Monday, April 26, 2010

'Happy birthday from the team'








I received a birthday greeting from The Hale Grill – the nearest outpost of the Blackhouse steak and seafood mini-chain – this morning. Checking back I see it landed in my inbox at 10.01am.

This was unusual for two reasons: 1) I'm not easily given to surrendering personal data, however benign the harvesting, and 2) it's not my birthday. 'Did you really think we'd forget?' asks the first line of the e-mail, to which I can only respond: 'I don't know, but you did – my birthday was nearly three weeks ago.'

Which presents me with a quandary. I'm more than happy to offer a home to a medium-rare sirloin; in fact, I remember joining the Blackhouse 'e-mail club' with the specific intention of receiving offers like this ('Since it's your birthday, we want you to enjoy a complimentary main course when you bring a friend to dine with us!'). But, of course, it's not my birthday.

For once, the small print offers a get-out. The voucher is valid until May 26, making my precise birth date irrelevant. Which, I guess, is how it should be: after all, what's a few weeks between friends?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sleeping baby, sneaky biscuits

If there's one thing I've learned during the four weeks of Franklin's life so far, it's that if fate offers you a spare half hour of silence, you've got to take it. So, while he was asleep today, his little arms curling like a drowsy octopus at a disco, I made some biscuits.

Rather than being any biscuits, these are baby biscuits. I've been getting together with a few other mums from antenatal classes and have recently noticed, through my fug of tiredness, that when your baby is born, the other women give you stuff. It's a proper thing: I've received very welcome little parcels contining scratch mitts, bibs, socks, a babygro and matching comedy hat, not to mention - a definite vote-winner, this - bath oil and Mini Eggs. So now I must reciprocate, and I will be giving baby biscuits.

The Americans call babygros onesies, but they shall be forgiven because they also make something called a Cookie Cutter Texture Set: Baby Onesie. This little miracle has been imported from the US of A by my local cake shop and is a rare find that includes a babygro-shaped cookie cutter and three thin plastic 'texture mats' which produce babygro patterns when you roll icing over them. Using a reliable sugar cookie recipe from Peggy Porschen and a few windows of baby sleep-based opportunity, I now have gifts to take to the next coffee morning.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Giant prawn













Last November Hale and Hearty bumped into Jamie Oliver on holiday. If we'd known about this at the time, we'd have had a word. Full story here.