Thursday, 20 October 2016


Good Morning to you,

Have you noticed, when we pass people in the street, we are often privy to some lovely conversations, which aren't really meant for our ears, but we can't help but overhear. Of all the conversations which I have overheard, I have never heard a snippet of conversation, like this little gem.

This is what I heard, as I passed, two gents talking to each other.

'Let's round it up to a nice £100,000.00.  That is such a nice, round figure.'

I drew a gasp, which luckily was not loud enough for them to hear, and I carried on walking towards my car.

I was on my way home after spending a lovely morning with my friends.

.... and while I was driving home, I started thinking.... have I ever thought of £100,000.00 as a nice round number.... well the answer to that question, would be no, because to tell you the truth, I have never thought about the sum of a  £100,000.00. It is a number which has never figured in my life.

.... but let's pretend.  If I did have access to a spare £100,000.00, what would I do with it.

There are the obvious answers, such as, pay off the mortgage, share the money with our daughters and family and give to charity. I mean that goes without saying.

So apart from all the obvious answers, of which there are many.  If money was no object and I had this amount of money available to me, what would I spend the £100,000.00 on.

Being the thrifty person I am, I could visit the Pound Shop 25,000 times, spending an average of £4 per visit. Would I tire of that, probably, because although I am thrifty, I can't think of enough things to buy. So I wouldn't be able to spend my money there.

I could go to the cinema approximately 16,600 times. The problem with that is, will there be that many films which I will want to see.... probably not, plus I don't have enough years in front of me, to go to the cinema that many times.

I could buy 16,666 pairs of shoes at £60 a pair. Would that make me happy.  Initially, I would say yes, but after buying the first couple of pairs, the excitement would wear off and I would become bored. The pleasure of buying a new pair of shoes would then disappear.  

Then how about my garden. Can you imagine the amount of specialist plants I could buy for my garden, but I wonder, would I be any happier with my garden, than I already am. Would I look at each expensive plant and think 'How wonderful, I own a plant which cost £100, £200.... or even more'. I just know I wouldn't. I have created most of my garden, by swapping plants with friends and family, buying plants from car boot sales and the Pound Shop and discounted plants at my local garden centre.  My pride and joy, and only expense for my garden, are my David Austin roses,  but I have to tell you, each time I buy a David Austin rose, I feel a warm glow inside, because I just know the rose is going to be stunning when it flowers.  So I don't need a £100,000.00 spent on my garden to give me pleasure.  

In fact, my favourite gardening expedition, was when Natasha and I went to the Chelsea Flower Show. On the very last day of the show, the plants are sold very cheaply, so as you can imagine, this really appeals to me. Each plant we bought was such a bargain. You should have seen us trying to carry our roses whilst boarding the train.... it was hysterical. When we left the Chelsea Flower Show and looked around, there were so many like minded people, struggling to carry their plants, whilst walking towards the tube station. Also like us struggling to maintain their grip on the plants they had bought, and also like us, loving every minute, because the pleasure they would receive, when they arrived home with their plants in tact, would be immeasurable.

So if there is nothing I would wish to buy for my garden, 

.... how about a diamond ring. I have to tell you, I couldn't bear wearing a ring which cost so much money. I mean, what's the point.  Yes the ring would be beautiful and yes it would be sparkly, (and I do love a bit of sparkle) but would I be filled with joy each time I wore the ring. Again I don't really think so, and if ever George decides to buy me a ring, I'll wear it and let you know (truly I am only joking as that will never happen). So I can cross an expensive diamond ring from my list, as it is not for me. 

I've just had a thought.... another reason an expensive ring would not be for me, is, it would probably disappear just like my reading glasses. I'd put the ring down, then never be able to find it again.

The list could go on and on. 

So what would you do with a spare £100,000.000. 

I just know, you will want to list all the kind things you would want to do, but this is just a fun question, think of something frivolous.... I can't help you I'm afraid, because I'm still thinking.

So while we are both thinking, it is time to tell you, that the music I am listening to today, is taken from a lovely triple album which George bought me last Christmas. The album is called 'The Fifties Album' and it is chock-o-block with one of my favourite genres of music. It has been difficult to choose just one, but finally I have chosen,

sung by Nat King Cole.  George's father loved Nat King Cole and every time I hear him sing, memories of Bob come flooding back to me.

Now I have to tell you, today, there is no baking or cooking, instead I thought it was time to share with you the results of the garlic cloves I planted in September 2015.

You have no idea, how hard it has been for me, to leave them alone, but leave them I did.


a couple of weeks ago.... and look at these little beauties.  I am thrilled.

My friend told me that garlic grows in a similar way to onions and that when the stems start to look as if they are withering away, it is time to dig up the bulbs.  The important word is dig and not pull.

This is how the garlic looked in May.... very healthy don't you think, but not ready to be dug up.

Now between you and I, I think maybe I left them a little too long.  Looking at these pots, you would think there would be nothing to show for all my trouble.

So I was a little apprehensive when I put the trowel into the soil. I really should not have been worried, because this was the first little beauty which appeared. Out of the 5 cloves I planted in each pot, I dug up 4 garlic bulbs.... I am so pleased.

.... and the second pot which I planted still had the stems attached when it came to digging up time. It didn't seem to make any difference to the size of the garlic bulbs, they were of a similar size.

I have since learnt that I should have kept the stems in tact so that I could plait the stems.... lesson learnt for next year.  You can see how well that single clove grew into a bulb.

.... and if you are thinking.... ooh I don't like the look of those garlic bulbs.  Just take a look at how they look when they are cleaned and the skins removed.

I was so thrilled with these garlic cloves, that I used these straight away.  I tucked them into the cavity of a chicken, along with some quartered lemons and I slow cooked the chicken.

.... but that is something to share for another time.

If you would like to read how I  planted my garlic cloves, then  pop over and see how it all began. Give it a go.... honestly with the right planting conditions, you will not be disappointed.

Oh and before I leave you.  As far as the £100,000.00 is concerned, I still haven't thought about how I would spend it.... I think it is just too much money for me to think about.

Take care and I will see you next Thursday.

Thursday, 13 October 2016


Good Morning to you,

As you know, I adore Christmas.

I love the preparation that goes into Christmas. I love Christmas baking, the dressing of the Christmas tree, putting up the Christmas decorations and wrapping the Christmas gifts.... yes even the wrapping of the gifts.

So, as you can see, I really do love Christmas.

..... but what I really don't love, is seeing everything associated with Christmas, in late September/early October.

For instance, a couple of weeks ago, at the end of September, I walked into one large store, only to find, right in front of me, a display of Christmas decorations. I have to tell you, I was really shocked. After all, the children had only returned to school a couple of weeks before. Who on earth was thinking about Christmas.

Then last week, I went into a garden centre. I only popped in to buy some bonsai soil and it was like walking into a Christmas wonderland,  filled with Christmas food, Christmas trees, Christmas decorations and Christmas music playing. As lovely as it was, please not in October.

I then visited a card shop, to buy some birthday cards, and there were row upon row of Christmas cards. I mentioned this to Phyllis and she said "Ooh I had better go and buy my Christmas cards, before they run out" to which I said, "but it's only October, why do you need to buy your cards so early?" Phyllis replied, "Well, everyone buys their cards, as soon as they come into the shops, so I want to be sure I am able to buy the cards I like, rather than what's left. That is why I buy my cards early."

I was so surprised at this answer, because, I know I keep saying it, but it is only 13th October.

Nowadays, we don't seem to be able to draw a breath before another celebration is upon us. No sooner has one celebration ended, then we are thrust forward into another. The pressure on us to buy is immense.

When I lived in Cyprus, October was the month of changing seasons.  We still had warm, sunny days. We were able to pick oranges, lemons and figs from the trees, but there was a distinct change in the air. We waited with anticipation, because we knew the rains would be heading our way. We never thought about Christmas, we were more excited to see the arrival of the rain, than to think about Christmas. To see all the dust washed from the trees and to see Larnaca Salt Lake, gradually fill with water again, was a beautiful sight. We knew, that when the lake was filled, the flamingoes would return to feed again.... and this was a sight to behold. There was no reason to even think about Christmas during October. Nothing could be further from our minds.

So what about you?

Are you someone who buys their gifts early? Or are you someone who loves Christmas, but does not give it a thought until December?

Talking about Christmas, today's recipe, has a Christmas overtone to it.... but I promise you, the association, is only in the colour red.

Today we are making Peppadew peppers filled with goats cheese.  Now don't be deceived, these colourful little peppers are full of flavour. The smooth goats cheese goes really well with the piquancy of the peppers.  If you are having friends around and you just want a few nibbles, to go with a glass of wine, then these are for you. I promise you, when you present these peppers to your friends, the plate will be cleared in no time. So I would advise, make more than you think you need.  I always have some in reserve and nine times out of ten they are needed.

So it's on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to is, 

The first time, I heard this song, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.  I felt every word.... I love, love this song.... James is such a talented man. He won the X Factor in 2012 and from his first audition, you could see this was a very talented young man.  I have to say, he is the only winner whose name I can remember.

As I wipe the tears from my eyes, honestly, this song really moves me, I will organise my ingredients. Luckily for me there is only a couple, otherwise this would take a while.


1 400g jar Peppadew peppers
125g  Abergavenny goats cheese
12 mini vol au vents (optional)

You will need

1 large baking tray
baking parchment


I feel sure you have worked it out,
because it really is as simple as it seems.

Pre-heat the oven 170C/340F

I thought I would show you the jar of peppers,
so you could see what they look like, 
just in case you weren't able
to buy Peppadew.

Drain the liquid from the peppers.
As you can see, Peppadews come with its
very own sieve.

You can see from the size
of this amuse bouche spoon,
the peppers are quite small.

Remove the peppers from the jar and place
on kitchen towel to drain any
excess liquid
if you prefer use a colander.

Remove the goats cheese from the packet
and gently soften.

Now you can do one of two things,
you can place the goats cheese in
a piping bag and pipe the cheese
into the peppers,
you can be like me,
using a small spoon,
spoon the goats cheese
into the peppers.
If you pipe, you will find you need double
the quantity of cheese, because
you will be able to fill the peppers with more cheese.

Place the filled peppers on the baking tray
and don't worry, you will find most don't
stay upright, but that isn't a problem.
Pop them into the pre-heated oven for between 
6-7 minutes.

These little delights
come with a warning.

When you place them on a plate,
be very careful,
because, once tasted,
it is very easy to eat one,
then another
and before you know it,
you will be opening a jar to make some more.


You have no idea how hard it was for me to type Peppadew, I kept typing Pepperdew.  Even when I wrote the title on my photographs, I typed Pepperdew and had to re-do them.  I have read this through, but if the odd Pepperdew turns up, please forgive me.... I did try to remove them all.

As you can see I have included small vol au vents in the list of ingredients, that is because George likes to pop a pepper and then a vol au vent in his mouth.... its his northern roots..... he loves pastry, but I have to say, they do work well together. For me, I love the peppers on their own.  George and I are as different as chalk and cheese, but like the mix of pepper and vol au vent, we do work well together. That is what makes our life so interesting.

Oh, just in case you thought I was being paid to promote Peppadew, I have to tell you I am not.  I only recommend products that I love and use in my kitchen.

So take care and I will see you again next Thursday.

This week I will be joining,


As always,

Thursday, 6 October 2016


Good Morning to you,

I have to tell you, I am a tad excited.

.... and the reason for this excitement is, I am going to learn a new skill. I'm always keen to continue learning, especially if it has anything to do with a needle and thread.

.... and what is this new skill.

I am going to learn how to smock.

I had been thinking about it for a while, but hadn't acted on the thought.

That is, until last Tuesday, when I was talking to my friend Olive, at my sewing group.

We were talking about how fashions had changed over the years, and Olive, who is a young 88 years, told me about children's fashion, when she was a young girl.  We talked about how, Olive's mother would knit her vests and pants, using a very fine wool and the lovely smocked dresses, which were also made for Olive to wear.

I then said, I remember, when I was a little girl, also wearing dresses which were smocked and that in recent years I had thought it would be fun to learn this new skill.  If for no other reason than for the experience itself.

Olive then told me,  tucked away in a cupboard, at home, she had a copy of the Weldon's Sixpenny Series magazine, which  she kindly offered to bring the following Tuesday. 

I was thrilled, because as you know I love reading vintage cookery books and vintage sewing books.

So on Tuesday, Olive gave me a copy of Weldon's Quick and Easy Ways of Smocking.

I was thrilled.  I would guess this is a late 1930's early 1940's edition. My goodness, the cost of the magazine was 6d (pre decimalisation) or a tanner as it was often called. 

As you can see, Olive has made great use of it over the years and the magazine has come apart, but being the canny person Olive is, instead of sellotaping the magazine back together, as perhaps I would have, she has hand stitched the pages together. As I turned the pages, I realised, this was a really good idea, because it allowed me to turn the pages with ease.

So when am I starting to learn this new skill.

Well, I have a couple of quilts which I really must finish and then I am going to apply myself to learning how to smock.... or knowing me, I will be so excited, I will not be able to wait. I will read the magazine, gather my supplies, and before you know it, I will be in my element, learning how to smock.


I could attempt this elegant dress. On second thoughts, I think this would be a little too advanced for me. I have to say, this dress would look just a little bit fabulous, worn with a large brimmed hat. The perfect wedding outfit. I was just thinking, pop a couple of shoulder pads in this dress and this could be a 1980's design. They do say, with fashion, 'what goes around  comes around' albeit in a slightly different form.

I love the design of the collar  on these pyjamas and don't you just love the fluffy trim around the dressing gown.... take a peek at the mules... how fabulous are they. I can just see Bette Davis strutting her stuff, wearing those mules.

Well without a doubt, I am going to have to tackle this design.

If for no other reason than this is the Olive Design.  I will have to mention this to Olive on Tuesday. Although I have to say, on closer inspection, this does look a little complicated.  Maybe this design can wait until I have mastered the basics of smocking. I mustn't run before I can walk.

Do you know, I have a photograph of my father, as a little boy, wearing shoes like this.  They were made from patent leather and all the rage back then.  The shirt, was smocked with honeycomb stitch.  It seems there are a few variations to this stitch.

.... and this little girls dress is a work of art, it is so detailed, using embroidery, pulled threads and smocking.  Making this little dress would have been such a labour of love.

.... and finally,

I could not leave you without sharing a photo of one of my smocked dresses.  It's a shame, because no matter how I tried, I could not highlight the smocking. But if you look closely, you can just see the lines of the smocking. How about those matching hair ribbons.  I obviously loved my dress because I looked so happy.  I asked Phyllis, how old I was, when this photo was taken and she told me, it was taken in Cyprus when I was 5 years old.

Look at that fringe.... what happened there. My father used to think he was a bit of a barber and he would always cut my hair.... and do you know something, I always  wished he wouldn't, because no matter how careful he was, my fringe was always wonky. 

.... oh the memories.

Before I go, I just wanted to mention that Blogger has added a feature, which I have just started using. I can now feature past posts, which I think is a brilliant idea.  Last week I highlighted my recipe for Pear and Ginger Cake, this week I thought I would highlight my English Tea Bread. Who doesn't love a cup of tea with a slice of buttered English Tea Bread.

Take care and I will see you next Thursday.

This week I will be joining,

As Always,

Thursday, 29 September 2016


Good Morning to you,

I had such a funny conversation with George yesterday.  It's not the first, and I feel sure it will not be the last.

I'll set the scene.

After supper, I stretched out on the sofa to read my book. George took up residence in his favourite, big, comfy armchair.  He put his feet up, his earphones on his head..... you'll understand why, when I tell you, that he was playing Yahtzee, on his Ipad. For some reason, and one known only to George, he loves to hear the roll of the dice, when he plays Yahtzee.  Now that is fine for George, but I have to tell you, the sound drives me insane.  So we have come to an agreement, that when he plays Yahtzee, he wears his headphones, that way we are both happy.

Every thing fine so far.

About 15 minutes into the peace and quiet, George started singing to himself.

All I could hear was "Go Daddy, dum de dum".... and these are the only words I heard.  Now to say this wasn't distracting, is an understatement. As I mentioned, George was wearing his earphones, so the "Go Daddy, dum de dum" was very loud indeed. Now, I am not the type of person who can read a book with music playing. I love to listen to music, but not whilst I am reading.  When reading, I like to immerse myself in a book, but to do this, I need peace and quiet.

So after 5 minutes of "Go Daddy, dum de dum" I thought it was time to say something, as I was distracted from reading my book. You see, I had stopped reading my book because I was trying to recognise the song, George was singing. I think maybe I am being generous, when I say  "Go Daddy, dum de dum" was singing.  Anyway, while I was thinking, George looked up and said "What's the matter?"  I said, "What is the song you are singing?" George said, "Oh a Nina Simone song" Whereby I said, "What's the song called?" George said I have no idea, these words just keep running through my mind.

I couldn't concentrate on reading, so I put my book down and thought, I've got to work this out, otherwise I won't settle.

I said "Are you sure it's a Nina Simone song"

"Oh yes" shouted George.... remember he was wearing earphones.

I carried on thinking. I couldn't think of any Nina Simone songs with these words.

.... after a few minutes, I had the thread of a song, and I started my own "dum di dum" sound.

I had an idea, but I couldn't verbalise it. You know that little itch, when you know, you know the answer,  but your brain will not release the answer.

Then in a moment of inspiration, I sang "Take a dive and run to daddy".... I couldn't get the rest of song. All I could sing was "Take a dive and run to daddy".... but it was a start.

George stopped playing Yahtzee.  He looked up and said, "Don't think about it and the rest of the song will come".

A good idea I thought, because that is what usually happens, so I picked up my book, but I couldn't concentrate, the line of the song kept running through my head, without going anywhere. After what seemed like an age,

I sang, "Take a dive and swim to daddy, Take a dive and swim to daddy, Take a dive and swim to daddy, swim, swim, swim, to daddy". The word 'run' was wrong, the correct word was 'swim'.

Have you any idea of the song title yet?

So a little while later, I realised, the song was sang by Sammy Davis Jnr and not Nina Simone.

When I said this to George, he said as quick as a flash, "Ah but they were friends".

I'm not sure what that had to do with anything, but there you are, that was his reply.

So where did the song come from?

I could have looked it up, but I felt so happy that I had remembered the song.... it was a start. I returned to reading my book and decided to look the song up today.

.... but after breakfast, I skyped Natasha and told her the story.  In a matter of moments, she had found the song on the internet, and there it was, no wonder I remembered the song, it was  'The Rhythm of Life' from the film 'Sweet Charity'.  I love watching this film, but hadn't seen it in years. Natasha found a Utube clip and there was Sammy, singing 'The Rhythm of Life' with the dancers, dancing, in that wonderful 1960's way. Did we really dance like that?

Well I have to tell you, I for one definitely did. When Natasha was home last, I showed her how I danced, when I was a teenager. We had such a laugh together.  She asked George how he danced and he said, "We boys, didn't dance, we used to stand around the edge of the dance floor watching the girls dance". Which isn't true, in his youth George was brilliant at the jive. He could even dance a very mean "Bump". Do you remember "The Bump"?

So while we listen to, The Rhythm of Life from Sweet Charity it's on with the pinnie, because today we are making,

Spicy roast potatoes.  As you know I love chocolate and I love potatoes.... not together, although if I could make up a recipe including both, I would be very happy indeed. Now there's a thought for the future.

These spicy roast potatoes are perfect, with just enough spice to go with anything plain, such as a roasted chicken.... I have to tell you, I love them even when they are cold.


5 tablespoons of sunflower oil
1 kg floury potatoes
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes or powder

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F


1. Using a large saucepan, half fill with cold water.

2. Peel the potatoes and cut into half and then into quarters, then place into the pan of water.

3. Try to keep the potatoes the same size, you might find you will have to cut some potatoes in half and not into quarters. This allows the potatoes to cook at the same rate.

4. Drain the water from the pan, leaving the potatoes in the pan.  Refill with fresh water.  Just enough to cover the potatoes. Place a lid on the pan.

5. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

6. Bring the water to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the potatoes for 7 minutes.  You want the potatoes to still be firm.

7.  Pour the oil into a baking tray and place in the oven, as you want the oil to be hot.

8. While the  oil is heating. Place the rest of the salt, black pepper, coriander, cumin, turmeric and chilli flakes in a dish and mix together.

9.   Drain the potatoes.

10. Sprinkle half of the spices over the drained potatoes and toss, to coat the potatoes (this is why the potatoes still need to be firm so they don't disintegrate when shaking the pan). Add the rest of the spice mixture and toss again.

11.  Remove the tray from the oven. Using tongs, place each potato in the oil.... the oil should sizzle. You will find you have a little spice mix left in the bottom of the pan. We will use it when we turn the roast potatoes.

12.  Roast for 20 minutes, then turn the potatoes and sprinkle the remaining spice over the potatoes. Roast for a further 15 minutes.

When the potatoes are crispy, remove them from the roasting tray.

I would say, the timings are approximate, because all our ovens cook at a different rate.  What you are looking for is a crispy potato.

If you are a lover of spice, these spicy roast potatoes are fabulous.

Do you know something, it is really strange not sharing step by step photographs with you.  I feel somehow that I am cheating. I know I will get used to it, but having shared step by step photographs for over 4 years, it is very hard to get out of the habit.

Oh and before I leave you, guess which film we are watching on Sunday.... yes that's right, Sweet Charity. I can't wait.

Take care and I will see you next Thursday.

This week I will be joining,

As Always,

Thursday, 22 September 2016


Good Afternoon to you,

As you know, George and I love walking.  

I think it would be fair to say, that I am a fair weather walker and George is an all weather walker.

When it is drizzling with rain, he will encourage me to join him for a walk.  I'll huff and I'll puff, but eventually, I will give in and put my walking clothes on and go out with him. I don't know why I make such a fuss when it's drizzling, because once I'm out walking I really enjoy it.

So, having such unexpected warm weather these past few weeks, has been really lovely and I have been enjoying my walks immensely.

Last week, we decided to turn left, out of our house, instead of the usual right. We walked to the top of our road and as we turned, we could see, in the distance, a lady walking her dog.  Nothing unusual in that, but this type of dog I haven't seen in years.

It was a Bassett Hound and he was adorable.

We stopped and chatted to the owner and we discovered the Bassett's name was Gus.  He looked up at us with his big doleful eyes, and started wagging his tail and that was that, we were smitten. 

Bassett Hounds are such an unusual breed of dog, because I feel, their legs, although strong, are way  too short for their body.  I feel they should have longer legs to support themselves, although they seem to cope very well with their short legs. 

While George was stroking him, we stayed and had a little chat to the owner. One of the things she mentioned was that Bassett hounds do not like to be left on their own, and Gus was no different. Gus loves to be around people, the more the merrier.

.... but there is a problem,  the owner of Gus, has to go to work, so  you'll never guess what she has to do. She hires a dog sitter, who comes and stays in the house, to keep Gus company, while she is out at work. The reason for this is, if Gus was left on his own, for more than 10 minutes, he will show his displeasure, by continuously howling, and apparently he could keep the howling up for the whole of the afternoon, until she returns home from work. Which obviously doesn't please the neighbours.... and if you've ever heard a hound howl, you know it can be painful on the ears. 

I loved the fact, that she loved Gus so much, that she hired a dog sitter.

We stayed and chatted for another 10 minutes and then we had to leave.  If we had the time, I think Gus would have allowed us to stroke and fuss him all day, but we needed to get on with our walk and the lady needed to take Gus for his walk, because the dog sitter was due in an hour to keep Gus company while she went to work.

We said goodbye and George turned to me and said, 'I could just eat a liquorice allsort' and I asked what on earth made him think of 'allsorts' and he said, 'Bassetts Liquorice Allsorts' are my favourite.

George had used word association, to make him think, he fancied a Bassett Liquorice Allsort. Before meeting  Gus, he never mentioned anything to do with sweets. In the end, George didn't buy any Bassett Liquorice Allsorts, because once we were halfway through our walk, he didn't mention it again. Not even when we arrived home. So that was just a whim. 

.... but what is not a whim is,

my love of figs.  I adore them. As we don't live in Cyprus anymore, we have to forego the pleasure of walking into the garden, to pick our figs fresh from the tree. Instead, I have to wait patiently for September to arrive, because I know, for just a few short weeks, we'll be treated to a glut of figs.

I buy mine from the Grainger Market in Newcastle, because they are always big and plump and ready to eat. 

Grainger Market is a fabulous place to buy fruit, vegetables and meat.  I was surprised to learn that it first opened its doors to the public in 1835.  I remember visiting Grainger Market as a young wife with Sadie (George's mother) and Auntie Mim (Sadie's sister).  They showed me the best stalls to buy fruit and vegetables and the owners of the stalls always had a bit of cheeky banter with the ladies, which they in turn loved.

While I was waiting patiently, for the fig season to arrive, I was so pleased to see, in the August edition of Good Housekeeping.... my favourite magazine by the way, a recipe for Fig and Parma Tartines.  I'm always on the look out for new fig recipes,  so of course, I was eager to try this one.

I have changed the recipe slightly, to use the ingredients I had in the house. This is something I often do, because I don't want to shop for new ingredients.

So it's on with the pinnie. I have to tell you, I am really looking forward to trying this recipe, as the figs George bought are just perfect.


Serves 4

6 large figs, sliced
4 slices of date and walnut bread
250g tub of ricotta cheese
grated zest from 1 lime
8 slices of prosciutto
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons of runny honey
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


Place the date and walnut bread under a pre-heated grill and toast both sides until golden brown.

Place the ricotta cheese, lemon zest, salt and pepper into a small bowl and mix together.

Divide between the four slices of toasted date and walnut bread.

Top the ricotta cheese with 2 slices of Prosciutto ham.
Set aside for the moment.

In a medium sized bowl, pour in the balsamic vinegar, the runny honey and mix together.

Add the sliced figs, a few at a time. I added 4 slices. Spoon over the balsamic vinegar and honey mixture.

When the figs are coated, carefully remove from the bowl and place the sliced figs on top of the Prosciutto ham. 

I had some balsamic and honey dressing left over, so I drizzled a little over each toast.

I have to say, the toasts were delicious and my chief taster, George, loved them.

I thought maybe the honey would make the toasts a little too sweet, because a ripe fig is very sweet, but the balsamic vinegar and honey dressing was just perfect.

How could I ever have doubted the team at Good Housekeeping.

Take care and I will see you next Thursday.

This week I will be joining,

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