Friday, 26 March 2010

Ets Lion

This would have to be one of my favourite shops in Paris. Right near the metro Abbesses on rue des Abbesses.

It is a small and cute place which sells all sorts of sweet and savoury treats, plants, candles.... the list goes on and on.

A lot of the little gifts I send away, or take with me when visiting, come from this shop.

The staff are lovely and the atmosphere is magical.

It is like being a child again and finding an Aladin's cave of delectable delights.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Homemade Part 3

OK, so we have been making yoghurt and learning how to turn it into thick yoghurt.
The final steps involve simply emptying the whey that collects at the bottom of the bowl.

Emptying more whey, wait a few hours and empty more whey. Continue till yoghurt is as thick as you like it.

Eventually you will see a "crust" forming around the sides of the strainer. You can move some of that into the centre of the strainer to allow it all to drain more quickly.... or just leave it alone and let it do its thing.

Then decant into jars when happy with texture.

Very simple, just a little time consuming.

Oh, and by the way.... don't put anything stinky into the fridge while doing this (ie cheese, olives, fish, garlic etc etc) as the yoghurt will just slurp up all the smell and you will have a very interesting end product!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Homemade Part 2

I have had a few enquiries about the yoghurt I have been making. The general gist has been that people find it too thin.

You have my total agreement with that.

The way to turn it into thick yoghurt is so simple it is almost wrong.

When you have made the yoghurt and it has rested at least overnight in the fridge......
You take a clean strainer and line it with a sheet of thick paper towel (you could use muslin or proper cheesecloth if you like).

Place the lined strainer over a deep bowl and pour the yoghurt slowly into the lined strainer.

Cover lightly with plastic wrap and place in a cool spot, or in the fridge.

Every hour drain the whey. You can drink this, or tip it down the sink. Personally it resembles egg whites too much for me to drink..... slimey and gooey.... yuck!

After a few hours you will see that the sides are set and the middle liquid. At this stage you can scrape the set yoghurt from the side and allow the more liquid yoghurt to flow to the sides - or you can just leave it alone and let it do its thing.

When you think it has reached the right consistency for your taste, you can decant into small jars, or back into the large jar.

This method leaves you with about half to a third of the volume of the original jar of yoghurt.

I will update with pics as the stages progress. Keep checking in for each stage.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

A Sad Post

I have some sad news to report.

Our good friends in Sydney lost a member of the family.

I have been too "teary" to write about it before now. Every time I started writing I had to stop. It seems like yesterday that I was there and she seemed so much more calm and placid and healthy. Unfortunately, this was far from the truth.

These friends have hearts bigger than all of Australia. Ripley was a lovely puppy, but she had major health problems. They didn't care, they just loved her and cared for her better than anyone else could have ever done.

Unfortunately Rips life was cut short a week ago. After a horrible episode she had to put to sleep. A terrible shame, but a necessity.

I just know that if there is a doggy heaven, that Ripley is up there running free with Smeagol and is a happy care free puppy for ever.

Our animals really do become family members and it is heartbreaking when they go.

Monday, 8 March 2010

On the go

This week is going to be busy busy busy.

It is amazing when you step back and look at what you have planned in a specific time frame. Somehow it does not seem like there are that many hours in a week. I need to make time for homework in there somewhere and a bit of revision.

The cat is not going to be happy that I am out most of this week. He thinks that the world revolves around him and that I should be at home worshipping him.

I am looking forward to the weekend. Hopefully it will be as relaxing and nice as last weekend was. Dinner out, a visit to the movies, a wander in the sunshine with my love (the two legged one - not the four legged and furry one). Time spent together, which is a luxury for us.

One thing I will be doing this week is taking time to smell the roses.... or any flower that presents itself. Like this lovely hellebore that was growing in a friend's garden. So cool and elegant. Nodding its head in the wind with carefree nonchalance, as if to say "you can batter me with your power, but I will survive".

I took the photo with my iphone, but wish I had my proper camera with me as it would have been lovely to capture its translucent petals and vibrant yellow stamen with better equipment.

Sunday, 7 March 2010


Well, spring has arrived. And with it the last of the cold weather.

Just when the bulbs are making a brave effort to show their faces and dazzle us with colour in our monochrome winter existance.

The sun is very welcome, even though it has meant very cold nights and cold days. Everyone complains about Paris being grey and cloudy all the time, but at least the clouds do keep a bit of the heat down near the ground.

Time has been flying by as if it had wings. In the past week I have a new mobile phone (and new number) and have been learning all about "apps" that I can put on it. Just because I could, the photo of the crocus was taken on my iphone. Not the best photo in existance, but it was so pretty and just begged to be photographed. Now of course, I have discovered the photo apps and things are going to get a lot more interesting...... stay tuned.

Speaking of flowers and growing things. I had a great day of gardening with a friend last wednesday. We hacked into an overgrown and tangled mess of dead honeysuckle, ivy and climbing rose. Now there is air and light and the possibility of flowers from the rose. Flowers which have not been seen for a long time as it was gradually choking to death amongst the mess.

Whilst we worked - and sweated - my friends cat sunbaked and supervised from a sheltered spot.

Oh to be a cat......