“Dogs are our link to paradise.
They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent.
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden,
where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”
I have been mulling all day over an appropriate and aptly inspirational quote or saying about women for International Women’s Day…but after reflection and discussion…I don’t want a quote for today. I want every day to be a day to celebrate women and being a woman. Why should it be restricted to one day?
I do not think men should feel pushed out or left out because of this either. We are all equal…if this is to be true and evident in our lives then let’s make it so. Then, women should be celebrated and respected in all that we do in every day that we are. And yes, we do need the international day to remind us, and spur us on… but that does not mean we stop thinking about it for the rest of the year.
Burgers. The king of fast food, and now the king of the gourmet fast food. There are so many choices when a hunger for a burger kicks in, where do you start? I love a burger and have narrowed it down to my favourite three in London and I am sharing these with you.
3. Honky Tonk
This American style dinner does burgers, hot dogs and cocktails. I go for the chicken burger here, its well-proportioned, the bun is a brioche bun which is soft and adds a sweetness. There is lots of filling and everything is well flavoured and compliments each other. Mr Elf has a beef burger and there is a little bit of slip and slide going on but he is very happy with the taste.
2. Blues Kitchen
These guys have a few restaurants now, and are spreading across London. They are always beautiful inside and really do feel lovely to be in. The menu is compact but there is a burger special that changes every month. I opt of the cheese burger. It is well formed, delicious, not too much cheese and everything tastes fresh. Blues Kitchen have a range of their own sauces as well I used the BBQ ketchup and it was perfect. There is a good bun to burger ratio and it is not over cheesed.
Coming in at number one…the one… the only…
1. Honest Burger
Ah…what can I say to sum up an Honest Burger. It is a wonderful thing of beauty. Be warned after trying one of these…no burger will live up to them. The patty is perfectly seasoned and cooked to order, it’s juicy and tender. The signature burger, The Honest, is wonderful. I know we are talking burgers, but the chips at Honest are also just divine! Crispy, hot, covered in Rosemary and some how tasting like summer. Everything perfectly balanced, fresh and just amazing.
A special mention that is not in London but in Windsor is Flaming Cow. Beautiful and unusual burgers a definite contender for the crown! The Red Neck is a thing of wonder.
Two bubbles in a crystal bowl appear
Born separately: round the opposing rims
Each for awhile in a charmed circle swims,
And shuns the other’s touch, as if in fear.
A gold-fish rising breaks the mimic mere;
A thwart tide, traversing the surface, dims
The placid water: from the distant brims
The bubbles swept together are one sphere!
They might have perished singly; might have known
Life but not love, and living separate
Have ceased imperfect, sundered mate from mate;
And thou and I have walked the world alone,
And died so, if the strong storm had not blown
That swept us hither on the tides of fate.
Other lovely readings that we also love.
“I have for the first time found what I can truly love – I have found you. You are my sympathy – my better self – my good angel; I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my center and spring of life, wraps my existence about you – and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”
“Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don’t blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being ‘in love’, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.”
“It has made me better loving you… it has made me wiser, and easier, and — I won’t pretend to deny — brighter and nicer and even stronger. I used to want a great many things before, and to be angry that I didn’t have them. Theoretically I was satisfied, as I once told you. I flattered myself I had limited my wants. But I was subject to irritation; I used to have morbid, sterile, hateful fits of hunger, of desire. Now I really am satisfied, because I can’t think of anything better.”
We would love you to suggest your favorites or recommendations.
Inspired by Bake Off? Bubbling with anger over the changes that are to come? Or just fancy a bit of a bake… why not have a try at this super simple bread recipe.
I’m feeling a little heart ache that my favourites are no longer going to be part of Bake Off… so to plug that gap I am trying to bake myself some bread. I’ve never done this without the aid of a machine or sourdough starter. After a little research I come up with what seems to be an easy to follow simple recipe for a white loaf and given it a little tweak.
500g plain white flour (you will need a little bit extra for dusting)
1 tsp salt
7g fast-action yeast
3 tbsp olive oil
300ml warm water
1.5 tbsp poppy seeds
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Create a small well in the centre and add the oil and the water, make sure the water is warm not hot.
Tip onto a floured bench. Knead the dough until it is smooth and soft. Flour a proofing basket, or place in a lightly oiled mixing bowl. Leave to rise for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.
Knock back the dough. If you haven’t done this before, the aim is to remove the larger air bubbles, I like to gently pull the edges of the dough into the middle and press in. Line a baking tray with baking paper, shape the dough into a ball and place on the tray. Leave to rise for a further hour or until doubled in size.
Heat your oven to 220c or gas mark 7. Make sure the oven is hot before you put the dough into the oven.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until a nice golden crust and the bread sounds hollow when you tap it.
Cool on a wire rack…or cut right in!
My favourite place for recipes is the BBC Good Food site, have a look and get inspired.
I love the smell of proofing bread! It is homely, warm and almost as good as the finished thing! Take a moment to enjoy this moment, it’s a thing of beauty that we have managed to create this wonderful reaction.
I spread butter and vegemite on my bread whilst it is warm and…it….is…. wonderful. even if I am blowing my own trumpet.
Don’t feel you have to stick to poppy seeds, you could sprinkle pumpkin seeds on the top before you bake, or mix in some dried tomatoes and basil. Or try a sweet option, maybe some honey or dried cherries. Delicious!