Gifts for… Epicureans

December 15th, 2014

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selection of Christmas gifts for epicureans

Having both been chefs for a number of years we like our food… and drink. We’ve lined up a number of gifts for epicureans in your life.

They may be big on doing a spot of cooking, baking or culinary wizardry. Or they may prefer to just do the tasting, leaving the business of preparation to others. Whichever camp they fall into, there’s something here for them!

  1. Due Vittorie balsamic vinegar 12 year old tradizionale: £37.49, Ocado
  2. Peanut butter maker: £44.95, Prezzybox
  3. Rubis chocolate wine: £9.95, The Whisky Exchange
  4. Penneli garlic peeler: £7.99, IWOOT
  5. Pack of six stainless steel straws: £7.99, IWOOT
  6. De’Longhi KG79 coffee grinder: £34.99, Argos
  7. Mozzarella & ricotta cheese making kit: £28, Culture Vulture
  8. Cuisinart® gelato and ice cream maker: £199.99, Lakeland
  9. Monthly tea club subscription by Charbrew: £24.99, Notonthehighstreet

Bookmarks: Grete Prytz Kittelsen – The art of enamel design

December 14th, 2014

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Grete Prytz Kittelsen - The art of enamel design book with a selection of Lotus enamelware

Grete Prytz Kittelsen – The Art of Enamel Design by Karianne Bjellå Gilje explores the work of one of our favourite product designers.

Grete Prytz Kittelsen - The art of enamel design book title page

It was written not only with Greta’s close cooperation, but with extensive contributions from her – in the form of interviews, added text, selection of images and so on. You really are getting to know the artist intimately.

portrait of Grete Prytz Kittelsen standing

Greta was one of the foremost Scandinavian designers of the Mid-century Modern era – in addition to which she also collaborated with many of the other great names from the period.

Grete Prytz Kittelsen-designed jewellery

She had “a thorough knowledge of materials, vast technical skill, independence and originality.”

red Grete Prytz Kittelsen-designed necklace

Her work has directly touched the daily lives of countless thousands with her ranges of beautiful yet practical kitchen & tableware.

green Grete Prytz Kittelsen-designed enamel tea set

She’s rightly praised for making good design accessible as she simplified the production process wherever possible, thus keeping retail prices affordable.

sculptural Grete Prytz Kittelsen-designed necklace

She’s immediately associated with the iconic Lotus cookware produced by Cathrineholm of Norway in the 1950s – ironically, the repeating leaf pattern of the Lotus range was the work of another designer – Arne Clausen.

selection of Cathrineholm Lotus enamelware

She was responsible for the form & colours of the range – and apparently preferred the enamel without the additional decoration.

Cathrineholm Lotus catalogue

Her range of products is vast – pots, pans, plates, cruets, bowls and cutlery.

Grete Prytz Kittelsen-designed salad bowl and servers

There are decorative objects too, such as candelabra & vases…

Grete Prytz Kittelsen-designed square plates

…and not forgetting the beautiful jewellery – we just love her jewellery!!

blue sculptural Grete Prytz Kittelsen-designed necklace

The book is very well written – comprehensive, entertaining and informative.

sculptural Grete Prytz Kittelsen-designed Cathrineholm bowls

It’s full of wonderful archive images, product advertisements & brochures.

Grete Prytz Kittelsen working in her studio

Also, fabulous photographs of her work – which is some feat as the beauty of enamel is very difficult to capture in print.

colourful Grete Prytz Kittelsen-designed bangles

The book concludes with a wonderful reference section including a fully illustrated catalogue of works and chronology.

Grete Prytz Kittelsen jewellery catalogue

It’s a must have book for anyone who shares our passion – or is not yet familiar with her work.

sculptural Grete Prytz Kittelsen-designed boomerang necklace

[Many thanks to W.W. Norton & Company for the review copy]

Charity Vintage: Christmas Corgi vehicles

December 13th, 2014

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Boxed set of 10 vintage Christmas Corgi die cast vehicles for sale by & in support of DebRA(ends 14 Dec, 2014 15:23:46 GMT)

As it’s nearing Christmas, we’re doing a festive Charity Vintage post. This week, we’re featuring this fab boxed set of vintage Corgi Christmas vehicles. The 10 vehicles, which include Ford vans, Bedford Buses and Morris trucks, are all emblazoned with Christmas greetings.

The set ends tomorrow and is up for sale on eBay for Charity by & in support of DebRA*

They’d make a great Christmas present for a vintage vehicle fan – whatever their age!

*DebRA provides nursing and social care for people with EB (Epidermolysis Bullosa) – a painful condiiton where the skin and internal membranes blister at the slightest touch. DebRA also funds research programmes and are just a few years away from effective treatments.

Gifts for… Techies

December 12th, 2014

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Selection of Christmas presents for techies

I’m a self-confessed gadget freak. If money was no object, the latest MacBook and iPhone would arrive by courier with each new release. No basic models for me either, I love all the bells & whistles!

Justin is much less of a computer geek, but he does love his hi-fi gear; he’s a vinyl junkie and Spotify addict. A quality music system, wifi speakers and pair of wireless headphones to match would make him a very happy bunny on Christmas Day.

Gifts for techies don’t have to look geeky. I love the USB stick masquerading as a Chanel lipstick (#2) and the ‘rubber duck’ wireless speaker for the bath (#6) tickles me!

The one item I’d be most happy to find under the Christmas tree this year though, is the Xperia™ Z2 Tablet (#1). It’s completely waterproof so I’d be able to use it in the bath to read, surf the net or watch the latest Scandi Noir offering!

  1. Xperia™ Z2 Tablet: from £369, Sony
  2. Chanel lipstick USB / flash drive: £67.13, Etsy
  3. Native Union Pop Phone soft touch retro handset – red: £9.99, Amazon
  4. Beats by Dre portable Bluetooth® Pill speaker, Nicki Minaj pink: £169.99, Selfridges
  5. Beats by Dre Pill speaker stand: £39.99, Selfridges
  6. iDuck wireless speaker: £21.95, Prezzybox
  7. Pebble smartwatch: £99.99, Currys
  8. Lomo’Instant Sanremo + 3 lenses: £129, Lomography
  9. Bose® SoundLink® around-ear Bluetooth® headphones: £199.95, Bose
  10. Slate essential lapdesk: £64.03, Etsy

Lime marmalade

December 11th, 2014

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Lime marmalade on a teaspoon | @hisforhome

We often have tea & toast when we return home after our morning dog walk.

Lime marmalade ingredients

Over the past few months, we’ve been eating delicious home-made lime marmalade made by Justin’s sister-in-law (hello Flora if you’re reading this!).

juiced limes

We ran out 3 weeks ago – and Justin has been suffering from withdrawal symptoms ever since.

cooked limes

We’ve made lots of jams, jellies and preserves in the past, but this is the first batch of marmalade.

sliced limes

The basic method is quite similar, of course…

boiling marmalade

…an intense boil of fruit with sugar with an added ½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to get rid of any bitterness.

jars of home-made lime marmalade

 Five limes makes three standard jam jars full – so that should keep us going for a while.

home-made lime marmalade on toast

Bring on the toast!!

Lime marmalade
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Ingredients
  1. 5 limes
  2. 500g granulated sugar
  3. ½tsp bicarbonate of soda
Instructions
  1. Wash the limes under a hot tap with a clean, plastic scourer to remove any wax coating
  2. Slice the limes in half and squeeze well reserving the juice
  3. In a tall, stainless steel saucepan (aluminium can cause discolouration), simmer the limes in 1 litre of water for an hour
  4. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the limes from the saucepan and allow to cool for 5 minutes
  5. Using a spoon, scrape out the lime pith putting it into a jam strainer or square of muslin. Knot or tie it tightly with string before putting it back into the saucepan of lime liquor
  6. Slice the cooled, cooked peels very finely, add them back to the pan and top up with extra water until well covered
  7. Reboil for another hour until the peel becomes very soft
  8. Using the tongs or slotted spoon, scoop the peel out of the saucepan into a bowl or measuring jug
  9. Boil the cooked lime liquor, reserved lime juice and pith bag over a high heat until you have about 1 litre of liquid left.
  10. Squeeze the pith-filled bag with the tongs or back of the slotted spoon spoon as it boils
  11. Remove the bag, add the sugar and bicarbonate of soda, stir until the sugar has dissolved and bring back up to a rolling boil
  12. If you're using a jam thermometer allow the liquid to reach 105ºC/220ºF (this is the setting point for jam)
  13. If you're not using a thermometer, put a saucer in the fridge
  14. After the mixture has boiled for 10-15 minutes, put a teaspoonful of the boiling liquid onto the cold saucer, return it to the fridge and after 5 minutes do the jelly set test with your finger
  15. In the meantime, sterilise two 500ml jars & lids (or a number of smaller jars, enough to hold a kilo of marmalade)
  16. Once the mixture has reached the setting stage, allow to cool for 15 minutes before decanting into the jars, screwing the lids on securely straight away
Adapted from Dan Lepard's lime marmalade recipe on the Guardian website
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/