Tuesday, 31 January 2012

red carpet glam

My Top Four from the Screen Actors Guild Awards last night, dear reader. Perhaps you think my palette a little dull? My apologies, I just happen to think these were the Most Gorgeous outfits. Of course, someone did wear a pretty apple green frock, and there was someone else in a vaguely slutty purple thing. But in my humble opinion these four ladies were the most subtle and the most elegant (or in the case of 'our' Rose Byrne, the most playful). Of course, my winner has to be Meryl Streep. Dressed by Vivienne Westwood (she who is a Dame), Ms Streep looked breathtaking. And Tilda? Well, of course I would still be happy to elope with her... xx
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Saturday, 28 January 2012

frozen taffy dessert

Another homemade dainty to help us pass these long, hot afternoons. It's delicious, dear reader, and especially delightful when eaten stretched out on the back lawn. (If you happen to be in the Northern Hemisphere I think it would be equally effective eaten fireside.) It's ludicrously easy to make and if my boys were still little it's just the kind of recipe they would have loved helping me throw together. As it is, nowadays they just emerge from their respective caves when the bell rings and inhale whatever I care to place before them. Of course, they were none to happy this afternoon when I cried, 'Hold everything! No one eat 'til I take a photo for baxter street!' They grumbled and scoffed, dear reader, but no time for placations. I had to move quickly lest the frozen taffy turn to gloop in the stifling heat. This recipe comes from Possum Pie, Beetroot Beer and Lamingtons, a gorgeous, quirky collection of lost Australian recipes that I'm sure I have mentioned before. xx

2 eggs
1/2 cup golden syrup
2 cups light cream
1/2 cup chopped toasted nuts (I used hazelnuts leftover from Christmas)
Beat eggs. Add golden syrup. Stir in cream. Place in freezing tray of refrigerator. When almost frozen, transfer to bowl and beat until mixture is smooth and creamy. Add nuts. Replace in freezing tray and freeze until firm.
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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

you're reading what??

Hello, dear reader, and Happy New Year. I have missed you all and hope you had an invigorating break (if indeed you did take a break). Either way, I personally have resolved to approach the year ahead with passion and zest and hope that you will join me...
 Over the break I ate more than my fill of chocolate (that dark stuff with the tiny shreds of crystalized orange peel in it. It gives me palpitations and vivid, alarming dreams in which I am often a vampire floating over dank Dickensian rooftops, and yet I persist). I also read quite a bit during the break and that got me thinking. Do you sometimes wonder what leads people to read what they read? Is it always those formal, erudite reviews? The Age? The New York Times? London Book Review? Total Girl? No. I'll wager there are all sorts of weird, serendipitous reasons why the stack beside our beds is always so... disparate.
Currently I am reading:
How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely. I am reading this because my friend who is a super, hyper, whirlwind, crazy-cynical painter came running to me with this book in his paw and waving it under my nose said with wicked eyes gleaming, 'You've gotta read this! It's (insert swear word) hilarious!' So I am reading it and it really is (insert swear word) hilarious.
Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow by Peter Hoeg. I am reading this because in the current kids' book I am writing (the one that I keep chucking at the wall and stomping on) the kids (god damn them) are going to Norway on a rescue mission (angry, exasperated sigh, must they really do this?) and I know NOTHING about snow or life in general in those fabulously stylish (and from my position here at the bottom of the world, remote) Scandinavian countries and my girlfriend gave me Miss Smilla and said 'this will help'.
Wildwood by Colin Meloy because I love the cover and it is printed on beautiful stock and it's hardback and, well, it just looks and feels like an Exceptionally Good Book...
Esquire magazine because an esteemed colleague in publishing said it's the only men's mag that he ever reads and my goodness if it isn't a jolly fine read. 
British GQ because now I have developed a taste for men's magazines (see above), hunting rifles and Tag wristwatches, and because Johnny Depp is on the cover of this one which, incidentally, is a couple of months out of date on account of the fact that it is a British magazine and I'm convinced had to be flown down to Aus, Biggles style, in one of those Lockheed P-38 twin-engine fighter planes and if you ask me that is remarkably gallant...
I'm reading (and loving) other stuff besides: The Monthly summer edition. Frankie magazine. Kill Your Darlings. The Crysalids (John Wyndam). The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary-Ann Shaffer), but I am aware that you have previous commitments and I don't want to keep you any longer than is necessary. 
Suffice to say, Happy New Year, dear reader, and Happy New Year Reading. It's lovely to be back. xx

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