Friday, November 4


" No, no, too many choices...where is that caterpillar when you need advice?"

"Ah, now that one looks pretty."

"I'll just get a little closer and read the instructions on it"

Dutch Drops

" Well that's a bit odd...but if they are good for the Dutch, ....just think how tall the Dutch are,.... then I'll have a sip. Anything to get me down off this window ledge!"

The new show at the Tate Liverpool opened last night. I wasn't there, but I will be going as soon as I can....
...............and taking grand girls with me!


We live close to the area south of the river, where Charles Dodgson was a vicar.
It was Alice who got us to move out of teaching and into our own art business.
Perhaps...I've just thought....we live in Wonderland!
The leaving of teaching is a long drawn out left alone!
Suffice it to say that Alice had a big hand in the doing of that.
This Alice is far from the sweet, innocent portrayal of childhood seen in Disneyish type films....
....though I have to say that I really enjoyed the latest 3-d version of it ...if only for the portrayal of the Hatter and the Red Queen.
No this Alice has spawned a multitude of confusions and madnesses.
Salvador Dali, Peter Blake, John Armstrong to name a few of the artists drawn into her spell.
The Times review this morning by Rachel Campbell- Johnson mentions ...."the spectator soon lost in the labyrinths"....of the show I presume.
Maybe it's all Alices' fault that we have built a labyrinth in the field at the back of the Potters House!
I'm looking forward to seeing the original illustrations by John Tenniel. I sttill remember the feelings of uncertainty I had as a child with the book and his illustations and not knowing in my innocence where they could have come from !

[Bottle care of the late Sydney....really does say that!  I have just looked it up on Google and lo and behold there is a bottle of it for sale on how "wonderland" is that!]

Wednesday, November 2

A Poem for Thursday.

Did they say the season is winter?

Low sun
through thinning trees
lighting up flies
with gold
hovering high
then dropping low
in autumn columns.

Apple green grasses
tastefully arrayed
 fallen leaves
streaked by low sun
in yellow strips.

Over all
eleven tall silver trees
in a family group
as if waiting
for the season to begin.

The W. I. workshop.

It seems ages since we had this workshop, but it was such a good one, I've saved it 'til I had the time to post. We've been so busy recently that I think more than two weeks have gone by since I used the blog!
Hope I haven't forgotten what to do!

This one, however, is all about those mighty women who are I think are known as...
 "The Backbone of England!"
We love having the local W.I. groups here at the Potters House studios.
And what with the opening of the Alice Show at the Tate Liverpool, then this is very apt, as these women live in that very area where once upon a time, the "godly" Charles Dodson was vicar!
But I'm always on my best cooking practice when they come...because even the mighty M.and S. take their cake ideas from the W.I. markets of the land.
So we start as we mean to go and hot milk with freshly baked St. Clements biscuits....oranges and lemons to you and me.

Then they get down to the job in hand of creating some ceramic marvels...always cared for by the potter himself.

But these are no slouches when it comes to being creative as this group has been before and entered some of their work in the Tatton Show...
 and ....hurray...won prizes.

Bodily sustenance in the form of lunch arrives at half past midday...

..and not a moment too soon as it's tiring work pulling and pushing clay around to get the shape that you want.

 Little french savoury pastries...and greek cucumber salad...

...Mary's favourite carrot and orange salad...

...potato salad recipe care of the german side of the family... and a freshly baked honey ham to go with them.

Then Dutch Apple pie made by the potter's a bit like rolling out clay!

Then refreshed it's back to the tables...though some have never left them...

 ...and  so on towards the finish at four.....

...when dry mouths can be once again refreshed with that brew at the heart of all Brits....tea...oh, and cake! 

...lemon drizzle and chocolate and orange gateaux....

The finished work is left to dry completely before baking in the kiln as usual.
Then the potter will glaze those that are ready.

...oh yes and did I mention the laughing and jokes they brought with them...quite reminded me of Aunt Helen!

Tuesday, November 1

The French Cook Book

This is my much used and much loved recipe book of Provencal goodies.
Well you can see how loved it is!
What shall I do when it falls apart completely?

Yes, yes it has a hole in the back, but fortunately it hasn't got to the words.
We all love it and it gets passed around when special recipes are needed....such as those this week!

We grew pumpkins again as usual this year...although they didn't do much, well that is compared to last year when I almost had to plead with people to take them away!

See what I mean?
And the colour isn't grand is it?
However that is what the grand girls had to work on this year.
We took the middling sized one down south last week and the other two stayed up north to be scooped and cut into scary faces and dragons!
Once the pumpkins have been artified the flesh is salvaged and turned into delicious foods.

That's where my cook book comes into it's own.

It's hard enough actually reading the words now after sooo much use...but we manage.
Pumpkin tian and French sweet pumpkin pie.

This is actually one from last year...just to show that it is coming down with seeds..."there will be a harvest next year"...that says. I always take the seeds and give them a good rinse under the cold tap to dislodge all of the one of the twins would say! Then in a baking tray , sprinkle olive oil and a bit of salt and roast them in the oven until crisp and delicious.
Anyway enough of this foodiness...lets get down to the season and ooops... come the scary people at the door.
Better let them in or there could be a "trick". Yes I have some sweets...some treats.

I'm making soup for lunch today from some pumpkin flesh that I roasted yesterday.
Normal recipe:- pepper...herbs from the pot outside the kitchen door and of course the pumpkin.
Oh and maybe a spot of cream in it at the end .
[I have to confess that this was the second lot of roasted I forgot about the first lot and ended up with charcoal!....some people call me "the burner" cruel!]