How are you, how has your weekend been so far? Ours got off to a lovely start with friends for dinner on Friday night. Harry stayed up to say hello and enjoyed a mocktail of mango juice and rainbow sprinkles, accessorised with a cocktail umbrella and glacé cherry whilst we opened a bottle of fizz. I think we all secretly wanted a taste of his.
Whilst shopping for ingredients the day before, I came across these beautiful Romanescos - a sort of cabbage that apparently tastes like broccoli, and looks like a miniature Christmas tree..have you tried them?
I say they apparently tatse like broccoli; I intended to chop them up and cook them, but decided they were too lovely for that so instead Harry carefully wrote out everyone’s names and they became cheery place-settings instead…
Talking of all things green, Harry and I have a new project; we are determined to grow a HUGE avocado plant. Preferably by next weekend, in order to have guacamole for tea. We have got precisely this far after 24 hours, despite progress checks approximately every 10 minutes:
In the meantime I have harvested some hardy Hellebores from the garden and planted them up in an old copper trough on the counter; a reminder that we will see Spring before too long.
In other domestic news, I’ve had a brief attempt at trying to bring order and discipline to our laundry (really, what was I thinking?), buying these inexpensive sorters from IKEA and painting helpful labels so that even the youngest member of the household (you know who you are) can colour-sort his dirty clothes. I doubt it will work, but they look pretty nonetheless.
Weather like this requires cake, and cake is also a helpful excuse to drop in on friends, so we also made some of our favourite lemon and poppyseed loaf cake – one of those wonderful recipes where you get to throw everything in a bowl and then pour it into a tin, and do very little else other than congratulate yourself on your Domestic Goddessery (if you do follow the recipe above, I skip the first step – if life is too short to stuff a mushroom, it is certainly too short to soak a poppyseed). Try it; I promise you it works a treat..
And now an epic fail to close. Firstly, if our avocado stone is yet to bloom, my New Year sourdough starter is looking even rockier. I had visions of it looking exactly like this:
…but instead it looks exactly like this:
It smells like a brewery, which is promising if a little alarming, but I cannot see it causing a loaf of bread to rise anytime this year. All suggestions welcome please, including alternative uses for it (a solution for loose plaster?).
Know your limits, they say; I think I have met mine. Any kitchen ingredient which requires daily feeding and careful measuring was, in retrospect, doomed.
p.s. photo of entirely perfect and well-risen sourdough starter from a true guru here.