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Homely comforts…

Or not.

Having a few renovations done at Threesmallapples HQ so please excuse me if I disappear for the next couple of weeks. I’m trying to fight a cloud of dust and cope with the fact that everything I own is currently squeezed into the bedroom.

Also, packing takes a little longer when you’ve got (laser) cats…

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Enchanted.

An indoor but ‘outdoors’ Swedish forest. In London?

Yep, thanks to Rekorderling.

Of course there’s a DJ in middle of the winter forest… at least the winter forests in East London.

Sweden isn’t Sweden without meatballs.

Skål

Teatime!

In a not completely un-granny-ish move, I appear to have developed a fondness for tea. Not herbal tea, which fills my cupboard and makes ‘”do you want a cup of tea?” a question that needs a few serious moment’s contemplation before I can answer. Or Matcha tea, which might initially taste a bit ‘pond-y’ but is a brilliant green colour and a bit addictive. But normal tea. Builder’s tea. With milk. And one sugar.

Tea drinking isn’t something that I do very quickly. One of the reasons I drink herbal tea so much is that it’s still drinkable when it’s cold. No cloudy milk skin floating around grossing everyone out.  Drinking Builder’s tea means drinking from a small cup, and brewing a small cup of tea, with a normal sized tea bag feels a bit stupid.

So, with that in mind, it was time to find a teapot…! I had to discount the obvious floral numbers, because Mr Threesmallapples refused to let them in the house, so was feeling full of teapot-induced gloom, when a bike ride and a trip to the Tate uncovered this little beauty!

The Stump teapot by Forlife, available in 9 colours, and holds 3 cups of tea. Perfect for a bit of lazy Sunday tea drinking. Now all I need to find is a milk jug.

Last week’s civilised dinner party turned into a rather drunken affair, with 6 bottles of wine being consumed by 6 diners… Not quite sure how I felt so clear-headed the next day… it might have been down to Olly’s slow cooked rabbit with cream and tarragon (not a very helpful menu choice when I’m trying to be a bit more veggie, but very tasty!), or perhaps my slightly crumpled looking pear Tarte Tatin?

Unfortunately, no pictures exist of either dish (damn wine!) but luckily my roses, a gift for the hostess, lasted a bit longer than the food.

They definitely made the washing up much less painful!

Two Cake Sunday

For some unknown reason, I had an urge to make a plum and almond loaf cake. I don’t even really like plums, but I liked the idea of it.  Ignoring the cookbooks (not actually true, I flicked though a few of them and couldn’t find what I wanted), I did a bit of googling and found a blog recipe that seemed simple and idiot proof.

Unfortunately, it was a total disaster. I followed the bloody recipe step for step, but the result was a flat layer of slightly mushy, pink sponge. It tasted alright but it looked like something from a cakey nightmare.  I have to admit that I wasn’t totally surprised when it came out of the oven looking like a cake crash, as the quantities of ingredients used were a bit odd. How could a cake have 8 plums but only 35g of flour?!  And I couldn’t  actually fit all 8 plums in the loaf tin, so I probably only used 5. Pah! That blog can consider itself blacklisted.

Not to be deterred (actually, I was totally deterred but I still had about 3 plums worth of plum pieces left) I decided to try again, and this time I improvised:

150g butter

150g caster sugar

2 eggs

70g plain flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

100g powdered almonds

A squirt of almond essence

a handful of flaked almonds

3(ish) sliced plums)

Topping:

25g butter

40g light brown sugar

I mixed the butter and sugar together till it was pale and a bit frothy, chucked in 2 eggs and once that was all mixed together, I folded in the flour, baking powder, almonds and almond essence.

While that’s all going on, melt the butter for the topping in a sauce pan, add the sugar and mix it over the heat for a couple of minutes.

Put the topping in the bottom of the loaf tin, place the sliced plums over it, and then add the cake mix on top.

Bake the whole thing on 180 degrees for about 45 minutes, and ta-da! Some kind of Plum and Almond Upside Down cake.

I was so pleased with the result, that I’ve eaten about a quarter of the thing already!

And like all cakes, it goes very well with tea.

New favourite

Another wedding related post, sorry! I’ll have something new to talk about soon… but in the meantime:

Here’s my wedding ring!

It’s a tiny 2mm band, handmade by the team at the un-wedding-y named Rust.

As my engagement ring doesn’t have a straight shape, finding a ring to fit around it was going to be that bit trickier, so I decided not to bother.  Instead, I wanted a super thin band that would sit on the same finger without clashing with the engagement ring.   I also wanted something that wouldn’t look dull or plain on its own.  The carved selection at Rust was perfect.  Delicate enough to suit the setting on the E.R but detailed enough to hold its own.

Feels quite grown up to be wearing 2 rings on one finger… but I guess I have to grow up (slightly) sometime.

Lovebird

A present from the last person I spoke to, before I got married…

Links of London

Instead of wearing these charms on a bracelet, I put them together on a 16 inch snake chain.

Links of London

And look! The tiniest little lovebird inside…!  Thanks D. x