Redcurrant ice cream

Home-made redcurrant ice cream | H is for Home

This week, Justin spent a few hours on our allotment picking kilos of redcurrants. When he got home, they immediately got decanted into plastic tubs and put into the freezer until I decided what I was going to do with them. In past years, our redcurrant haul has been turned into tarts, jelly, cordial and relish.

Redcurrant juice concentrate being added to caster sugar | H is for Home

Seeing as the UK is in the midst of a mini-heatwave, there was only one thing for it – redcurrant ice cream.

Whipped cream and redcurrant juice | H is for Home

Redcurrants make the most bright, beautiful pink swirly ripple ice cream with a sweet, tangy taste.

Home-made redcurrant ice cream before putting it into the freezer | H is for Home

And best of all, you don’t need an ice cream maker and it’s only 3 ingredients! If you don’t have access to redcurrants, most other berries can be used in their place – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, blackcurrants… or a mixture of all of the above. The recipe below makes about 1 litre.

Redcurrant ice cream
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  1. 500g/17½oz redcurrants
  2. 100g/3½oz caster sugar
  3. 300ml/10½fl oz whipping cream
  5. Home-made redcurrant ice cream ingredients
  1. Pre-chill a clean, dry plastic container in the freezer
  2. Put the redcurrants in a colander/strainer, rinse under water and pat dry
  3. In a medium-sized saucepan on a medium heat, cook the redcurrants until they have burst (about 5-10 minutes)
  4. Strain the redcurrants through a fine sieve and combine with sugar to taste. Refrigerate
  5. Whisk the whipping cream until it forms stiff peaks
  6. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cooled redcurrant concentrate trying not to loose too much of the air
  7. Pour into the pre-chilled container, cover and freeze until firm
Adapted from Allrecipies
Adapted from Allrecipies
H is for Home Harbinger

Vintage drink mats

Vintage drink mats collection | H is for Home

We bought a bagful of vintage drink mats yesterday.

Vintage Cherry B Drink mats | H is for Home

They date from the 1960s era and we like the various designs.

Vintage Cherry B drink mat | H is for Home Vintage Babycham drink mat | H is for Home

There are card coasters advertising Cherry B, Babycham, Dewar’s whisky and Martell cognac.

Vintage Dewar's drink mat | H is for Home Vintage Dewar's drink mat | H is for Home

There are enough to make sets of 6 for both Dewars patterns, sets of 6 for the simple cherry design, a set of 4 for the pretty Cherry B party girls – and a couple each of the Babycham and Martell.

vintage MArtell drink mat | H is for Home

Drop us a line if you’re interested – or check them out on our website in the next day or two.

Get their look: Dramatic bedroom

Dramatic bedroom with deep purple painted walls with orange & purple geometric painted featurecredit

We’ve chosen a dramatic bedroom space for this week’s Get their look post.

The bold colour scheme and geometric lines immediately grab your attention. They’re attained through both painted wall pattern and furniture form – with an off centre ceiling light adding a further twist.

The hard-edged patterns are softened by flowers, oriental floor rug and very comfortable looking bed with its cushions and woollen throw.

It’s a very interesting and clever design when you take it all in.

  1. Rope lampshade
  2. Blur palette from Dulux Colour forecast 2013
  3. Kartell Componibili circular storage unit, 2-tier, white
  4. Link Easy Chair armchair, by Tom Dixon
  5. Cream waffle throw
  6. Tribeca coffee table
  7. PERSISK MIX oriental rug, low pile, handmade

Get their look: Dramatic bedroom | H is for Home

Designer Desire: Lefor Openo

Lefor Openo artwork mosaic | H is for Home

Welcome to our new blog series, ‘Designer Desire’, where we’ll feature one designer per week whose work we love. We’re kicking off with Lefor Openo who we’ve mentioned once or twice before.

Lefor Openo comprised of two French women, Marie-Claire Lefort and Marie-Francine Oppeneau. They met while studying at Lycée Claude-Bernard Paris, and collaborated from 1955 to 1967. They were primarily poster artists; their designs were used extensively by Loterie Nationale (the national lottery of France). They designed posters for Charles de Gaulle – for the 1958 constitutional referendum and again for his 1965 presidential election campaign. They also produced advertising artwork for other organisations and brands such as Electricité de France, Kodak, Singer Sewing Machines. They designed a poster for the 1959 film Babette s’en va-t-en guerre, (Babette goes to War) starring Brigitte Bardot. Apparently, she is the one upon whom they based most of their ‘models’.

As well as posters, very occasionally you’ll come across postcards and tea towels bearing their designs on Etsy and eBay. We’ve also seen evidence of a doll and a couple of pin dishes from the era and we have a tin in our shop which we believe to be one of their designs – we’ve never seen another!

Marie-Claire Lefort died in 1971 and Marie-Francine Oppeneau is now 81 years old. Once upon a time, there was a basic website with information and images of some of their designs but it seems to have been allowed to expire. If you know (or want to find out) anything more about them and their designs, please leave a comment below.

Marie-Claire Lefort & Marie-Francine Oppeneau of Lefor Openo

Price Points: Yoga mats

Selection of yoga mats | H is for Home

Justin has a herniated disc in his spine. The problem started after he moved about 50 large boxes of stock up 2 flights of stairs – culminating in him crawling into the house on hands & knees in tears after shifting something from the car the day after. his back’s never been the same since. So now, after a physically active day, sitting in a bad position or not bending his knees properly when lifting, he really struggles. To date, it’s been a case of rest combined with Ibuprofen gel & other tablets to improve matters. A recent development which he’s finding really useful is yoga exercises aimed at this kind of injury.

We have wooden flooring throughout our house, so a proper yoga mat instead of the seagrass rug must be in order for the poor lad. We might even have to be put down as H is for Home expenses seeing as he did it in the line of duty! Here are 3 yoga mats being considered at various price points.

  1. Yoga exercise fitness workout non-slip mat with carry case: £4.99, Amazon **4.5 stars – 127 reviews**
  2. Pro Fitness blue yoga exercise mat: £10.99 **4.4/5 – 42 reviews**
  3. Premium Marakesh yoga matt from Gaiam: £19.99, John Lewis **4.4/5 – 41 reviews**

Cakes & Bakes: Gypsy Creams

Home-made gypsy creams | H is for Home

We needed some treats for our biscuit barrel so that was the subject for today’s Cakes & Bakes… but which kind of biscuit?

Butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan | H is for Home Gypsy creams dough mixture | H is for Home

Justin started reminiscing about Gypsy Creams – and commenting on the fact that they seem to have disappeared from the shops. I have to admit that growing up in Trinidad, I’d never heard of Gypsy Creams – but they certainly sounded good enough to try.

Gypsy creams dough balls | H is for Home Gypsy creams dough balls flattened with the back of a fork | H is for Home

My numerous baking books didn’t offer a single recipe, but fortunately I found one available online.

They incorporate flour, butter, oats, golden syrup and most importantly chocolate. Two crisp biscuity layers sandwich a moist chocolate buttercream layer.

Gypsy creams biscuits cooling on a wire rack | H is for Home

Apparently coconut can be added to the recipe too. These are often called Romany Creams, but Justin thinks that the packet Gypsy Creams from his youth had something ‘coconutty’ about them.

Making chocolate buttercream | H is for Home

I have to say that they’re absolutely delicious – and are now a firm favourite of mine having missed out for nearly 50 years!

Home-made gypsy creams | H is for Home

Gypsy Creams
Yields 12
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
For the biscuit dough
  1. 100g/4oz butter
  2. 90g/3oz golden syrup
  3. 50g/2oz caster sugar
  4. 50g/2oz porridge oats
  5. 10g/½oz cocoa powder
  6. 175g/6oz plain flour
For the buttercream
  1. 150g/5oz icing sugar
  2. 50g/2oz butter, softened
  3. 1tbsp milk
  4. 50g/2oz dark chocolate, melted
  6. Home-made gypsy creams ingredients
  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF/Gas mark 3
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment. Set aside
  3. In a large saucepan, place the butter, syrup & sugar melting gently over a low heat, stirring to combine
  4. Sift the flour together with the cocoa powder before adding the oats to the mixture
  5. Add these dry ingredients to the saucepan and mix together well
  6. Leave to cool slightly
  7. Take heaped teaspoons of the mixture and roll each into a ball between your palms
  8. Place on the baking sheet leaving room between each biscuit
  9. Flatten each ball slightly using the back of a fork
  10. Bake for approximately 20 minutes
  11. Using a palette knife, transfer the biscuits on to a wire rack to cool completely
For the buttercream
  1. While the biscuits are baking/cooling make the buttercream filling
  2. Put the icing sugar, butter, milk and chocolate into a mixing bowl and combine until smooth
  3. Spoon ½tsp of buttercream on to a biscuit and sandwich together with another biscuit
H is for Home Harbinger