19.8.14

Flower school and flower pizza

22nd September
At the shop
Tablecentres
It is a day for anybody who is interested in making table centres.
Whether you are a bride thinking about doing your own flowers, or just somebody that has a lot of dinner parties.

You will make 2 different arrangements in containers provided using two different construction methods. We will discuss the why and wherefores of each method, and the practicalities of providing flowers for an event / different shaped tables, and flower heights.

There will also be chat on linens and candles and other props, and I will also demo other ideas such as garlanding.

Morning coffee, cake, lunch, wine and afternoon tea are included in the price.

To book and to see other information click here.

I am also addicted to yellow courgette and cauliflower pizza.

I have tried many of the recipes, most seem to involve adding a lot of cheese to the cauliflower, and others that involve microwaving and drying it out first, which is all a lot of hassle.

The Hemsley Hemsley method works perfectly every time.

Their recipe
140g cauliflower
1 egg white beaten
50g ground almonds
40g buckwheat flour
salt pepper
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate soda

My "lazy" version

1 medium cauliflower
2 eggs
2 tablespoons ground almond
2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
salt pepper
1/2 teaspoon of bicarb and an extra bit for luck.

I can't be doing with separating eggs, or weighing out small grammage of things or having a leftover bit of cauliflower in the fridge.

In a food processor blitz the cauliflower until it looks like rice, add everything else, blitz a bit more.

Line a baking sheet, grease with olive oil or coconut oil and spoon some of the dough and with the back of a spoon spread it out into a base about 1/2 cm thick.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, at about 190 then flip over and bake for 5 more minutes.

I quite often use greek yoghurt as a base instead of tomato sauce, with leftover pork belly, ribbon of yellow courgette, a scattering of parsley and parmesan.

Bake for another 10 minutes.


14.8.14

School days

This morning i received the Old Girls' Guild newsletter. In it were images of the new home economics room. It looks like something from a tv studio, so very different to our day.

I wasn't very good at home economics, at the end of the Upper 4th i remember my teacher leaning over and saying

"I do hope i won't be seeing you next year"

Nice. She needn't have worried, there was no way Mother Hen was going to let me do cooking or drawing for G.C.S.E anyway, not when there was another science or language available xx This is an ongoing joke in my family, as well as the comment i made aged 8 when we were living in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales.

"I want to go to London, If i stay here all there is to do is marry a farmer and bake cakes all day"

Oh the sweet sweet irony of it all.

At school I could cook, i just had no interest in cooking the things in the SHS cookbook. Due to Ma Hen's interest in food and travel we grew up eating anything and everything. Except things like shepherds pie, which was the preserve of going to friends' houses for tea.

In the past i have worked for some great chefs and food companies.

It is A-Level results day, i think this is a sort of it doesn't matter what you do at school post.

It is also a flower school post, we are holding a table centre course in September. If you want to learn how to make something like the above details are being emailed to those on the mailing list on Sunday evening.

That is if i can work out mail chimp.

Sign up here

13.8.14

A wedding

The mother of this bride and I have previous.

We have done this before, for the bride's sister.

So it was an honour to be asked to do the wedding of Mike and Anna.

Roses, peonies, sunshine and morning suits.

A beautiful classic English wedding.

I think that last photograph is so special.

Photographs by Sarah Vivienne

12.8.14

The other side of the embroidery

On Saturday night Mr Naylor and I went to the cinema to see Chinese Puzzle Romain Duris AND Audrey Tatou. hashtag allthefrenchcliches. It is good.

In the film they make reference to life being like an embroidery. The first half is the front, the pretty picture, and the second half being the raw working side, less pretty but you understand how it all works.

And then last night we went to see Looking for light, a documentary about the photographer Jane Bown. In which she talks of a journalist who opened every interview with the same 3 questions. 1. What do you hope for? 2. Do you believe in god? 3. If today was your birthday what would you have for breakfast?

Something to think about.

The images are from Dartmouth, finally a chance to meet baby Martha, a rugby club BBQ with paella and pirates bringing freshly caught bass and mackerel in the sunshine with wine, and then gin on the deck, and a lunch by boat and more wine, raiding the deli and then a lunch at a vineyard, have the fritters.

"we don't live like this all the time" everybody chirped

I think they do.

and then back to land locked Rutland and some more mackerel. their sides slashed and their bellies stuffed with mint, garlic and lemon a la Marte Marie Fosberg.

I have to say i was a little sceptical of the cooked mint thing, i once had a disaster with roast chicken and mint. I'm all for raw mint added to dressings, salads, sauces but cooked is odd, but if it's good enough for Ms Fosberg. I went with a curly mint that has a more savoury flavour, predominantly because it was the one nearest the back door, and is least likely to to taste of extra chewing gum.

They were quite delicious, roasted in a very hot oven, because its less faff and smelly than char grilling and i didn't have a bbq or any rugby players on hand.

Served with roast tomatoes, everything is served with roast tomato at the moment.

and then you must watch The Lunchbox

"sometimes the wrong train will get you to the right station"

22.7.14

Ridin' around in your jeep or your Benzos

Summer summer summertime Dj Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince

It has been a gloriously sunny week too bloody hot, but the forecast for the weekend was somewhat apocalyptic.

My heart goes out to brides sometimes. All those cliff top Big Sur weddings on their pinterest boards, all those al fresco tables under festoon lighting. The constant checking of the weather forecast, Flipping between the iPhone and the bbc weather app, and going with the one that looks best. The contingency plans, the white umbrella hire company, and the cheery florist telling you it is good luck if it rains on your wedding day. Not helpful.

Thankfully this weekend it missed us
10 miles away apocalypse
here sunshine
Good times.

The sun continues to rain down on us, the yummy mummys have decamped to their homes in Norfolk and been replaced by the tourists.

The Americans are the most enthusiastic. You can blow their minds by telling them the shop was built in 1463.

To be fair it blows my mind most of the time.

We chat of the differences between the two great nations Sometimes they ask questions and i don't know the answer, it makes you realise how ignorant you can be of your surroundings.

I send them to the library for the answer

or if thats closed just make it up.

also German grand prix, best race of the season so far?

17.7.14

The world was on fire and no one could save me but you






There has been a lot of pink lately, and some starfish. 
Which smell,
potentially even worse than gyp.
Add stocks and mint

It is summer "add stocks and mint" is generally the answer to most problems.

and it is very hot (by English standards) which means that the whole town is animated. There is nothing we like more than a good extreme weather front to moan about.

People you have never spoken to in your life will cross the street to say

"hot enough for you?"

"we shouldn't complain should we? but a drop of rain wouldn't go amiss"

But we do complain, 20 degrees really is the maximum we can cope with here. We know what to do, what to wear.

Above that men start taking their tops off, and i mutter under my breath that this is not Puerto Banus.

Surprising how many people have tattoos that you didn't know about.

and then do you ever get that thing where you hear a word or a place and then it is all you hear for evermore? sort of like Deja-vu but nothing like it. There is town not far from where i grew up that I keep hearing, and then i had a enquiry to do a wedding there. Is it some sort of sign? Or am i part of a weird Derren Brown tv experiment?

Either way.

Road trip.

Chris Isaak

11.7.14

Of nominations and churches

Yesterday The Hound and I discovered this very blog had been shortlisted for a Wedding Magazine Wedding blog award.

I didn't even know we had been nominated, so being shortlisted is lovely. Thank you to whomever nominated us.

We are in the Wedding flower blog category. People who have never read this blog before might find us and think

"What fresh hell is this?"

We aren't exactly big on the wedding flowers lately are we? More grumpiness and the odd bit of food, an half hearted attempts at chiaroscuro.

So here are some wedding flowers from a May wedding, these were taken by my wonderful friend Clara Molden (who wasn't the wedding photographer) i hope to bring you the wedding photographs too with a bride and groom under the arch, and all the tales. It was a glorious wedding.

Bound to win now.

You can vote here if you like.

I should probably mount some sort of kind of campaign to gain votes, but i fall into the camp of self deprecation and awkwardness when it comes to this sort of thing.

8.7.14

My salad days

When I was green in judgment: cold in blood,
To say as I said then! But, come, away;
Get me ink and paper:
He shall have every day a several greeting,
Or I'll unpeople Egypt.

Cleopatra by Shakespeare

My garden is so very green, only the lavatera flowers, and as soon as it does I am out there with my  chopping it down for the kitchen table. I seem to have gone so terribly wrong in my planting scheme.
Of course the reality is that my garden is full of roses and cosmos the last of the foxgloves, hydrangea and the like, but I have to snip at everything. I can't help myself. At least you can eat greenery, with a roast chicken stuffed to the gunnels with lemon, garlic and rosemary. A light dusting of salt and pepper and a gentle massage with a bit of olive oil. The crisp crunch of the skin, offset by endless kale smoothies.

Also on the table, dead flowers, they dry in the heat, even in water. People always ask me about drying flowers, i don't know the scientific methods, which involve silica powder, those little bags tucked in bags of beef jerky and new shoes. Save them.

Or just leave the flowers in a vase in a warm room, and let them drink the water and dry slowly. Results  may vary.

and it wasn't until after i had emailed the bride that i realised the grey candles are wrong, it needs to be white, but taller.

These things matter, but to such a very small minority.

Which is easy to forget at times.