Tuesday, 25 September 2012

A week in the sun

Hello Loves!

I have been away visiting my parents in La Belle France. It was gorgeous and sunny and relaxing and full of pastries- basically everything a holiday should be.

Me Pa is currently in the process of fixing the barn roof (a gigantic undertaking) so it was all hands on deck to get it cleared out and make room for the scaffolding.
Travel in style, as per.
Burning 200 odd years of barn detritus.
Ma and I dressed for some hard, barn roof fixing, graft.

A collectors item apparently...

View from the back door.

Back in Blighty we headed to the pub for the quintessentially British tradition of Sunday roast, wine, and crosswords.

Keep your hands of our crosswords!
Novel wine glass holder.
In other news I have started my Graphics course and been given my first project- more on this to follow. The last week has also seen the birthdays of almost everyone I know! I painted this for my friend Elissa. In celebration of her 25 years on this planet.
Initial sketch

The, pretty much, finished article.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Odds and Sods

A few snaps from recent events...
The fruits of our BBQing labor.

The view from our 'table'.

Air Balloon!

The Downs looking like Hobbiton.

Sunday Morning accoutrements.

Friday, 7 September 2012


Like a fool I went into UO the other day and, predictably, left with my purse considerably lighter and the proud owner of one- perfect for autumn- parka.
Trying on coats we cant afford. The one Nat's wearing costs £615!

The novelty of a hi-tech phone still hasn't worn off, so I followed the writing on the wall and yes I am wearing sunnies inside. I also feel I should add that I AM wearing clothes under the coat!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Twins At Tea Time.

Phee's little sisters came for dinner last night. I say little but they're not any more. In fact truth be told they are taller, much taller in my case, than either Phee or myself and Flora is all set to go off to university!

I decided to make a Aubergine Parmagiana in honour of the occasion, and thought I'd share the recipe with you all.

To start you need to make a Passata (or magic sauce as its affectionately known). You will need:
* 2 Tins of Plum Tomatoes, 400g each
* Fresh Basil
* 4 Tomatoes
* Garlic (I like lots but its a question of personal taste)
* 1 Onion
* Tomato Puree
* Balsamic Vinegar
* Olive Oil
* Black Pepper. 

There isn't one as such, this is very much a 'try-it-and-see' recipe, but below is how I make it.

1. Dice onion and 5 cloves of garlic, add to pan on a low heat with a little olive oil.
2. Once Onions and garlic are cooking nicely, add the 2 tins of tomatoes. Stir regularly.
3. Whilst the the above is cooking chop the fresh tomatoes and 2 cloves of garlic, add.
4. Tear the Basil and add this also. 
5. Bring to the boil give all a good stir, pop the lid on, lower the heat and leave to brew for a bit.
6. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
7. I like my sauce a little bit chunky so I usually take out a bit of the mixture before blending the rest, then add it back in later.
8. Blitz the lions share of mixture
9. Add the chunky stuff, stir
10. Put in a good glug of Balsamic Vinegar
11. return to the stove and allow to reduce until look and taste suits your fancy. 
12. Season to taste.

1. Dice the onion and 5 cloves of garlic, add to pan with a little olive oil.
3. Chop fresh tomatoes and 2 cloves of garlic.

6. Remove pan form the heat and allow to cool.
7. For a chunkier consistency spoon out some of your sauce and set aside whilst you blend the rest.
For the Parmigiana you will need:
* Your Passata, I like to make mine the day before so it has time to flavor up a bit.
* Aubergines, depending I only used 2 but it depends on the size of our tin
* Courgette, this is optional I decided to add one to mix things up a bit
* Paramasan Cheese
* Mozzarella Cheese

1. Pop your Passata on the hob and allow to reduce
2. Slice Aubergines, about 1cm thick is good. I cut them slightly on the diagonal.
3. Slice the Courgette in the same way
4. Place the Aubergine slices on a tray and grill until they're nicely browned on both sides.
5. Grate your Parmesan
6. Get a good sized baking dish and spoon a thin layer of tomato sauce into the bottom, sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese then cover with a layer of Aubergines.
7. Add another layer of sauce and more Parmesan, then lay Courgette slices over the top. I like to lay them in the opposite direction from the Aubergine layer below to reduce gaps.
8. Repeat the sauce, cheese, vegetable layers until you have used everything up.
9. Top all with more Parmesan and torn up pieces of Mozzarella.
10. put in the oven cook for about 30 mins. until everything is golden brown and bubbling. I cooked mine on full whack but our cooker is rubbish. 190°C/375°F/gas 5 is a good rule of thumb.

As per I didn't get a photo of it once it was done as we yummed it up too quickly but here's one Jamie made earlier.
2. Slice Aubergines
3. Slice Courgettes
4. Grill Aubergines
These ones aren't quite done yet.
6. Spoon a thin layer of sauce into your baking dish.
7. Layer Courgettes over sauce, aubergine, cheese, sauce.
Delicious Chocolate Orange Cheese Cake made by Phee
Chowing down on Cheese cake!
P.S. Next time I will use a little less sauce, and add oregano. I would also add breadcrumbs to the top and more cheese throughout.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Pride 2012

Another year, another Pride and another day of raucous debauchery followed by lying quietly in a darkened room nursing the many aches and pains caused by the above.

Watched the parade from the fabulous vantage point of a bus stop roof, with my friend Natalie, which we consequently got stuck on.
Nat dressed for the occasion.

In he evening Phee and I dolled ourselves up, put on our glad rags and headed in to Kemptown for the St James' Street party.
On our way to the street party!
We met Phee's hair twin.

A good time was had by all.