Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Upon Vanilla Coffee, Spies, Soup and Spooks!

As you know, I am utterly devoted to my cup of tea, but for today, for my catch up, I think that perhaps a cup of vanilla coffee is in order instead. As much as I love tea, sometimes I like a little change, and nothing goes quite so well with shortbread as a cup of vanilla coffee!

Recently, I feel like I am suffering from skitter-brain. Skitter-brain is when you can’t get your mind to rest gently on any one thing. You feel almost in a flurry the whole time, and like you need soothing. I blame the weather, mostly- my mind tells me it should be cold and frosty, and it just doesn’t seem able to decide what it wants to do. The bbc told me it would be warm today, so I abandoned my winter coat in favour of my flowery raincoat- and by lunchtime, I was freezing! Also, I find myself between books, almost. I have been reading The Gentle Art of Domesticity, which is just the most inspiring and beautiful book ever, but you can’t rush it. You need to take it in little doses to really appreciate it. While I have been reading this I have run out of fiction…I always like to have some fiction on the go. There is a bookclub book that I should be reading, but cannot drum up any enthusiasm for, and there is just too much choice on the shelves. There are lots of titles I have thought ‘ooh, I must read!’ but can I think of a single one when I need one? I have ‘I Capture The Castle’ waiting for me on tape, but I want something else, too. A book to tuck in my handbag and take on the bus with me, pull out in the post office queue, and be reassured by, because it is there.

Now if I am not careful I am sure I am going to sound discontent, when really, I am quite merry. But I was just wondering, if I described the symptoms of skitter-brain to you, if any of you know the cure?! I am hoping it might involve hot cups of rose tea drank sitting in a violet scented bath!

One of my dear work friends is expecting her first baby, and has been having soup for lunch a lot. I have been following suit, and finding it really filling and comforting. The benefits of buying some soup for lunch are that I don’t have to make it, transport it to work, or have a whole vat left to eat up. The negative things are that it is expensive (I worked it out to be £40 a month if I had soup and a roll every day!) and I don’t have a vat left to eat up! So I have decided to compromise. I will treat myself to soup and a roll out once a week or so, and buy a few tins from the supermarket for standby, and also experiment with making lots of different soups and breads.

I was chatting to my Monday-Night-Friend about my newfound passion for soups, and she told me about this lovely book… http://www.amazon.co.uk/Soup-Bible-Soups-Inspiring-Collection/dp/075480240X/ref=sr_1_1/026-0260340-2518074?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1193759671&sr=1-1 it makes me want to cook my way from cover to cover!

Now then, what else? Well I am still knitting my pumpkin tea cosy. I am halfway up the second side, then it just needs sewing together, and a stalk and some leaves knitting…or maybe crocheting! Pictures will follow!

I have been baking. I love to mark the seasons and days, and so last night I cooked batch after batch of Halloween Cupcakes. I wanted to make some for Carl to take into his work and share, and considerably more for my work friends (there are only 3 other people in his department, and there are lots of us)! The recipe said it would make 14 cakes per batch of mixture, but it was closer to 9. I am using a chocolate cupcake recipe, and baking them in gold foil cupcake cases. Tonight I am going to slice off the peaked tops, and ice with chocolate icing, and sit one of those pumpkin-foil-wrapped-chocolate-balls on top of each. Oh yes, it is chocolate all the way!

My other Halloween plans include the carving of a pumpkin, by the light of which we shall watch The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I am going to use the flesh of the pumpkin to make pumpkin fritters with, and I want to find a few quiet moments to tonight to make a little card for Carl. It is going to be very simple- a blue card, with a white circle for the moon, and a black bat stuck on top. Inside? ‘I’m Bats About You!’ and it will be slipped into his lunchbox.

I also want to enter the puttery treat challenge at http://brocantehome.typepad.com/brocante_home/the-puttery-treats-challe.html my main problem so far is choosing which treat to post about! I have incorporated so many into my daily life, and they are all so scrumptious!

I am really looking forward to Spooks tonight! Captain Wentworth....sigh...I mean Adam Carter! I don't think I would make a very good spy, but I like to think of the spy-gadgets I could have! Knitting needles as defensive weapons? My kettle could be a secret radio transmitter, and my cake tin could hold all my essential spy gear....as long as there was room for my cakes too, of course! My masterly disguise would be a slick of red lipstick and a pair of high heels. Actually, talking of spies, I was working on the enquiry desk the other day, when a customer asked me about the next level of Pimsleur french course on tape. Sadly for him, it emerged that he had borrowed everything published, but when I checked the Pimsleur website, it said that spies use these language courses to prepare for posting abroad, so they can merge in with the locals! How exciting! Sadly my customer did not seem quite so excited as I was about a beckoning career in spy-dom!

Now I find myself with so many letters to write (I haven’t forgotten you Tash!) and so many blogs to go visit that I shall say good evening for now, and wish you all the most scrumptious Halloween in the world!


Anonymous said...

My, you've been delightfully busy, it sounds like! I know just what you mean about books - I've got such a pile of half-read books going on my nightstand that I can no longer see the alarm clock. But there are so many and I get so distracted, that it's hard to read just one book at a time.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog, so homely and cosy, I will look forward to reading your future post's.
I found out about your blog on Brocante (which is fab), and Im so pleased I did.
Bye for now, Melanie.


a pink-bee said...

Happy Halloween to you ! Wish I near enough to share one of the tiny loaves of pumpkin bread I baked up for today's tea and friends :)
crystal :)

Flossy said...

Thanks for the tip about those French tapes - I will have to go and see if I can find them over here.

Not for spy purposes, I am going to Tahiti next year! Even though they speak English for the tourists, I still want to brush up on my schoolgirl French :)