Thursday, 9 June 2011

It's all about cake!

Well, cake, what's not to like! On a recent flying visit to celebrate her 25th Wedding anniversary my best friend Vera and I were astonished by this amazing cake in the Ettrick Bay Tearoom:
The biggest Victoria Sponge in the World - well, Isle of Bute anyway!

Believe me, the pic doesn't do it justice - it was enormous and it tasted as good as it looked. Baked by the proprietor of the Tearoom, Alex, it was a revelation! Sponge light as a feather, fresh, thick and delicious double cream and delicious strawberry jam. Cannot recommend Alex and his cakes highly enough.
Just one slice - almost not enough!

And in celebration of Vera and Paul (her lovely hubby) I 'commissioned' 24 hand crafted cupcakes iced with buttercream the colours of Vera's wedding dress and her bridesmaids dresses (yes, I was one of her bridesmaids - the one and only time, it was a total honour). The result, baked, iced and decorated by Alison Hutchins of the Cairndow Cake Company was exquisite. 
Exquisite cupcakes

I had them delivered to Inver Cottage where we were having dinner (sublime!) and served before the dessert order. If I was delighted it was nothing compared with Vee's reaction!!
Almost too pretty to eat - almost....

See, cake - what's no to like!!!
We also managed to arrange a pretty Argyll sunset for the happy couple

P.S. Anyone wanting to order cakes form Alison please leave a comment and I'll pass your details on!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Pretty and Pink

I'm not normally given to musing about pink stuff, gender specifics and all that - having avoided it most of my adult life and worn a muted palette of black, black and more black in terms of clothes and accessories and rigorously dressed my baby daughter in anything but pink - I couldn't help but notice how much pink there actually is around. Starting with the obvious, flowers at the Tree Shop - loads and all vibrant, Mother Nature at her girliest and finest especially when set against lush green backgrounds or with amazing yellow stamens:

And suddenly, I was seeing it everywhere:

in the Aquarium at LFO

Bobby's pants!!

Bike helmets

Skool bags & gym bags

Even on me and Ronnie next door!

Yikes! I'm wearing this!

Sadly, I didn't get a pic of Ronnie in his pink teeshirt, but he looked a fine specimen of a Scottish manhood thus disproving the myth that pink is for lassies only. However, It may be the end of the world as we know it!! I'm off to find my black jeans.....

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Ain't nature grand!

So, it all started when I went to the fridge to get a jar of ready-made pesto from a well known Supermarket. It looked like this, despite not being opened that long:

Yes, "We're not eating that" our Bobby rightly pointed out.
Ah, what to do - Mum's staple teatime dish, kaput - until I looked across the sheep field to the trees beyond and 'Voila', there was the answer to my problem - a big patch of Wild Garlic! So arming myself with Tupperware I yomped down the track, over to the trees and picked a big bunch of this delicious smelling and very tasty plant (is it a plant, dunno!). I headed back, and had the good fortune to have the rest of the ingredients I needed, otherwise the kids would have been eating pasta with blanched ramsons leaves cut into wee bits. Googling 'Wild Garlic Pesto' I found this recipe and adapted it to my own needs (pinenuts as no walnuts, but walnuts would be delicious! / no garlic / lots of pepper / didn't blanch the leaves as couldn't be arsed, just washed and pressed dry then shredded into the blender with all the other ingredients and walloped it all up together!!)

So from this

To this

And finally this!
all in the whizz of mini food blender and the shake of a local lambs tail! It was truly delicious, subtle and tasty. In fact it was so good, me and the Old Bugger had some for our dinner as well. I'll be making some more - we got through the first batch in two days and there is a truly huge patch of Wild Garlic to get through - Woop!

But it all goes to show, when the chips are down, it's Mother Nature that is the necessity of invention - especially when the nearest shop is a three mile drive away at 5.00pm teatime!


Argyll, photography, words