Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Haul

I've been spending a bit too much this fortnight, but I've g a bunch of treasures to show off! As well as haunting the usual op-shops, I've also been checking out Bermondsey Antiques Market. The market can be a bit hit-and-miss, and prices are certainly higher than at a car boot sale, but there are still some lovely items to be found, such as...
3 bags of assorted watch parts, including some lovely enamelled watch faces
and some faceless bracelet watches, which I'll be wearing stacked on my arm, kind of like those jelly bracelets I used to wear as a teenager. 
I also picked up a little round photoframe, a heartshaped spoon, a mid-19th century candle snuffer as well as this Coronet box camera loaded with film (below) from the markets.

These were found hiding in dark corners of various op-shops -
a lovely pale green and gold teacup and saucer, sitting in a box under a table. The cup has a faint crack, but I still love it anyway.
An 1820s Crown Derby plate! Possibly the oldest things I have at home at the moment!
And...a 'Lochs of Scotland' from Wedgwood, with 6 soup plates, 6 plates and a lidded veggie bowl! It weighed a ton, which is why I have a Manbacon around to carry stuff for me!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Quick and Easy Pear Tart

So, you really, really feel like dessert, but you just don't have to energy to head to the shops, and the thought of baking something is more than enough to drive you under the duvet. I was feeling that way a couple of nights ago, when this pear tart came to the rescue!

This tart takes hardly any time and effort to throw together, doesn't require any fancy ingredients, and is endlessly customisable, so you can always whip up a few if you've got unexpected guests coming over, or a last minute invite to...well, any occasion where you're likely to want stuff your face.
Easy Pear Tart (serves 4)

3-4 medium pears
about 2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
a knob of butter


- Defrost puff pastry sheet (if frozen). Preheat oven to 220C.

- Place puff pastry sheet onto a greased or lined baking try. Quarter, core and thinly slice pears; you can skin them if you prefer. 

- Arrange pear slices on the puff pastry sheet, leaving about 1cm empty on all sides so the pastry can puff up and form 'walls'. Sprinkle cinnamon, ginger and brown sugar all over the pear slices, then cut up little chunks of butter and dot them around the pears. 

- Place prepared tart in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and puffed up on the sides, and the pears are soft and browned. Let it cool down slightly, then enjoy it!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Epic Potato Salad

Po-tay-toe...Po-tah-toe...I love them! Mashed, roasted, fried, boiled, or, in this case, saladified (yes, that is the proper technical term for putting potatoes in a salad). This epic potato salad is solid enough to stand on it's own as a meal - we had it for dinner last night, with no accompaniments. It can also be made the night before, and served chilled at a summer picnic. 

It's the little chunks of bacon and chorizo in this that makes it so addictive. The little bits of meat are rendered until they get nice and crispy (even a little burnt), and then both meat and fat are added to the salad, for a subtly smoky, meat texture. I've made this salad a few times, with a few changes along the way, and since I'm sure you know how to make a potato salad anyway, this isn't so much a recipe, as a List of Stuff I Like In My Potato Salad.

List Of Stuff I Like In My Potato Salad
- bacon (lardons preferred)
- chorizo
- new baby potatoes
- sweet potatoes
- beetroot
- hardboiled eggs
- chives
- mayonnaise

The quantities are a matter of preference, and it's sooo easy to throw together that you're likely to find yourself making it all summer long.