The show held in the Mary Ward House in Bloomsbury is the most convenient for us though we traipsed out to Canada Water for their excellent show in March. Perhaps one year we’ll go to Brighton for their show there and we look forward to their fair in Marylebone this October.
Now that Josh and I are 87 and 85 respectively, over the years we’ve accumulated so many ‘things’ that it’s hard to find something to buy. Our four children are near to their fifties too so they’re in a similar position.
I find the Little Waitrose shops unsatisfactory as they seem to specialise in sandwiches and ready meals – none of which I ever buy. And they always seem to be out of stock of the specialities I’m after.
The nearest big Waitrose for us is at Brunswick Square but it’s often difficult to find a parking space and the underground car park is cold and miserable. Traffic is often very difficult driving to the Kings Cross store.
We were therefore delighted to find the new 18,000 sq ft Waitrose at Nine Elms which opened last November. It has a large easily accessible car park, a coffee bar – as well as free drinks if you have a My Waitrose card.
Situated in the rapidly developing new embassy district to which the US and Netherlands Embassies will be moving, once the rumoured 2000 homes are completed the store will no doubt be a mecca for foodies.
I’ve always been a sucker for kitchen gadgets and when we went to LAKELAND in the Centre Court mall, Wimbledon, to get some of their very good oven cleaner stuff, I couldn’t resist their Nutri Snack Cake Maker.
A small electrical gadget it bakes either eight small cakes or one approximately 13 x 19cm.
It comes with a few recipes. I first tried the Lemon and Blueberry cakes. The recipe tells you to remove the partitioning tray and bake it as one cake but I found it difficult to lift out and transfer to a cutting board. Also I decided to reduce the amount of sugar so the cakes weren’t sweet enough and I used too many blueberries, left over from my fruit salad.
The Pistachio cakes were the most successful. The change I made was not to grind the pistachio nuts too finely so that the cakes ended up with some texture. Josh though they could do with more cardamom – I’ll use ½ teasp next time instead of ¼ teasp.
We had the cornbread with my homemade chicken soup so I left out the chilli. I’ll try again with chilli and more sweetcorn.
For the calorie conscious each recipe comes with a calorie count and indication of fat, carbohydrates and protein and some recipes are gluten-free. Having lost so much weight when I was on a ventilator after my heart attack I am in the fortunate position of not having to watch my weight in case I put back some of the fat I lost. I do have to watch I don’t accumulate fluid though.
Altogether a success but it would be good to find some more recipes for the baker
It’s taken some time since my heart attack at the beginning of August to get back into everything I did before. Obviously, I tire more easily and it’s more difficult to concentrate.
But last week I settled down to refilling the freezer with a variety of home-baked loaves. Of course, it doesn’t taste as good when it’s been frozen but I always have a thin slice of one of the ends while the bread is still fresh and warm.
I still mix the dough in my good old Panasonic SD-ZB2502 bread maker but prove and bake the bread in my fan oven. I don’t like the tall slices you get when you bake bread in the machine and I think it tastes better my way.
The great thing about having lost so much weight, when I was unconscious and fed by a naso-gastric tube, is that I don’t have to watch what I eat as much. I still try to eat healthily, though.
Most of our favourite cookshops in London have vanished. John Lewis and Peter Jones still have respectable cooking departments, while those in most of the other big stores have shrunk.
In contrast, not only were there large cookshops in the big stores within walking distance of our hotel in the centre of Gothenburg , but there were at least five independent cookshops full of ‘don’t need but must haves’!!
And even with the unfavourable rate of exchange the prices were quite reasonable . Perhaps in Sweden they don’t only sit glued to cookery programs on the TV but they actually cook!! Judging by the amount of space given to cake baking and decorating, the Swedes are into cakes and pastries in a big way.
With all the wet weather we’ve been having, the herbs Josh planted on our balcony have gone mad – huge lovely sweet-smelling bushes.
The delicate white flowers of our coriander mean that we shall soon have to replant as once they have gone to see they will die. We will collect the seeds for next time.
I’m personally not that fond of the taste of coriander, but today I will use it to flavour my carrot and orange soup and for my Rogan Josh curry next week. Jane told me she adds fresh grated ginger to her carrot and orange soup – it certainly gives it a zing – so it’s part of my recipe now
We have two kinds of thyme – the variegated thyme is in flower – and we have both curly and flat-leaved parsley.
We mainly plant herbs bought in the supermarket but every now and again Josh scours the garden shops for more interesting varieties.
In the autumn, I pick big bunches and freeze them in little pots for when they have died back.