Thursday, 19 June 2008

Midsummer.......June 21st Join me in a bit of magic

Midsummer............... the longest day of the year.

I have been spending much more time outdoors recently pottering about in the garden and keeping an eye on my 'planting calender' that goes by the phases of the moon, which I have to say I noticed great results! I became aware that the 21st of June is Midsummer, the longest day of the year..........

I don't know about you but this particular night/day feels just magical! Over the years there have been many films and stories set around this time......... I suddenly felt like I wanted to join in, find a bit of magic, sprinkle fairy dust, or spot those friendly little people at the bottom of the garden!

So today through to the 24 th I am pulling out all the magic and fantasy I can find and indulging in it! Why not join me? What films or fairy stories do you love? I am going to start with a true classic favourite.......

A Midsummer Night's Dream - by William Shakespeare

This is the movie version starring Michelle Pfeiffer and I just love it. It is visually beautiful!

Here's a little fairy tale of my own......... Fairies live at the bottom of my garden, honest they do! Or they did when I was a child and still lived in my parents home, every summer down at the bottom of the garden hanging on a small branch under our apple trees, was a small, envelope sprinkled in blue glitter addressed to me! My dad told me the fairies had left me a message and so I carefully opened it to find a delicate piece of tissue paper with a hand written note from the little people.......... How special I felt to believe the fairies had written to me, I am thankful fairies were made a precious part of my childhood!

A fairy (also fay, fey, fae, faerie; collectively, wee folk, good folk, people of peace
I don't actually collect fairies but have been given a few as a gift, this is one my grandma got me for Christmas, the wings are glittered, it looks very pretty by candle light...... Its one of my favourite figures
Peter Pan......Here is another film in my collection I Will be watching over the next few days, this film made me a fan of the story. The soundtrack is also amazing, It made me watch another peter pan inspired film 'Finding Neverland', which I also recommend. If you are interested in fairies, here is a link you may like.
Cottingley Fairies..........The story of two children from Yorkshire England who were believed to have photographed fairies. I recommend the film 'Fairy Tale a true story' if you would like to learn more about them. Visit the link above to see more of their fairy photos!And the final film on my magical list is Ever After, a re telling of the Cinderella tale, and another fav of mine, I hope you join me in the magic, id love to hear how you dipped your toes in fairy dust!

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I'm an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call:
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.

See you all again soon and have a magical time

Priscilla x

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

'The Good Old Days' Shortbread......

' The Good Old Days'......... An Edwardian Music Hall. That is the name of the production I have just taken part in, a lively show full of old songs such as Daisy Daisy, Beside the seaside, Alice Blue Gown, and many many more!
Before a production everyone gets asked to contribute to the raffle prizes, since a lot of the money raised really adds up when there are 'good' prizes (wine,chocolate) I try to come up with some different ideas, I have been trying out some recipes for Shortbread, and found one I really like, I decided to make some 'Home made shortbread from the Good old Days' and that is what I printed on the tag!
The first batch I tried the week before the production....... well I had to make sure they were just right! My family decided they were and 'hadn't I better make another batch to make sure'? They were all gone before the evening was out!

This recipe makes the most delicate not too sweet, addictive shortbread! Here is the recipe


250g (9oz) Plain Flour
75g (3oz) Sugar
175g (6oz) Butter

Heat oven to 160 C - 325 F Gas 3, Line a baking tray
1. Beat sugar and butter until fluffy
2. Sift small amount of flour into the butter/sugar and mix slowly by mixer or by hand until incorporated (don't over beat).
3. Keep adding flour in sections and mixing on slow until all flour is incorporated and Dough is formed
4. Knead lightly onto a floured surface.

5. Roll out and cut using cutters or shape into squares, or just take small round of dough and flatten with hands! This dough is easy to shape and looks attractive many ways!

6. Bake for around 20 Min's or until light golden around the edges
Note: Do not use margarine for this recipe, it does not turn out at all like shortbread!

If you try it let me know, I do love the taste and texture of these biscuits........

The Music Hall was a joy to take part in,I have some photos which I'll post another time, and more about the show. I even got to sing again! Alice Blue Gown....... oh yes and a young girl got my biscuits I heard, so I hope she enjoyed them.

What a week, all that baking has me searching for more recipes, all the old baking books are out again and I just love reading them before bed, does anyone else read cook books like a novel? The only trouble is I want to eat something afterwards! ha,ha
See you again soon

Priscilla x

Books I have read and enjoyed

I am counting down..