Tag Archives: Mother’s Day

The Tale Of Two Cities, Bristol & Bath.

Padlocks Of Love, Rocking Dog

Padlocks Of Love

Rocking Dog did a Mother’s Day post with the button ready to press. Alas, she thought it too cynical, bitter and twisted to post!

So indeed the over- gravy’d pub carvery meals have been served, Pandora mother’s day jewels given, Groupon breaks booked and nasty garage forecourt flowers bought up….the pink florally, over commercialised day is thankfully over for another year. Phew, I bet you are glad that this is the concise version!

I did have a lovely weekend and was lucky enough to spend time in two cities, so this indeed is the tale of two cities. Bristol of course is the city I live in, but Bath is the city that I sometimes hanker to live in. A small Bath stone terrace with handkerchief sized garden would be simply perfect!

Both cities have much to offer and though Bath is cited as a World Heritage Georgian jewel of a city there is in fact more Georgian architecture in its Bristolian brother! Bristol has just been proudly named as the most desirable place in the country to live. Creativity, food, technology, jobs market, lifestyle all have contributed to this accolade.

My weekend started in Bath. What better way to start the day than with A Bertinet Almond Croissant filled with blackcurrants and cassis. So much for my low carb’ mission! We sat in the sun delighting in all that is Bertinet. Andyman is not a shopper so he left little Liv’ and I to haunt Top Shop before heading onto older and more crumbly Bath. The antique market as always had lovely things to peruse. I particularly loved the tarnished pots and white Victorian jelly moulds potted up with grape hyacinths, moss etc.. How much more lovely than garage forecourt flowers!

Walcot Street (and onwards) is my favourite shopping street in Bath with a variety of interesting and importantly, independent shops. Shannon with its Marimekko fabrics and Scandi loveliness, Katherine Fraser’s lovely loom and weaving, Mebyl with eccentric old finds and Pencil Tree with mid century furniture are all great to peruse. Graham & Green have also set up shop on Walcot Street. I loved their gilded gate but wish their staff had been a little more friendly and welcoming. Heading back into the city there was a great display of Aesop products – no pink florally packaging in sight! These Australian products are often showcased in trendy restaurant and hotel bathrooms and smell TRULY wonderful.

We ended our trip to Bath at Selvedge Fair held at the Assembly Rooms. Everything was wildly lovely but mostly prohibitively expensive.

On Sunday the Tale of Two Cities took me to the harbourside in Bristol. Blue skies, sun and the feeling of spring in the air had brought people to the water. It is this fragment of Bristol which makes me most proud of the city. However back in time it’s history was much darker, and the port was a place to drop cargo’s of sugar from the plantations of the West Indies. Bristol’s merchants prospered and got rich on the back of the slave trade. Much much later my father worked in a stone warehouse close to the docks. The derricks would offload huge sacks of brazil nuts, peanuts, grain and seed. As children I remember clambering over these hessian sacks and watching as warehousemen tried to keep the mice and rat population under control!

On Pero’s Bridge I noticed that there are evermore love token padlocks appearing. Paris, Venice and Florence have padlock habit bridges. Authorities turn a blind eye for a while, but then when bridge structures look as if they may suffer under the weight of so many heavy love tokens they are cut off and cleared. Pero’s bridge incidentally gets its name from Pero Jones (1753-1798). He was a 12 year old slave boy bought by John Pinney to work on his sugar plantation on the Caribbean Island of Nevis. In 1784 Pero accompanied the family to Bristol where he worked as a personal servant at The Georgian House for the rest of his life.

Buskers, food stalls, skateboarders, sailors, eateries, museums and art galleries ….the waterside was buzzing! Thankfully I didn’t witness too many over gravy’d luke warm carvery plates!

The tale of two very lovely cities.

Remember the Rocking Dog creative huddle this evening 7-9. Delicious cake, creativeness and chat. Donations into the teapot with a proportion going to Fine Cell Work, training and supporting prison inmates with sewing projects.

Dock History,Rocking Dog

Dock History

Sun Blessed Harbour,Rocking Dog

Sun Blessed Harbour

River Station Eats,Rocking Dog

River Station Eats

St. Nick's,Rocking Dog

St. Nick’s

Aged & Wonderful, Bath,Rocking Dog

Aged & Wonderful, Bath

Mother's Day Pots,Rocking Dog

Mother’s Day Pots

Lovely Smells,Rocking Dog

Lovely Smells

Wonderful Weaves,Rocking Dog

Wonderful Weaves

Beautiful Buns!,Rocking Dog

Beautiful Buns!

Illuminating Store,Rocking Dog

Illuminating Store

Gilded Gate,Rocking Dog

Gilded Gate

Terraced View,Rocking Dog

Terraced View

Happy Mother’s Day!

Instant Cakery Frou'ing!, Rocking Dog

Instant Cakery Frou’ing!

Happy Mother’s Day to one and all! I wish I had my Mum still around (it’s been a long sad 29 years without her) but SO appreciate being a Mum myself. I feel truly blessed.

Youngest lovely daughter and I baked a Victoria Sponge this morning and I couldn’t resist a little frou’ing!

Have a wonderful day.

Victorious Sponge!, Rocking Dog

Victorious Sponge!

2015 Supper Versus Supper 1846 Style

Supper In A Jiffy, Rocking Dog

Supper In A Jiffy

Black Bean, Chorizo, Sweet Potato, and Coconut Bowl. This simple supper can be prepared and cooked in a jiffy and is truly delicious! taken from “Cut The Carbs!” by Tori Haschka. I estimate it’s a 10 minute prep’ time (as long as you have a good sharp knife to try and tackle the super hard sweet potato). Then it needs in total forty minutes to cook in the oven. Time enough to enjoy a glass of red and enjoy a spot of relaxation before the weekend begins.

For vegetarians the chorizo could be omitted and I think some cubed roasted halloumi would work well.

And the 1846 supper? I have finally made a start on transcribing an original 1846 recipe book. I bought it in St Peter’s St Peter’s Hospice shop in Cotham a few years ago, and it is truly one of the items i’d want to save if we ever had a fire (more likely a flood with a brook at the bottom of the garden!) I think it’s going to be an amazing, historical adventure with unknown ingredients, unfamiliar measurements and cooking methods. This little book with 141 recipe packed pages formed the basis of my daughter Sorrel’s university dissertation and it took her on a journey through the kitchens and dining in the 1800’s. It was fascinating.

The first recipe in this beautifully handwritten book has already had me foxed, simply deciphering the title. The internet has helped with being able to put in various permutations, and thus I think this first recipe is Frumenty. It is asserted that this is England’s oldest dish. Made from cracked wheat and milk it was sometimes served with meat, fish or venison. It formed part of the traditional Celtic Christmas meal and was often eaten on Mother’s Day. Servants were allowed to journey back to see their mothers on Mothering Sunday and were commonly served this dish to celebrate, and to sustain them on their journey back to their workplaces. In Victorian times it was served to Workhouse residents.

Frumenty features in Thomas Hardy’s “Mayor of Casterbridge” and also mentioned in Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass”. Carroll wrote that frumenty was the food that snapdragon flies lived on- how romantic!

This first recipe is anything but cooked in a jiffy and involves wheat being beaten for several hours to remove the tough outer husks! We don’t know how lucky we are. I am looking forward to finding lots of hidden gems in this book, and wonder how many recipes I will actually want to try.

Whatever you are doing this weekend I hope it’s a lovely one and happy cooking!

Carb' Bible, Rocking Dog

Carb’ Bible

1834 Recipe Book, Rocking Dog

1834 Recipe Book