A Confederacy Of Dunces*

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

These sunny-looking, innocent flowers look so pretty, but they carry an awkward burden...

Picture: Flore Del Sol on Etsy

They are called craspedia. It’s not hard to see why they have a variety of nicknames as well (billy buttons, billy balls, woollyheads).

Craspedia... a compendium of faux pas**

There’s been quite a few ideas lately of words that should exist, or of things that need words to exist for them, but this might be the first one I can remember of words that do exist, but really ought to belong to something else.

* The title of this post (and, very probably, this line of thinking) was prompted by Sarah Wilson, who came up with “A Municipal Council of Dunces” on the wonderfully distracting Twitter about “lesser books”.
** For some reasons, probably because I know it’s wrong, but find it entertaining, faux pas always feels like it should be said as “fox pass”. And repeat offences as “fox passes”. A bit like “horses’ doovers”.

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Behind The Scenes (And Under The Bench Tops)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Finding out about the time, effort and precision involved in making food just slightly imperfect so it looks even tastier can been a rude awakening. It’s a little like finding out, as a teenager, that those glamorous women who look like they don’t wear any make up really are wearing make-up, and that to apply it to such effect requires so much time, effort and precision that it’s much easier to just wear an awful lot of black eyeliner and grin and bear it. I don’t yet know what the baking equivalent of grinning and wearing black eyeliner is (I’m hoping there is one, and that it’s not quite such a lowest common denominator as giving up and getting something ready made).

Smitten Kitchen chocolate peanut butter cake... with drizzly icing
Picture: Smitten Kitchen (chocolate peanut butter cake)

After you know about the details, it makes you wonder how they ever eluded you before. At least it suggests that hard work and practice can take you some of the way to achieving comparable results, rather than their being the sole province of those preternaturally talented with a piping bag or knife.

Donna Hay four tier chocolate buttermilk layer cake
Picture: Donna Hay... the Donna Hay buttermilk four tier layer cake

The styling behind some of Donna Hay’s cakes should come as no surprise whatsoever given how simple but undeniably flawless her food always looks. Discovering how some of it is done is equal parts epiphany and frustration (two ingredients that I suspect have no place in a well made layer cake). In particular, the idea of measuring an equal height at intervals around your cake before you slice it into layers, so that they come out even and symmetrical, and of measuring the filling into a cup before applying it so that, once you figure out how much one layer requires, you can use an equal amount on the other layers, were so logical it almost hurt. But they’d never occurred to a rustic baker, who takes to her cakes with knives and gay abandon, and slaps on buttercream like she’s whitewashing a shed.

Donna Hay magazine issue 50 cover
Picture: Donna Hay via iSubscribe... the full effect of the cake, measured layers and all...

When the cheflings on Junior Masterchef can twirl pasta into nests as easily as cracking an egg, though, you know it’s time to think about lifting your game. Being out-cooked by somebody a third of my age is just as depressingly possible as being out-danced by them. As long as it’s not the same person. That would just be unspeakably unfair!

chocolate ganache spoons
Picture: Grace's Sweet Life (and those mini chocolate cakes with ganache and cherries are just so lovely...), demonstrating a very important advantage of all that icing styling - lots of spoons to lick!

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Only Happy When It Rains

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I have a little bit of a thing about clouds. It started long before my cute little Paper Boat Press earrings...

For the days when you feel just like you’re floating on your own personal cloud, there’s this...

Lisa Widén cloud chair
Chair: Lisa Widén via Lushlee

I wonder if it’s as comfy as you always imagine clouds would be, though. Perhaps you could sit on it and eat lemon meringue pie, and then you could have the entire cloud experience...

For those on a bit of a tighter budget, perhaps this would be a cute alternative…

metallic cloud mobile
Picture: Le Ptit Papillon on Etsy

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When Cakes Go Boo!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

This beautifully precise pastel confection is apparently called a Paradise Cake, and hails from Hawaii (not as loud as the shirts, but there's definitely a theme going on there)...

Martha Stewart tiered Hawaiian paradise cake
Picture: Martha Stewart via Pretty Obsessed

But one look at it, and all I can think of is Battenberg. I don't know what it tastes of, but I suspect it might not be how I imagine. And also might not involve marzipan. But oh, it's just so pretty I almost mightn't mind.

The tricky thing with food that looks like it's something else (or, strictly speaking, looks just like what it is, but reminds you of something else) is jolt of trying to align the taste to the appearance. Looks like a duck. Quacks like a duck. No! It's a bowl of peanuts! For many people, that challenge is adjusted to after the first bite, but if you're the kind of person who jumps even when you know somebody is about to try and make you jump (hell, even when they actually warn you beforehand, and you still levitate and squeak - which is every bit as foolish as it sounds), then each and every bite is a mini surprise just waiting to undermine your enjoyment. So, much as I love green tea, when it takes the form of ice cream, there's a resemblance to pistachio which just seems all too discordant.

But surely cakes must be exempt from this difficulty? Especially pastel coloured ones. Perhaps the trick is to have a third colour like this one, to avoid any confusion...

three colour Hawaiian paradise cake
Picture: Chotda on Flickr

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Why Did The Capybara Cross The Road?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Picture: Claudio Lara on Flickr

A very purposeful capybara, who looks as though he is going somewhere very specific. I’ve been a bit intrigued by capybara ever since I found out that villages (in South America) sometimes have semi-domesticated ones that swim with the local children in the river.

That, and they’re effectively a friendly looking version of a Rodent Of Unusual Size.

Or a larger version of a coypu (which are entertaining simply by virtue of the incongruity of them being randomly escaped across East Anglia*. I guess everything has to be somewhere).

* Although it appears they have now been eradicated. Very disappointing (especially if you were a coypu).

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Dream Destination

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A long, long time ago, something caught my eye on, of all places, a wedding website. And it wasn’t an indie wedding without a moustache on a stick – it was even better! These miniature skyscrapers (skyhopers perhaps?) were so fun, but not in a pink-and-sparkly-and-cutesy-(oh-my!) sort of way. Insert odd sound combining a gasp of amazement and a sigh of relief here (and that’s a tricky sound, as making it seems to lead to breathing in and out at the same time, producing hiccups or choking splutters. Not so fun, that bit).

Here's a picture of what I found, so you can see how cute (but not cutesy) they are...

Picture: Kate Murphy via Once Wed

This wedding used them too...

Picture: Dave Robbins Photography via Snippet and Ink
 
I looked all over the interwebs for them. Which is tricky without even knowing what they were made of (I started out wondering if they were kraft paper), let alone what you might describe them as. And then I found... Paris

City in a bag from Muji

This little wooden cityscape would be lovely in a quiet corner of a bookshelf. It’s also the sort of thing I think would be great for kids– except it probably falls firmly into the category of things that their parents are far more smitten by than their offspring, and which are just a little too cool to be any good to be played with, and no competition for Bratz dolls or whatever unholy sparkly horror modern sprogs are onto by now.

And then, in a corner of the overload of fabulous stuff I have neither space nor justification for but still covet that is the MoMa Store, there were little cities in bags. In person. Of New York. Like these...
City in a bag from MoMa Store

Which leads to my thinking that with a bag of each, I could create my perfect destination. I’d just need to be very, very small to visit it. And it seems a little light on bakeries. Perhaps it’s better that Paris and New York stay separate – it gives me twice as many places to go. And at least three times as many pastries to eat...

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Not Like Eating A Garnish

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

When I think of eating flowers, I imagine nasturtiums, pansies, delicate salads, colourful garnishes... and perhaps rose petal macarons. I don't think of something like this...

Picture: Cupcake Envy on Flickr (and Cupcake Envy also has a lovely blog full of their incredible designs)

It's so perfect, you could almost expect to take a bite and end up with petals caught in your teeth. And it's not just a one-off - Cupcake Envy could start a cake version of Floriade. Now there's a thought...




All pictures from Cupcake Envy

They might not last as long as their less sugary cousins, but they're every bit as beautiful. And just as likely to result in envious looks from friends and workmates if arriving by delivery. And, best of all, they don't require a green thumb (but sticky paws might not be much help, either!).

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Monsters (Pens And) Ink

Monday, November 22, 2010

For those who punctuate with gay abandon (or those who just don't punctuate at all). And for those who don't use the spell-checker. And who don't proof read. And who talk about things that are quite unique... beware... Before you go to bed, check carefully to make sure there's not a grammar monster lurking beneath...

I love grammar monster

I use semi-colons monster

I know which monster

I use punctuation correctly monster

I bite monster
Pictures: all from Vozamer on Etsy (who has a very cool shop of monsters)

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Big Bamboo (An Epic Dinner, With Dumplings)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wonton abandonment – the shameless and unrestrained gluttony produced by the promise of fresh dumplings.

At the end of a long trip, there are suitcases to unpack, credit cards to resuscitate, dinners to cook, and work to return to. Just as well there’s also a lot of news to catch up on and friends to be seen, otherwise it might be enough to send a penguin hiding under the bed to escape.

Pictures: Me (before I gave up on the combination of fast-diminishing light and an iPhone. There were dumplings and chatting to pay attention to, after all!)

Given the potential for long and meandering conversations when nothing terribly much has been going on, after more than six weeks, a get together with the Stoat Appreciation Society was going to be positively epic. So, it was only appropriate that the accompanying dinner be of equally epic proportions. Bamboo Dumpling had been quietly lurking on my have-to-try-this-out list for several months, and the opportunity for fresh dumplings a relatively short pootle from work was too good to pass up.

The tricky thing when eating small-plate style with just two of you (it’s a very exclusive Society) is how to achieve a good mix of food without having to order far more than can possibly be consumed. The majority of dumplings of offer at Bamboo Dumpling come in servings of five (which can also lead to the no-you-have-it debate about the last item on each plate). To avoid being tossed on the horns of such dilemmas, banquet-style options are also available. Even better, those options don’t have the counter-intuitive requirement of a minimum number of diners. This, combined with a rare tolerance for snap-happy diners, plus the ability to actually book. For two. On a Friday night. made me wonder if Bamboo Dumpling was far too sensible to possibly exist in Surry Hills, and might disappear in a puff of prawn and lemongrass scented steam before our order arrived. Thankfully, no such horrors (or horrors of any other variety) ensued.

Two banquet options are available, one with dumplings and other little morsels as its sole focus and another, larger one, which takes in main dishes as well. Desserts (chocolate dumplings, anybody?) can be added to either menu for a little extra. Epic dinners aren’t known for their restraint, so the Sum It All Up platter was ordered, along with an extra plate of chicken sticky rice which was unable to be resisted.

The menu arrived in stages, which had the dual advantages of food staying hot until eaten, and having a hope of being able to remember what was which after the helpful explanations provided by the waiter. Crispy things came first. Light, crunchy spring rolls in both vegetarian and chilli prawn varieties, with a good wrapping-to-filling ratio and no greasy smeariness.

Hot on the heels of the crispy things were Peking duck pancakes, compact versions folded neatly into quarters. They were the perfect size to give a couple of tasty bites of juicy duck without any of the usual filling-escaping-and-sauce-running-everywhere messiness. Fun may usually be messy*, but I prefer my dinner to go from plate to mouth without also going all over the place (and definitely not all over me).

Peking duck pancakes at Bamboo Dumpling
Picture: He Needs Food - Peking duck pancakes (such beautiful photos, and in such impossible lighting!)

Then, there were a pair of neat little steamed pork buns, one apiece. I’m often the lone strange person at yum cha who doesn’t find eating a pork bun a non-negotiable necessity (other varieties of strange people are, conversely, much more common), finding them a bit too stodgy, starchy and prone to expand, sponge-like, once eaten. Which takes up valuable dumpling space. These versions were light and not too doughy, and their size gave them, for me, the perfect proportion of stodge to carnivorousness. If the ones at (the usual) yum cha were like these, I’d be a definite convert.

Next came juiciness, with one each of six varieties of dumplings (I did mention it was epic). Choosing a favourite would be entirely unfair to those little parcels, each of which was fresh, beautifully formed and very tasty indeed. At (daytime) yum cha, dumplings can be apt to merge into an amorphous enjoyable-but-not-individually-memorable experience – having a platter setting out each kind and eating them in succession highlighted their differences in flavour and texture. And, much like the first time you have fresh pasta, having fresh dumplings (that don’t stick to every surface and attempt to shed their middles) is a very different experience to the other kind. In particular, this was my first encounter with a soup dumping (xiao long boa) and, while its shape and slipperiness made it an occasionally elusive morsel, it was worth waiting for, and had a lovely depth of flavour.

Finally (eep!) there were the main courses – barbecue pork, salt and pepper squid, and that chicken sticky rice. As well as some plain jasmine rice and greens. The pork was densely textured with a sticky soy dressing. While I enjoyed its meatiness and that it was less fatty than many BBQ pork dishes I’ve had before, it was perhaps a little dry. The squid was tender and had deep golden crumbing with delicious, not too intense, seasoning. Some people might prefer a stronger salt-and-pepper flavour, but taken together with the other dishes on the menu, I thought it was very enjoyable.

Salt and pepper squid at Bamboo Dumpling
Picture: He Needs Food - salt and pepper squid

My favourite, though, was the chicken sticky rice. Moist and glutinous in texture, so that it could be eaten in little chunks, with morsels of richly flavoured chicken scattered throughout. It was the sort of dish I could cheerfully eat every night for a week without becoming bored with it. The sort of dish worth finishing every last vestige of, until no room remains for chocolate dumplings.

Chicken sticky rice at Bamboo dumpling
Picture: Culinary Cravings - chicken sticky rice

The promise of chocolate dumplings, though, gives an even greater incentive to return. Perhaps for a more targeted effort on the next visit, having greatly enjoyed the first traverse of the menu. Because more practice at capturing those soup dumplings should certainly be rewarded with chicken sticky rice, and chocolate dumplings...

Bamboo Dumpling
http://www.bamboodumplingbar.com.au/
140 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills
Ph: 02 9281 2522

* According, at the very least, to the t-shirts at the Paddington markets

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Chance Of Light Kittens

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Forecats... the perspicacious ability of felines to anticipate when it’s going to rain, when to get out of a sticky situation, and who doesn’t like them*.

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats
Picture: Tag Team Tomkins on Etsy

I just love this illustration by Tag Team Tomkins... they have all sorts of interesting quotes and things, which run more to irreverent than to cute – always a good thing. I like the idea of having a row of them framed above the bookcases in our spare bedroom. To make it feel a little less like a cross between a library and a walk-in wardrobe...

Pictures: all from Tag Team Tomkins on Etsy

They're a little bit of a cautionary tale, and a little bit of an incitement to mischief - perfect!

* Which, if you’re a cat, requires paying vast amounts of attention to these people, in an effort to convert them. Cats, it appears, don’t cut their losses...

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The Best Thing Since Sliced Boiled Eggs

Friday, November 19, 2010

One of the lovely things about a boiled egg – apart from that cosy oozing deliciously indulgent feeling and the rare joy of that coming from something that isn’t a baked item (or a pate, or... hang on, this isn’t going to work!) – is its elegant simplicity. Boiling water. Eggs. Done. No weird equipment, no tricky processes, and barely any washing up. Perfect.

And nothing inspires unnecessary attempts at improvements like perfection. So, with that in mind, I bring you...

Picture: Coffee and Vanilla

The boiled egg mold. Because you can’t just have a perfect boiled egg when you can have a perfect boiled egg disguised as a fish. Or a car. Like this...

Picture: Coffee and Vanilla

I’m torn – I love unnecessary kitchen gadgets as much as the next penguin (especially cute ones), but I can’t help but feel that not it detracts from that elegant simplicity. And portability. And, more importantly, creates more washing up – oh no!

Although it was interesting to learn that they are used after the eggs are cooked – more like a press than a mold, perhaps. I do wonder whether they have potential in shaping uncooked buns – like those hedgehog buns, maybe?

This one even more process and even more washing up. But the results are cute...


Pictures: Nico via  Just Bento

And, in case you want to nest food niches inside other food niches, just like a set of culinary matrioska, there are also egg molds for quail eggs. As to whether there are any for ostrich eggs, I’m still on the hunt...

Picture: The Food Pornographer

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Not Just Plain Vanilla

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Black sheep and baking... just can't imagine what it is about this picture!

Picture: CakeSpy

There are definitely days when I feel like the only one with sprinkles on. Or, maybe, the only one with glace icing...

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Eating In Midair

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Before booking the flights for our trip, there was a lot of researching various airline options. Did they have individual entertainment systems? How much leg room was there? Was the service reputedly dreadful when Trip Advisor was consulted? Did they have disproportionate numbers of (eep!) mechanical issues? Would there be any of the budget left to spend on the rest of the trip if all of the above were addressed, and did it really matter, given that air travel is at best, reduced to an vague inconvenience that can hopefully be slept through?

Food on planes was not perhaps a major consideration (especially after that shopping list of other factors), probably owing to my fairly firm conviction that it is generally, at best, inoffensive and, at worst, inedible (and also an inconvenience that can hopefully be slept through, and definitely not woken for meals).

Eye mask: Annabel Trends via Mini Travel Mates

There’s something very reminiscent of school about air travel – you get told what you can do, where you can be, when you can eat. You get in trouble if you make inappropriate jokes. The food, also, perhaps has certain similarities with the kind of thing I imagine finding in boarding school and that requires the existence of tuck boxes and the occurrence of midnight feasts. Sorry, accidentally fell into an Enid Blyton book. Back now.

Picture: Koadmunkee on Flickr (not exactly what we had, but it gives an idea - and flying is quite enough without starting getting out the camera, as far as I'm concerned...)
And yet, so many airlines are convinced that the way to deliver “superior customer experiences” (because air travel is also riddled with management-speak, generally in PA announcements at volumes able to be clearly heard by those experiencing temporary deafness, and able to cause temporary deafness in those who previously didn’t have it) is to overdo the food. They hire name-brand chefs to consult on the menu, and everything comes with a range of salty, fatty and wholly unnecessary sauces which, despite widely varying descriptions, taste like they came out of exactly the same tin.

Whatever you do with the food, the physical limitations of being 35,000 feet above the ground are likely to mean that simpler is better. Gastronomic experiences are better savoured comfortably in a restaurant rather than delivered, re-heated, in a compartmentalised tray. Not that I’m biased, or anything.

What I hadn’t expected then, was that airline food could actually be... tasty. Singapore Airlines, all the way from Sydney to Rome, successfully proved me wrong. The food for those of us not at the pointy end was better than most of what I’ve come across in my (all too few) trips in business class with (ahem) other airlines. The menu actually described what was available (because deciding solely on the basis of “chicken or beef” without knowing any other information rarely is an indicator of an enjoyable meal ahead), and it. On these flights, the (barely audible) rattle of a trolley prompted a thought that there might be something quite enjoyable. The Other Penguin and I actually swapped half-way through our dinners to try out the other option, which proved equally tasty. The chicken fried rice served for supper has particularly stayed in mind as just the right sort of thing for the time of day and the circumstances. And, while I still firmly believe that an omelette has no place whatsoever where a tray table is involved, the Singapore Airlines ones bore a resemblance to actual eggs which was entirely new for meals in mid-air.

Picture: Singapore Airlines omelette by Koadmunkee on Flickr

And Swiss Air, which I’d expected to be the budget-and-efficient leg of the travels, also turned out to be a pleasant surprise. It took the approach I am convinced all airlines (or at least, all airlines that aren’t Singapore Airlines) should subscribe to, which is the simpler the better. Also, Swiss Air had Swiss chocolate. And when a transfer through Zurich involves: Arrive. Hurry though terminal to bus, glancing briefly at snow-capped mountains. Do not collect $200 or any chocolate., this is resoundingly a plus. And it had sandwiches, fresh ones with warm bread rolls and pastrami. Tasty enough that even pickles weren’t offputting.

Picture: Roo Reynolds on Flickr

The other flights on the trip were more the sort of a vague inconvenience to be slept through. Continental on the trans-Atlantic leg was unremarkable, with an unsurprising emphasis on the pre-packaged. Continental across the US was remarkable solely for being, in both penguins’ view, a far longer flight than appropriate for having a paid food service. On a JetStar flight for a couple of hours, it’s a good way to not be overcharged for what you don’t need. On a five and a half hour flight from New York to LA, it’s not much fun. Even less fun when you discover how bad the options to get anything to eat are at Terminal 2 at LAX.

Air New Zealand continued the theme of vague inconvenience (thankfully, it also continued to be slept through, although only because the Other Penguin stopped flight attendants from trying to wake me up for beverage service). And Air New Zealand was remarkable only for being so much less impressive than its reputation, and my previous flights with them, had prompted me to expect. Both in terms of food and service, it didn’t hold a candle to Singapore Airlines and was well below the how-does-it-compare-to-a-Lean-Cuisine? test which is how I tend to think of airline food.

If anybody’s still with this post by now, you’ve probably got a pretty good feeling of how flying from New York to Sydney feels. I’m sorry I couldn’t bring you some chicken rice for the journey, but perhaps it’ll at least help send you to sleep! Would love to hear about any airline experiences you’ve had, and who you think makes eating in mid-air a bit less of a chore.

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That Sinking Feeling

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Disconcerto – music that gives you a distinctly unsettled feeling...

Jaws movie poster
Picture: Jaws movie poster via MoviePoster.com

Perhaps these are the solution?

furry earmuffs
Earmuffs: via La Vie Jaime (last year's Monsoon)

Although, given the current warm stickiness pervading Sydney, I suspect those are more indicative of my hankering after recently-departed colder climes. Penguin by name, penguin by nature.

Which prompts a confession, and maybe a small apology, for six weeks of scheduled posts - I've just returned from gallumphing far and wide on a thoroughly enjoyable, thoroughly gluttonous honeymoon. And so will try to tend to my poor semi-abandoned blog a little more regularly in person! The confession / apology is thus accompanied by a warning about the glut(tony) of eating-while-abroad posts about to be unleashed...

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How The Fairy Penguins Got Their Name

Monday, November 15, 2010

Do you remember in fairy tales how there were the fairies that came at the birth of a baby (usually a princess... for some reason, princes rarely attracted fairies) and bestowed virtues and graces on the new arrival? And then Malevola would turn up, uninvited, and start handing round the curses to accompany the canapés...

Well here’s something that never quite made it into the traditional version of Sleeping Beauty and all those others...

penguin fairy godmothers
Picture: "Fairies, Penguins and a Baby" by Rosa C. Petherick from Cafe Press

All those fairy godmothers that brought gifts to the baby... penguins, all along. And that’s why there are fairy penguins. They don’t just live at Phillip Island; that’s just their retreat for when the christening season ends.

Perhaps adopting a penguin for a new arrival would be a way to give them a little more unusual godmother, and bring them luck. Or perhaps it’s just a good excuse to adopt a penguin of your very own!

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Dancing With Cakes

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The dance studio we train at is on the top floor of a building (admittedly a short one) that doesn’t have a lift. You know practice is about to be hard going when the stairs seem to have expanded 10 invisible storeys overnight... clomp... clomp... clomp... splat!

These pictures, though, might be a way to find some inner reserves of energy to get up those stairs and through a quickstep...

Picture: Lara Ferroni (who also has the most beautiful, and hunger-and-envy-producing website) via Hello Friend

Picture: Laura Novak via Oh Joy

If I dream of dancing cakes tonight, I’ll know why...

Cake: Torte di Toni

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Yo Heave Ho, To The Bottle I Go

Saturday, November 13, 2010

However much sherry is put in a trifle, there are always some people who claim that even more would make it even better. Short of funnelling custard, fruit and savaroiardi into a sherry bottle, I question whether it might even be possible.

Given the trifle-eating cat’s trifle-eating tendencies, it can probably only be a good thing if there isn’t more sherry added to the trifle (the idea of stopping the trifle-eating cat from living up to his name is, perhaps, a fraught and unlikely proposition!). Although perhaps I should be relieved that trifle is the worst of his (numerous, if he could get them) excesses, and that he doesn’t go for anything stronger...

Picture: via terr-bo on Flickr

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Making Space

Friday, November 12, 2010

Perhaps the reason I can’t seem to fit everything in the wardrobe is because it’s occupied by an errant polar bear seeking a parallel universe...

Picture: The Fox and the Polar Bear

Or perhaps I just have several too many almost-identical black tops, and need to have a bit of a spring clean.

No, it’s definitely the polar bear! And the utterly daft amount of shopping done while gallivanting round all sorts of places has nothing at all to do with it...

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Stand Up For Cake

Thursday, November 11, 2010

There are so many lovely cake stands out there, and while I’m still very attached to my pair of jadeite Donna Hay ones, that doesn’t stop me window shopping – or whatever the online equivalent is called. These ones caught my attention by being modern rather than the usual vintage / classic / embellished look – and because of their name...


Pictures: via The Kitchn

They’re by Koziol, and they’re called Babell*. They just create this wonderful image of towering cakes and pastries piled enticingly in tiered heaps – rather than the more restrained arrangements commonly encountered at afternoon tea.

Or you could just have such a towering cake that it completely does away with the need for a cake stand...

Picture: myrecipes.com

* Yep, spelled like that.

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