Forthcoming Attractions: Early September 2015

September 4th, 2015

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collection of vintage lamps pottery and glass

Here’s a selection of recent buys.

collection of vintage desk lamps via @hisforhome

It’s very lamp-tastic!

collection of vintage desk lamps via @hisforhome

We picked up five lovely vintage desk lamps in various styles & colours at the same market. They included a classic Conran Maclamp with this unusual metallic paint finish.

pair of vintage desk lamps via @hisforhome

A few bits of nice pottery & glass too. The 1960s dish with its abstract design depicting what looks like two figures was produced in Israel and introduced a new designer & pottery to us – always good to keep learning!

collection of vintage pottery and Chance Glass dish via @hisforhome

All the items featured have gone into our web shop or antiques centre space. They’re all postable so get in touch if you see anything that your interested in.

Cakes & Bakes: Plum flaugnarde

September 3rd, 2015

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Home-made plum flaugnarde via @hisforhome

We were given half a dozen sweet, ripe plums last week. We ate a couple and used the others in a plum flaugnarde.

Plum flaugnarde via @hisforhome

A flaugnarde is similar to clafoutis in that they’re both baked French egg custard fruit puddings. However, if you’re a purist, the latter can only ever be made using cherries.

Halved plums

A flaugnarde on the other hand may contain all manner of fruit including pears, apples, figs, dried fruit, nuts…

Eggs, sugar and vanilla essence in a large measuring jug

The addition of a tittle buerre noisette gives the custard a lovely, nutty flavour. Make sure you only cook it until it goes a nice, golden brown. If the butter’s even just a little bit burnt it will ruin the dish.

Plum flaugnarde batter via @hisforhome

A tablespoonful of almonds isn’t essential, but it adds texture, bite more nuttiness… and looks beautiful too!

Uncooked plum flaugnarde via @hisforhome

It puffs up beautifully while it’s cooking, but don’t worry when it deflates as it cools once out of the oven – it will do this. Serve it straight away with a little double cream or clotted cream.

Home-made plum flaugnarde with small bottle of double cream via @hisforhome

Plum flaugnarde
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Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 ripe plums
  2. 20g/¾oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 3 tbsp caster sugar
  5. ½tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1 heaped tbsp plain flour
  7. 50g/1¾fl oz milk
  8. 75g/2¼fl oz double cream
  9. pinch salt
  10. 1tbs flaked almonds (optional)
  11. icing sugar for dusting (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Grease a baking dish with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Shake the sugar around the dish so it's evenly coated. Tip away any excess
  3. Halve the plums, remove the stones and place them cut side down, evenly spread into the baking dish
  4. Heat the butter in a small frying pan over a low heat until it turns a light brown colour. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside
  5. In a large bowl or measuring jug whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence until creamy
  6. Add the flour, whisk until smooth, then slowly incorporate the milk, cream, salt and beurre noisette.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish making sure the plums are still evenly spread out
  8. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds
  9. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the top is puffed up and a skewer inserted into the middle comes away clean
  10. Place on a wire cooling rack, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve warm with double or clotted cream
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

How to choose the perfect fire for your Connecticut home

September 2nd, 2015

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Traditional Connecticut salt housecredit

A good fire should do much more than simply provide warmth for you and your family. It can bring a room to life with its cosy glow or flickering flames. It instantly adds a unique character to the space in which it sits. When choosing the best fire to install in your Connecticut home, it’s important to be aware of all the various options. We’ve put together a list of the different types of fires available in order to help you choose.

Long narrow gas fire in an open-plan sitting roomcredit

Gas fires

If you’re thinking of saving money on your energy bills, gas fireplaces can be excellent choice. You can warm the room you’re sitting in without having to heat the whole house. Gas fireplaces need ventilation, but don’t require a masonry built chimney, so if your property in Connecticut doesn’t have a chimney this may be the best option to go for. There are many different sizes and styles to choose from, and gas fires tend to have the best energy efficiency ratings.

Wall-mounted electric fire with blue backlightingcredit

Electric fires

One of the most convenient factors of an electric fire is that they come ready assembled and simply need plugging in and switching on. They’re very flexible in terms of positioning within the home and because the manufacturer has already selected materials and dimensions, there’s one less thing to worry about. However, if your home in Connecticut is quite large, an electric fire may not be the best option as they only tend to work well in smaller rooms, meaning that using one in a large space usually results in unsatisfactory results and energy inefficiency.

Pair of wooden rocking chairs in front of a traditional open fireplacecredit

Wood fires & stoves

Open fireplaces & wood-burning stoves are traditional and have been used for many years. As well as saving hundreds of dollars on your energy bill, they’re particularly good for adding some character and authenticity to your Connecticut home. You’ll need firewood of course. You could chop your own if you have suitable resources – or firewood can be bought from suppliers and delivered to your door for ease and convenience.

Open fireplace with wood mantelpiece in a kitchen-loungecredit

Themes & styles

When selecting a fire for your Connecticut home, you’ll find that no matter what type you go for, there are a vast array of different styles available – materials too of course. Brick, stone, tile, marble and wood are just some of the different choices available. Select a combination that suits the feel & décor of the room. Many people want a fire that will last a lifetime or many years at least. Therefore, it’s not unusual for homeowners to select a fireplace that has a neutral theme in order to keep it in line with any interior decoration changes or adjustments that may be made in the future. Mantles are also an excellent addition that can add to the character and styling of the room.

Do you live in Connecticut? What kind of fireplace do you have, and why did you make that choice? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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