - am sure you will be delighted.

6 oranges (or any combination) or 6 grapefruits (or any combination) or 6 lemons (or any combination)
1 kg sugar

Take the 6 citrus fruits and wash well, removing any blemishes.
Cut into quarters, and place in a food processor.
Chop until finely ground, skin and all.
For an optional extra add some crystallized ginger.
Boil with the 1 kilo of sugar, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for 20 minutes.
It splatters, so be careful.
This quantity fills about 5 x 340 gram jars.
Do not double the ingredients, rather make two batches.
It never goes dark and lasts for up to 6 months in the refrigerator without the need to sterilize the bottles.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Pics from the Antiques Fair

This way to the Fair
 Sorry, a little late as ever...

The Antiques Fair was wonderful - it was so lovely to be up in the big smoke for an afternoon even though it really was bitingly cold.  Oh, and a damn London pigeon pooped on my new Marilyn Moore coat.
Apart from that it was joy all the way and fantastic to see my boys from FONTAINE.  I stayed with them for around 4 hours and it was just like old times (when I used to work for them when they had an antique shop in East Sussex).  Sold lots too!

Not so much of a recession where their gorgeous things are concerned.
Here are a few photographs from the the day...