Friday, 28 June 2013

Magnificent Mackerel

Sorry meant to post this earlier in the week.
I mentioned that I had made rhubarb chutney and so needed grilled mackerel to go with it,
 as it is a perfect partner as the acidity of the rhubarb cuts through the oiliness of the fish.
Well success, local mackerel (its been a bit sparse recently because of the sea temperature).
And aren't they beautiful, we are so used to them, that some times I don't think we really look at them.

The iridescent colours and markings are a perfect camouflage against their enemies,
because when you look down into the sea its very dark, yet when you are under water and look up its almost silver.
Over the years I have often used them for inspiration, I did a massive mackerel when I was at art college in Falmouth, and in a typical student way used every medium possible, paint, chalk, collage, stitch.... will have to try and dig out a photo one day to show you.
These days I have got more selective.
This is an applique and embroidery one I did a couple of years ago, it now has pride of place over our bed, but I have also made it in to a card.

And last year I had some fun making felt fish, both as decorations and as a broach.

So next time you are about to pop one under the grill, consider serving him with rhubarb chutney (or gooseberry sauce) but first take a moment to admire his elegance and beauty

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

summers here!!!!!

Well at last a gorgeous summers day and an afternoon off! Wow that doesn't happen often.
I do love just pottering in the garden
This week I read that we actually have 10 different species of bumble bee, I had no idea,
to me a bumble bee was a bumble bee.
So today I looked more carefully.
There were all different sizes, some with white bottoms, some yellow and stripy, some were a more honey colour, some were fat and some were definitely more slim line.
I wanted to show you,
 but have to admit taking photos of busy bees on swaying foxgloves was not easy at all!

in he goes

delving deep

and deeper
Lets have another go
Pleased with that one

Ooh get me, an action shot!
and he's gone again

Bottoms up!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

I mean why, why, why do we use artificial colours??????

Have just had my first rainbow chard harvest,
I just love the colours, yellow, orange, ruby red and cream,

So we had them for lunch, in a salad with quiona, apple, cold sausage and a mustard vinaigrette.
Sitting at the top of the garden in the sun, it was a very tasty and impressive food miles ;-)
A chilled glass of wine would have made it perfect. Next time maybe.

Ruby chard and strawberries
Its that coloured vein going up through the green leaf that I find so beautiful.

And harvested the last of the forced rhubarb, the colour is amazing!
Have made it into a chutney to have with grilled mackerel tomorrow night, ummm yummm
And here is some colour to come, red currants, I love them at this stage, translucent almost like stained glass, with that blush of pink.
Oooh and one is ready, but will need a few more before I get a jar of jelly.
But luckily I am patient.
Arnt our natural colours amazing, and I do think that food at this time of year is just so tempting.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Gulls, Gulls, Gulls

I wanted to show you the character of my Blog Title.
Herring Gulls!
They are so common that I think we sometimes forget to stop and actually properly look at them.
And I think we should.
Last night I was down on Cobo and while Bailey and Chris were out exploring in Hippocampus,
 I went exploring with my camera.
There were lots of gulls around,
probably because of the Fish and Chip Shop (yummy, super sorted for Bailey!)
And they were all being very sensible in a gull like way.
Then I spotted this chap, if he were human I would say he had ants in his pants,
but I don't no what the gull equivalent is......
Sand hoppers in his wings.....
Any way he could not sit still.
He made me smile!

''Oh I wish that woman would stop taking photos of me its embarrassing.
Thats it, I am off!!!!''

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

To Bee or not to Bee...... oh crumbs I need your help!

 First I must apologise for really bad use of the the Bard! Sorry, but I do need your help.
My Aunty Janice and I are involved with a Flower Festival at
Its a stunning church dating back to 1048 ( I used to ring the bells here as a child, obviously not in 1048!!!)
But this lovely lady in the for ground is even old she is called La Gran' Mere du Chimquiere,
and is a pre-historic fertility goddess, brides still leave an offering of
money or flowers on her head, in hope of lots of children!

But back to the Flower Festival.
Our theme is Bee Keepers, and so we are using some props, hives etc, and felt it would be nice to have bees on the flowers, but the only one I could find on wires were far to Disney for me.
So the challenge is to make them my self.
Have ordered some piano wire, its strong but fine, cant be bent, but has a bounce,
so the bees should gently move.
  And below is my first attempt in Fimo. With baking parchment wings. 
He is larger and brighter than reality as I want him to be clearly visible

My problem is I think he looks more like a wasp.
What do you think?
What can I change to make him more bee like?
I just don't know.
Don't really want to dull the colour as I just don't think you will see him/them then.
Any ideas would really be appreciated, thank you.
Also do you like my Devon Blue Ware, I collect any with Channel Island names on it, so far have got Guernsey, Jersey, Sark and Herm but no Alderney, so if any one sees any when they are out and about, I would love to know.
Thank you for you help!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Fathers Day means Chocolate cake!

We were having Fathers Day for 3 Dads this year, and my in-laws were hosting two 11 year old boys from Chenobyl for the month who speak no English and sadly we speak no Russian,
 so I decided that I should use the universal language of friendship - chocolate cake!

 I started at 2 layers with chocolate butter cream and strawberries,
 and then thought, I want to make it more of a statement!
 so on went another layer
and another!  I think I will stop at four.

Now for some chocolate porn as the ganache icing is poured slooooowlllly over,
 and dribbles down the side.

 Feel rather pleased with it, now have to get it to the beach in one piece!
 Along with the wind breaks, Barbie, table, chairs and food, it's lucky our Ford Focus is like a tardis!
Even though the weather forecast was dire,
 it ended up being a beautiful afternoon at the Cup and Saucer (Fort Grey)

Happy Fathers' Day Chris, Nicholas and James
You see all those strawberries mean it is one of our 5 fruit and veg a day, so totally healthy!

Then Chris and Max (from Chenobyl) took Hippocampus out to work off the cake.
Happy Fathers Day to you all and I think its a cake my Dad would have enjoyed too, after all he was a huge fan of Cadbury's fruit and nut.  Thinking of you Dad xxx