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Behind the Scenes of a Tea Blend Creation

Our tea blends are inspired by nature and your lifestyle.  A tea that is the answer to that craving you have after a meal.  The things you look for in a pudding; lushness, chocolateyness, dark , hint of sweetness and leaves you minty fresh. I have a variety of mints in my garden and then…

The Right Milk for Your Chai

Which Milk in Chai?

This was a discussion in a Facebook group I belong to.  A member asked for substitutes for cow’s milk.  There was an amazing response from those who are vegetarians, vegans and or have allergies and intolerances. I have been reducing my intake of diary so I have put myself at the business end of some…

Fannings in a Teabag

What’s in Your Tea Bags? Dust or Fannings?

Tea bags have a bad rep nowadays.  Not surprising given that some supermarkets and brands use grades of tea which gives your brew the strongest colour in the quickest time.  It’s convenient to use teabags sometimes. Easy enough to plop a bag in Dip the bag a few times in hot water Take the bag…

Apple Picking

Picking Season…Endlessly so…

The end of summer holidays is rounded with what’s now become a tradition (well, for the last two years) of a visit to the local pick-your-own farm.  This time the nephew and niece had friends along, peanut-sized friends but a great help with the low hanging fruits. They hauled back home the first of the…

Spiced Up

Chow Chow Preserve

Chow-chow/chayote is from the gourd family.  The flesh of this vegetable is firm but it’s easy to peel, cut and deseed.  There isn’t much in the way of taste to this vegetable so takes in flavour very well.  However, it adds texture and mellowness to an otherwise rich cake. It’s available in Asian grocery shops.…

Drunken spa for fruits and nuts!

Christmas Cake – My Mother’s Recipe

My mother is a natural cook.  She only ever used a written recipe when she baked and she used to bake a lot!! Like all natural-born cooks, she would adapt recipes and this one of those.  Her inspiration is from the Ceylon Daily News Cookery Book.  This daily newspaper publishes a weekly recipe which was…

All Mixed and Ready for the Oven

Christmas Cake – Part 2

The amount of brandy needs to be upped!!  The fruit mix over the few days it was ‘maturing’ needed to be feed more, so you will need 350ml of brandy. Ingredients 450g/1 lb sugar 450g/1  lb unsalted butter at room temperature 25 egg yolks 450g/1 lb semolina 60g/2 oz plai Method   Preheat the oven…

To be tucked in...

Christmas Cake – My Mother’s Recipe – Stage 3

The baked Christmas cake has had 4/5 days to rest and recuperate.  At this stage, you could feed the cake more brandy and let it rest for a further few days.  Or you could break up the cake, adding more whisky and jam to balance the rich flavours.  Since the cake is rather rich, this…

Shiny Chocolate

Delia Smith’s Chocolate Cupcake

I have found some really interesting books in charity shops’.  Recently I came across Delia Smith’s ‘Delia’s How to Cheat at Cooking’.  It looks like it’s never been opened. This recipe is adapted from there.  These cupcakes use frozen mashed potatoes. Delia suggests using Aunt Bessie’s, but I had some mashed potatoes left over and…

Tea Infused Pastry with Creme Patissiere and Poached Pear and Mint Flowers

Pear for One

When there is left over pastry from making a sweet tart, I am loath to throw the cut offs. The collection of cut-offs, bits and edges of pastry are brought together, I knead it into a rough ball, wrap in cling fling and store it in the fridge.  It will be used up quite quickly,…