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Chocolate Éclairs [Recipe]

Yesterday, for the first time in about 25 years, I made chocolate éclairs. My love for éclairs began with my paternal grandmother, a rotund and (mostly) jolly woman who loved her cakes. Whenever we’d visit her house she’d always provide a large spread. Usually the main course would be a simple but satisfying salad – a rolled slice of home-baked ham, a few leaves of butterhead lettuce (from her city garden), some sliced beetroot and onion, half a tomato and half a hard-boiled egg topped with a dollop of mayonnaise. This would be accompanied by copious quantities of thickly sliced batch loaf, country butter and more mayonnaise. But the pièce de résistance, and the part of the meal (and probably the visit) that my sister and I most looked forward to, was the plate of cream cakes that awaited for dessert. Read more

How to spoil your girl on Valentine’s Day

Us girls like to be spoiled. And the good news is, it’s really easy to do. Small gestures, especially if unexpected, can make us feel so spoiled and wonderful. Like breakfast in bed. We don’t need fancy Eggs Benedict with a perfectly made hollandaise sauce. Bring us a bowl of cereal and a hot cup of coffee, maybe with the morning paper on the side, and we’re in heaven. It’s not the food itself – it’s that we’re still in bed. We’re surrounded by a mountain of fluffed-up pillows (we’ve stolen yours because you’re no longer here), are tucked tightly under the duvet and know that we get to stay here for at least as long as it takes to consume the food. Read more

Selfies

I don’t take many selfies. Mostly because I don’t really like how I look on camera. I have an asymmetrical face – my eyebrows are not aligned. My father once told me I had a chin you could use as a start-up handle for a Volkswagen. While said in jest (apparently), it has managed to stay with me. When I smile in photos all I can see is chin. In an attempt to debiggen the chin I have developed a “camera smile”, which simply manages to look fake. So, I tend to shy away from the front end of a camera completely. Read more

Object

A lone frog, taken in our garden last autumn. Read more