scribbles tagged ‘food’


Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013 | tags: , ,  |

From a Goggle Translation in a Finnish discussion list:

  • 1.5 litres of fresh 3-4 cm long spruce tips (pitkiä kuusenkasvaimia)
  • 6 litres of water
  • a dab of champagne  yeast
  • 2 cups of honey

Crush the spruce. Pour the boiling water over them and allow to cool to lukewarm.  Add the yeast and honey. Let it ferment for 1-2 days, strain.  Spruce tips are rich in vitamin C and make a healthy and bright-flavoured mead.

SpruceBritish websites refer to this as “Spruce mead”

A fast-food version of this involves putting some fresh spruce tips in your Finlandia vodka.


2 votes rating 4.5

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shirking the shellfish

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 | tags:  |

PaellaI suffer from a lifelong psychological problem. The thought of scraping slimy things from shells then putting them in my mouth makes me feel a tad queasy.

Shellfish already removed from its shell, then disguised within a pre-pepared food dish, is not a problem.

Paella? Yummy!

Mussels in thier shells? um… err….ooo….ah…. excuse me….

This year I’ve made some progress. For the first time I’ve been able to eat, direct from their shells, some Scallops and some Oysters. Mussels are still posing a problem. Maybe the darkness of the shell has an effect….

Scallops    An Oyster

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Thursday, September 29th, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |

numb·er·i·cal /nəmerikəl/



1) Deprived of the power to feel or manipulate a number or series of numbers

“wendy suffered a numberical moment when asked to work out how many people it would take to eat 6 packages of  twiglets in 30 minutes”  (the answer was, of course:  ‘1, ME!’ )

2) Inability to perceive numbers

“When asked how many packets of twiglets are hidden in the back of your wardrobe? wendy numberically answered “MINE!”

3) Counting without direct use of numbers

wendy numberically asserted that there were a whole bunch of twiglets for sale in the Co-op”

“A guest in the wendy house numberically suggested there were loads of twiglets hidden in the back of wendy’s wardrobe” (not actually true because I’ve eaten them)


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gently swinging the house – 150th birthday

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |

Birthday cake for a houseIt was the sort of party where the men wore ironed shirts, ties and jackets. When a new guest walked into the room everyone stood up and rearranged themselves so that the more senior people in the room were sure to have a seat, with no fuss. The host constantly circulated checking and filling people’s glasses and making sure they were introduced to people nearby. I was glad I’d taken the trouble to wear my smarter clothes, a tailored boating jacket over white Jaeger jeans

As the amazingly perky 90 year old lady next to me showed me the plaster cast of her broken wrist and listed other recently broken bones she  smiled, adding that she was glad I was wearing slacks too. The chirpiness of her conversation was contageoius, and inspiring given the clear deterioration of her body

A Magician moved from table to table, playing a range of tricks and gently encouraging guest to talk with those people near them.  He wore a black suit with pink pink shirt, tie and pinstripes. I watched the magician, found out how other people knew the hosts,  mingled…

It was a real pleasure to be part of this civilised event, so different from informal parties hosted by my peers

Today I’m carefully hand-writing the hosts a heartfelt thankyou letter

Magician's feet

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cheese and ham sandwich

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 | tags: , ,  |

dreamy cheese is backNEWS!

From our eyewitness reporter, on the spot of a persian carpet in the wendy house

We can reveal that there was no – NO – bread participating in this sandwich event

Two large slabs of creamy Havarti were caught sandwiching a chaotic roll of honey roast ham

“Yummy” and munching ensued

Be careful out there, cheese sandwiching can be contageous

 PS 59 word post before the PS
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I grew some ratatouille!

Sunday, August 28th, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |

I can’t decide whether I first rescued this courgette from:

  • a potential slug attack, or
  • early onset obescity

CourgetteI slipped a seed into the sod last April. This chunky hunk has been brewing ever since

Now, don’t you think it’s a very pleasing size, shape, and colour? It’s also quite firm and smells very like ‘vegetable’, not at all like ‘book’

Ratatouille here we come!

PS 65 word post before the PS
I grew some ratatouille!
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Monday, May 9th, 2011 | tags: , ,  |

Raddish Crop3 mins from garden to tummy

My first crop was crunchy-yummy!

1 vote rating 5

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cheese with friends

Saturday, March 12th, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |

Carr-Taylor VineyardAround 400 vineyards produce wine in England

Driving the back roads from Dungeness to Reading I stumbled across the Carr-Taylor vinyard and spent a good morning in the sunshine with the staff and chipper terriers. We wandered around the Vinyard, sat and tasted wines at long tables in the wineshop, talked about the history and workings of their business. They made me feel like a special guest more than a tourist and shopper. They mainly sell wine through local stores because they can’t produce sufficient quantities to supply supermarket chains.

English vineyards produce high quality white wines, meads and champagnes.

English WineIt was good fun choosing different wines to bring home as gifts for different people,  Prune wine for my brother’s birthday, Elderberry wine for mother’s day, Ginger wine for cheese with friends…

This spirng I’ll be visiting the vineyard near Reading town, it has a beautiful chataeu – Stanlake Park

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may contain nuts

Friday, September 17th, 2010 | tags: ,  |


  • walnut and carrot cake
  • Peanut butter
  • wendy house kitchen
  • wendy house bed sheets
  • wendy house
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not the same place

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

All my adult life I’ve popped into restaurants, cafes, bars without being accompanited by another person.  yes, ALONE.  Iet out in public alone.  Somehow I’d managed to miss that this is not something people easily do.

lovelly foodThen Mr. London Street wrote a blog post encouraging his readership to eat alone. He mentioned that this doesn’t instantly appeal and may be stigmatised. At first I was baffled. What is this stigma? Why would someone not want to eat in a restaurant alone?  I thought, poor chap I wonder what is wrong with him to make him think and feel like that.  Then his readers comments showed he was describing something they recognised and understood.  A shared experience for many, though not all, of them.   

If eating alone in restaurants was once difficult for me, I’ve forgotten it. I have noticed how being a lone customer in a restaurant has changed over the decades. In the early 1990’s staff would show me to a seat out of sight, towards the back of the restaurant. As if a woman eating alone in a restaurant was indeed stigmatised.  In those days, with my mobile phone, book, and note pad I was happy with good light, good food and some table space for sketching. Now, in the naughties, I am more often seated near the window, as if the sight of a single woman eating in their restaurant is a positive thing.  Still happy with my notepad, handheld, book and now with a digital camera.

I drop by Mr. London St‘s blog occassionally because his writing appears to tap into something that his readers empathise with and admire. He lives in Reading town, but not in the same place I live.  He often writes things that his commenters empathise with, but I don’t. Consequently, his writing often makes me feel unique, even special. 


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Birds custard

Friday, February 26th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

Birds Instant Custard

why I love England #13:   Birds custard

It’s here , its   now and it’s not just for the birds.    In the US I  made my custard from egg yolks, caster sugar, cream, vanilla  and cornflour according to Delia Smith.   This involved time, skill and concentrtion. In the UK I get instant gratification from birds.


Birds custard
1 vote rating 5

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3 meals a day

Friday, February 12th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

Aquaintance: you are looking really lythe, you’ve lost a lot of weight* since I last saw you, what diet are you on?

Small Business Owner (SBO): the poverty diet

Aquaintance: [silence]

SBO: eating one meal every three days is a sure way to quickly  get really lythe

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van show

Saturday, December 12th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

Vin ChaudWhen  a large glass of  warm red wine laced with honey  steams in my hand as I sit infront of a flickering open fire listening to the gentle dreaming of my kitties

When I can pay the heating bills and buy food –

Winter is wonderful

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bringing home the bacon

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

Friend in Cairo:   we’re meeting a man on the street corner to pick up some bacon

DowntownWe loitered on a street corner.   An old mecedes pulled up,   a Egyptain looking man wearing very dark sunglasses,   smoking a cigarette, got out of the car holding an unmarked white bag.   He looked at us, at my blonde friend and called her name.   She walked over.

As a muslim country,  rearing pigs, slaughtering them and distributing thier meat is not a high demand business.   Listening to my friend and the man talk I heard the fear of the non-muslim.

Friend in Cairo: the children at my school think that you catch swine-flu from pigs,   they don’t realise that you catch it from people

The Christians keep pigs,   eat pigs.    Pig farming in Egypt has stopped.   My friend’s  bacon supplier talked about how his pig farms used to be hidden in the heart of christian areas,   or ex-pat communities (Americans) where the locals don’t worry about them.   But now, since swine flu,   it’s not safe, people break into the farms and kill the pigs.   Now he imports his bacon from other countries.

The man offered us a lift to our next stop, the Cairo antiquities Museum.   As he drove he told us his story.   He was a native born  Egyptian.   He left Egypt at 19 to live in the US.   There for 20 years.   His Egyptain wife missed home so they moved back in 2008.   He misses America.   He misses the way people drive. Business is getting tougher.   He talked to my friend about how she managed to find him.   They shared names and places, they were friends of friends in the community of non-muslims.

Picking up the Bacon was so much more symbolic than simply putting food on the table.

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high speed liquid emissions

Saturday, December 5th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |
Food poisoningWarning:   bad taste food post,   do not read on if you have a weak stomach.

Alone in a restaruant at lunch time in the daylight.   Local people, mostly Muslims, were fasting for Eid.    The sea food in this Alexandria restaurant tasted fabulous

I wisely didn’t eat the shrimps

The food poisoning was loitering somewhere-else,   probably the salad.   Such a tasty salad.    I had to cancel my camping trip in the desert because I needed to stay close to something that could deal with high speed bodily emissions.   Sigh.

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champers with that?

Monday, November 9th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

Mr Men Cup CakesThe day after my outstandingly fabulous Birthday party:

Spotty dog:   last night you said you were going to give up drinking, become a vergetarian, start cooking and join a gym

Wendy:   gosh,   I was in a good mood,   you realise this is a progressive plan,   one thing at a time,   each is conditional upon achieving the step before,   do you want a glass of champers with the mister man cup cake?

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bread winner

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

Shopping For DadMumzie drives to another town to pick-up the only Rye crisp-bread that Dad considers to be like real Finnish Rye bread.

The myriad of  quirky little things my parents do for each other shows they are still in love, 52 years after getting married.

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Yorkie is not WISE

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

This is the first in a series, YAY   A SERIES!   of   Wednesday Wendy Experience Survey  reports,   bringing you the scores on the doors on products and services that could affect your happiness and health.    

A recently published scientific  study gives preliminary indications that Yorkie bars are a consumer health risk when they scored a shockingly low* 23% on the Wendy International Standard for Experiences (WISE).      People in possession or a Yorkie bar should return it to the point of sale and seek a refund with compensation for emotional distress.

Study summary:

An expert Wendy** was given a Yorkie bar then observed while she conducted an end-to-end*** experience assessment covering

  • unwrapping
  • chunk-breaking
  • eating

The Wendy was observed completing the above actions than interviewed while completing the WES ©â„¢ questionnaire (below) by placing an X on the line in a position that  best described her experiences::

Absolutely Fabulous



Cover-it-with-a-brown-bag ugly



                                   Just what I need


Don’t see why I’d want to use it

You’d have to pay ME to use it


Take all my cash, and credit, NOW!

Squeeze, stroke, and lickable


Cooties, don’t touch IT!

Did I brake it or what?


Works a treat                  

I can  use it first time


training-required nightmare

   Snore, Snore, Snore


Fun, Fun, Fun

Its  obvious what it was going to do


it was full of surprises

FAFFAUCEP score of 21/90 = 23%


  • Unwrapping.   Successful.     Despite no instructions to talk out loud the Wendy talked out loud about the text on the wrapper.   Unwrapped in  7 seconds.   unwrapping involved no false-starts or error routes.
  • chunk-breaking.    Failure.   After attempting to break a single chunk off the bar with two hands and failing the Wendy resorted to using  the edge of the table to break the first chunk of chocolate from the bar.     Towards the end of the bar the Wendy used her teeth to bite-off single chunks,   this involved an average of 3-bites per chunk.
  • Dunking.   The Wendy added an unaticipated use of the chocolate bar when she tried dunking the bar in her tea between bites.  
  • Eating.   Poor.   we observed sucking (after dunking) and maximum range jaw-movements during chewing.


  • I can think of better ways to exercise my jaw
  • taste like fat with a hint of chocolate
  • OUCH,   that hurt the roof of my mouth

* Any product producing a FAFFAUCEP scores below 30% is provisionall designated a  health hazard by the Wendy International Standard for Experiences (WISE) .

** due to  research funding constraints  the data for this study was provided by one Wendy,  we recommend that at least 5, ideally 10  Wendy’s are used to enhanve the reliability and validity of published results.   We are currently recruiting volunteer Wendy’s to participate in future studies.   You can volunteer by contacting the Wendy House either through a blog post comment or writing directly to Wendy at Whendeee[at]hotmail[dot]com

*** purchase and pooping  process were not included in this assessment and may impact the FAFFAUCEP score either up or down.

Yorkie is not WISE
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Local award

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 | tags: ,  |


Awards for locals.   Awards for  pigs that have shuffled off this mortal coil.   Awards won locally to Lacock.  

  • Be ware of  the Chipsand.
  • Be firm with the Faggots.
  • Be bop the reared pork.

Local Award

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alan’s tips

Friday, January 9th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

Words of wisdom from a  specialist*.   This tip is bought to you courtesy of Dr. Wendy myself:


The makers of squeeze out of a bottle marmite have sacrificed the original flavour for a reduction in the viscosity levels that can rip the surface off your toast.


I haven’t worked out if I want spreadability or original flavour, currently I’m using the original unspread in clumps on my toast.



*  past tips provided by Alan the hairdresser.   Lucia the hairdresser, an anonymous  manicurist and Reading Police

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marmite binge

Thursday, November 27th, 2008 | tags: , ,  |

Marmite on toastThe strangest things can happen to an unaccompanied girl,

of an evening,  

in Reading.

Marmite binge is just one hazard that effects even the most un-pregnant of people.

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rustic pane

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008 | tags: , ,  |

stuffed fox and rustic breaddusty dry cold  rigid fox deftly holding a long-dead bird in yellowed teeth.

Rustic pane

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rum breakfast

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

Bakery sales7am on our non-sailing day on Ios while the rest of the crew slept    I found some deliciously  freshly baked pain au chocolate  in the port Bakery.   The merchandising of bakery goods at this early (late?) hour implies some party island requirements.

All day large ferries docked in the harbour and hundreds of young adults with backpacks and wheely-suitcases  rolled on and off.

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run, run

Saturday, August 9th, 2008 | tags: ,  |

‘run, run, as fast as you can,   you can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man’  

I have fond memories of this traditional story  (fable?)   at home and primary school.   Recently, I found this little chap in the canteen at work,   a real treat on a hectic day.   He escaped the hungry keyboard,    computer,   and phone but was no match for foxy silver-haired me.

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power bars

Friday, July 25th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

Not a euphemism for light sabres.  

Also known in the US as ‘Energy bars’.    Not a way of describing the throughput of electricity to an electronic device.  

High sugar-content (energy) biscuits in a bar shape marketed in the US as a lifestyle accessory for highly active  people (Walkers, cyclists, etc).    Similar products in the UK  appear to be marketed as breakfast bars and stocked next to the breakfast cereals in supermarkets.   I suspect they are breakfast replacements for fast-moving executives, children and aspiring anorexics.  

I’m trying a few as possible lifestyle accessories for my GREEK SAILING HOLIDAY.   Huuuuurrrraaaahhhhh!

A  local Holland and Barratt shop lured me in with this ‘Love bar’.   I subsequently discovered that the advertising is naughty  because Gillian McKieth cannot legally call herself a Doctor in the UK.    Her Dr. qualification is reportedly from a correspondence course with a non-acredited US University.   The Guardian reported on her naughty non-truths and misleading product information back in 2007.   In 2008  she’s still using the title Dr. on product packaging and making questionable claims about  their ‘health’ impact…    

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retched 24 hrs

Monday, March 31st, 2008 | tags:  |

also known as

 ‘why I’m never buying a kebab from there ever again’

‘BYB’ (Bring your own bucket)

‘almost enough to put a nice girl off a nice cup of Tea’   (6 different pint mugs full were promptly returned to the mug.   I have to say I was somewhat proud of managing to capture them in the mug)

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kebab and proposal

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008 | tags: ,  |

Kebab Shop Man (KSM):   are you married,   do you have a boyfriend?

Wendy:   No,   never married,   no boyfriend, its a long story…

KSM: I’m not married.   My family are all in Pakistan

Wendy:   You have friends here in Reading?

KSM:   these are my only friends (gestures to the 2 other staff members in the Kebab shop).   I want to get married.   I want an older woman (Looks directly at me)

Wendy:   good luck

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probably the best crisps in the world

Sunday, February 10th, 2008 | tags:  |

according an an American friend, a few Brits I’ve asked and Gary Lineker the crisps here are impressive.

I lost half a stone while living in the US  and my shoe-size mysteriously dropped from  UK size 7  to  6.   No more with the fat-feet!  

Can you guess why I lost this weight  and how long before I revert to my pre-US,  UK, sizes?  

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PMT treatment #3: sausage and smiths

Friday, February 8th, 2008 | tags: , ,  |

peperami sausage, John Smiths and 4 Eccles cakes can keep the menorrhea at bay

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Sweeny Todd

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008 | tags: , ,  |

Sweeny Todd offers a gigantic range of different pies at the pictured local Reading Pie Shop and a very dark film, most distubing gory visual details, I had to look away on multiple occassions and I’m not that squeamish.

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