Friday, January 22, 2010

ladies of the hat

two days ago two very elegant women, dressed entirely in black and adorned with magnificent hats (complete with gorgeous handmade hat pins) came to celebrate the birthday one of them shares with edgar allan poe at the little brown house. they arrived in a limosine (what class!), came bearing scrolls, pictures of mr. poe, long-stemmed red roses and pierre the black poodle (he's really a stuffed toy but don't tell him that 'cos you'll hurt his feelings) tucked underarm. the birthday feast was very much in keeping with the mood of the day: french hot chocolate and chocolate almond cake.
what we learnt from these two wonderful "ladies of the hat"? that any day, but especially a birthday (even if it is someone else's) merits - no wait - demands a grand celebration. so follow the example of helen and sue - don your black lace dresses and wide brimmed hats and clinking bangles and toast to whatever-you-want with a hot chocolate and/or a glass of wine!
thank you helen and sue for your wonderful visit. you made our day xx

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

hildegard of bingen's intelligence cookies

hildegard suggests three to five of these be eaten every day and apparently, nerve cookies are particularly helpful for children who find fascination in thought outside of their school curriculum a bit too frequently. it is recommended you don't feed them too many though as it would be embarrassing for teachers worldwide to be outsmarted. on second thought i'd actually be very proud to precipitate a cookie conspiracy...
hildegard's nerve/intelligence cookies
1 3/4 cups butter
3 cups brown sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
6 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
2 1/4 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.add eggs.combine and sift dry ingredients.add to the creamed mixture.knead in the last of the flour.shape into rolls, wrap in waxed paper and chill thoroughly.when firm, slice thinly and bake at 180C.
this makes a rather large number of cookies, thank goodness. life would be dire were one to bake too little, go into withdrawal and rampage down the main street in a lack-of-cookie induced haze. if feeling feverish and unable to access a kenwood, we always have a jar of intelligence at the ready in little brown house.

the secret summer garden

our garden is looking so beautiful at the moment that i went a bit mad taking photos yesterday afternoon. it's really taking on a life of its own ... i keep waiting (slash hoping) to see a wild thing leap from behind the poppies ...

Friday, January 15, 2010

wanaka challenge warriors

the little brown house won't be open this saturday ... because we've got a team to support in the wanaka challenge half ironperson (heh-hem) triathalon! claire will be swimming 1.9km, tim cycling 90km, and kimberley running 21.1km. aieee ... good luck!

yum yum pig's bum ...

yay! after being swamped by pre-christmas chocoholics we've finally had a chance to restock our schoc chocolate cabinet (it's hilarious how many people come in here pretending they don't like chocolate and then, after tasting schoc, walk out with their hands full of tablets! we hate to say "we told you so" ...). the handmade pralines they've sent us this time are absolutely beautiful, there's everything from raspberry caramel to lime and tequila (that's the one i'm eyeing up).