Friday, April 28, 2006

Chocolate Waldorf Squares

As promised to various cakeaters (delightful ones, I hasten to add) yesterday, I rootled around in my boxes somewhat earlier than anticipated and the recipe was where I thought and I am therefore able to reproduce it in glorious technicolor for your digestive delight.

The recipe was taken from an Essentials Magazine from circa 1991 as part of their Creative Cook Series and is by Rowena King

Makes 24
Cals per portion 310
Keeps for upto 5 days (yeah, right)

For the Cake

Oil for greasing
4 oz/125g of butter
5 oz/150g plain chocolate broken into pieces
1 lb/450g of caster sugar
8 floz/225ml of cold water
1tsp of vanilla essence
8 oz/225g of plain flour
2 oz/50g of self raising flour
2 oz/50g of cocoa powder
8 oz/225g of mayonnaise

For the Glaze

4 oz/125g of plain chocolate broken into pieces
1 1/2 oz/40g of butter
24 walnut halves dusted with icing sugar (so eighties)

Preheat the oven to Mark 3/325°F/170°C
Brush shallow 11"x7" (28x18cm) cake tin with oil and line with greasproof paper.

Place the butter, chocolate, caster sugar and water in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring until the chocalate is melted - do not boil. Stir in the vanilla essence.
Sift the flours and the cocoa powder in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Ad the mayonnaise and a litle of the chocolate mixture and beat until smooth. Gradually beat in the rest of the chocolate mixture.

Pour into the prepared tin then bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour until risen and firm to the touch.

Cool in the tin and lift out and peel away the lining paper.

For the glaze, put the butter and chocolate in a small pan with 1 tbsp of cold water then heat gently, stirring until smoth - do not boil. Spread the glaze over the cake and then chill for 5 minutes. Mark [and cut] into 24 squares and top each square with a halved walnut. Store in an airtight tin.

Bon appetit!

Friday Picture

Stella! Stella! A touch of the deep South brought to you this morning from the, err, deepish South. This weeks Friday Picture is called Bayou No 2 and can be found over at Minigallery. It's a little different from the Painter's usual stuff and is currently residing in the living room of Urine Towers above the funky Heuga patchwork we like to call carpet.

As we speak the weather is not quite so sultry in Plymouth but it is what one might call a delightful spring morning.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Oh, and another thing ....

I now have Heuga Carpet Tile Stalkers - hi to everyone at in the Netherlands.


Six years ago, when my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer in an advanced stage and was told it was inoperable I had something of a breakdown. It wasn't all connected with my dad, indeed it involved many strands of my life not least among them was the fact that at twenty-two almost twenty three my first husband left me seven and a half months pregnant with planned child number two (Surrealo Son). It turns out, although it wasn't revealed at the time, that he was having an affair with a work colleague and although he told me he was leaving because I was fat ugly and useless, the real reason was that he was actually in love with someone else.

I was left with two children who were brought up by me, my parents and later by me and the Painter but also with the conviction that I shouldn't have anymore children; this is a drastic decision to take at any age but especially at 23.

I spent the next few years at college and then afterwards supressing all kinds of feelings about children. The Painter was very ambivalent about them and just kept telling myself I didn't want them. Six cats should have told me that there was certainly something missing but I couldn't see it for myself.

When dad was diagnosed the world came crashing in on me and I realised that I wanted a baby as much as I had ever wanted anything and I wanted my dad to hold it before he died. The issue would be the Painter or so I thought. Becoming pregnant with my two older children had been easy and I thought it would be the same.

I became pregnant in about seven months (I realise this must seem easy to some) and was delighted. At eight and a half weeks I lost this pregnancy. I put it down to one of those things and got on with life. It took another seven months for me to get pregnant again again I was delighted and hopeful and sick and tired: I lost this one at six weeks. I think I would have been okay if my doctor had been different but he basically instructed me to go on the pill and to forget about having a baby for a while. I didn't want to do this for several reasons, my dad was still alive and I desperately wanted a home birth which I'd been supposed to have with Surrealo Son but had been denied by the circumstances. The doctor told me I was stupid for even considering a home birth anyway.

The treatment I got from the doctor led to a real deep depression, paranoia and agoraphobic type tendencies. I was a mess and things felt like they couldn't get any worse when Arty Daughter was hit by a car one evening after school. When I saw the windscreen of the car I was convinced she must be dead but she was lying in the back of the ambulance telling the paramedic how uncomfortable the bed was and generally being very hyper. The paramedic said it was just shock and a good sign in the circumstances.

I went into all the Xrays and scans with her and although she had a tiny fracture to her elbow and another suspect thing somewhere behind her ear she got better quickly.

I was a different kettle of fish - a bit of a basket case by now, I even found myself asleep on the floor one day - not long after I discovered I was pregnant again and had probably been when I was exposed to the Xray and scans. I dared not even cough or sneeze and was convinced every day that I was going to loose the baby again. I explained to the midwife, after a little while, my experience with the doctor and what I wanted and she was fantastic, organising everything with no recourse to the doctor.

There wasn't a single day in that pregnancy that I didn't expect it to end but it was lovely to look forward, too, with dad to the new baby coming.

Dad died on 14 December 2002, about five weeks before Lachlantheboy made a delayed appearance. I never got my homebirth, the delay meant they wanted me to be induced and I think with all the emotional strain of losing my dad and the continuing uncertainty I had about ever having a baby, I just wanted to hold him.

I don't know why I wrote this really. Just to tell someone I care about that I know how it feels to have hope and then for those hopes to be dashed.

I hope with all my heart that you get a happy ending like the one in the picture above.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Friday Picture

Well this is the little darling that was supposed to go up last Friday before it got bloggered. It was done two years ago but for some reason has never made it to the Painter's Minigallery site, for no reason other than it was simply forgotten. It somewhat unimaginatively called Tomato and is one of the Painter's Fruit Pastels collection. Some torn basil leaves, slices of mozzarella and little balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing and it's summer on a plate.
Not much time today, busy getting more carpet burns on my knees.
I'll leave you with that thought.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I don't know what it is about my two boys about from some shared genes which gives them anything in common but for the last two weeks Surrealo Son has been training Lachlantheboy to sing bananaphone when the phone rings. He did this inanticpation of his and Arty Daughter's trip to my mum's and the Pavlovian response he tried to instill did not really work. This morning though, it was enough for Lachlantheboy to utter the phrase banana phone to set Surrealo Son off down the other end of the phone. This in turn made Lachlantheboy chuckle. He has the muckiest laugh in christendom and other places besides.

For your delight and edification here is the offending Harry Potter version (sorry the embedded video didn't work):


I've been indisposed, sort of. I've been online but mainly climbing up and down my family tree which has me slightly obsessed at the moment. Hi Joanne and Lorraine if you stop by.
I was supposed to write up a visit we paid to Tanners restaurant and to update all you lovely people on the allotment and everything and there was the Friday picture I missed. Actually I did do it but the electricity went off just as I was about to post and when everything came back on I had been bluggered.
A very brief round up will therefore ensue, that way I might be able to get past this bloggage.
  • Allotment - not as bad as I thought; Parks dep have been stars and have strimmed and mulched with bark chippings the second plot we took over at the end of August just before stroke #2. One bench, a garden fork and a pair of garden shears MIA but apart from that all present and correct.
  • Tanners - fantastic lunch with excellent bottle of McGuigan Brothers 2003 Shiraz - super fantastic and belated anniversary present.
  • On the way back from allotment we arrived to find delivery man delivering 250 assorted Heuga carpet tiles that I bought as a job lot on eBay. We now have a very mental patchwork floor. It beats the brown tiles that we had put up with for 18 months.

I suppose I have been busy but my head feels funny again - stuffed up. So I apologise to anyone who has contacted me and been somewhat concerned (Ally, KW)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Brrr!! Blog chill

There's something virulent on its way around the blog world and I got my dose from Bad Aunt over at present simple. Cheers Bad Aunt. Apparently, according to

pearsonified, the indie virus is the virus you want to catch, although there is no known cure and the only way to alleviate your symptoms is to pass it on.

I'm not sure but I think Ally may want to avoid the indie virus if she moves to the country, on account of her fantasy chickens. No, I know she has never really expressed any desire for fantasy chickens, I just have an inkling. But it may be that it helps in the cultivation of her new homemade yoghurt. In any case if she does succumb, I'm sure she'll self medicate with a drop of the amber liquid.

Well, perhaps not and speaking of wells which I wasn't if the indie virus was accidentally to find its way over to Kitchen Witch she'd likely come up with some sort of powder or potion to combat it.

Finally I'm sure the indie virus wouldn't dare make its way to Kings Lynn because Stegbeetle is far to busy to be bothered with it.

More Baggage baggage

The Rules:
1. You can only say YES or NO!
2. You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone messages you and asks!

Taken a picture naked? : Yes
Made out with a member of the same sex? : No
Danced in front of your mirror? : Yes
Told a lie? : Yes
Gotten in a car with people you just met?: Yes
Been in a fist fight? : Yes
Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back? : Yes
Been arrested? : No
Left your house without telling your parents? : No
Ditched school to do something more fun? : Yes
Slept in a bed with a member of the same sex? : Yes
Seen someone die? : Yes
Kissed a picture? : Yes
Slept in until 3? : No
Laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by? : Yes
Played dress up? : Yes
Fallen asleep at work/school? : No
Felt an earthquake? : Yes
Touched a snake? : No
Ran a red light? : No
Had detention? : yes
Been in a car accident? : Yes
Pole danced? : No
Been lost? : No
Sang karaoke? : No
Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? : Yes
Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? : Yes
Caught a snowflake on your tongue? : Yes
Kissed in the rain? : Yes
Sang in the shower? : Yes
Got your tongue stuck to a pole? : No
Ever gone anywhere partially naked? : Yes
Sat on a roof top? : Yes
Played chicken? : No
Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? : No
Been told you're hot by a complete stranger? : Yes
Broken a bone? : Yes
Mooned/flashed someone? : No
Forgotten someone's name? : Yes
Slept naked? : Yes
Blacked out from drinking? : Yes
Played a prank on someone? : Yes
Felt like killing someone? : Yes
Made a parent cry? : Yes
Cried over someone? : Yes
Had sex more than 5 times in one day? : Yes
Had/Have a dog? : Yes
Been in a band? : No
Drank 25 sodas in a day? : No
Shot a gun? : Yes

Care of Cheryl with a very minor amendment. I'm a bit busy at the mo but will be back soon.

Farewell my lovely ...

More fantastic news and dwindling stock! I am so proud: Arty Daughter's image will now adorn someone else's wall courtesy of Mr Morris.