Hedgehog Potatoes

Hedgehog potatoes

I am a self confessed lover of potatoes.  They are, in my humble opinion, one of the most diverse vegetables to cook with, and always taste delicious.  Especially when you find a different way to cook them.  Enter the hedgehog potato.

This simple twist on a baked potato has just found it’s way onto my top ten cooking list. They look beautiful, need hardly any attention, and taste absolutely divine.  Sort of a cross between a baked and a roast potato.  All you need to do is cut slices three quarters of the way down the potato, brush with a warmed mixture of olive oil, butter, salt and pepper and pop in the oven for around fifty minutes.  Then hey presto, they’re done.  Yes, my friends, that is all it takes.  They have a wonderfully crisp exterior, but still maintain a soft interior.  Perfect with a Sunday dinner.

Meanwhile in the world of me, them and the puppy, I found a small part of the wee boy’s pants the other day, lounging idly on the living room floor.  A little bemused, I thought nothing more about it.  Out on a dog walk the following day, I discovered where the rest of that particular pair of pants had gone.  I have absolutely no idea why the puppy would even consider a small, perfectly shaped red and navy blue striped pair of boys pants edible, but then I’m not a chocolate labrador.  Anyone would think the poor wee thing was never fed.

I have also recently rediscovered the beauty of short journey train travel, although it also turns out that I’m still not very good at it.  Getting lost in my thoughts, the ability I have to block out all sounds around me to concentrate on the inner idle banter of my mind, I managed to completely miss my stop and had to go to the next main station before catching a train back to my original destination.

I guess the phrase ‘quicker by rail’ only works if you’re paying attention.



Duck Eggs

duck eggs

Duck eggs are absolutely beautiful.  They have this almost translucent shell which looks so fragile and yet is very tough.  Harder to crack, I think, than a hen’s egg.  Moreover, they have an elegance to them which is captivating.  Rather like the difference between DIY store and Farrow & Ball paint.  And, being that little bit larger than a hen’s egg, they fit into the palm of my hand beautifully.

Not so good on toast though.

The reason why I occasionally buy them is because I love how they transform a run of the mill, everyday victoria sponge cake into something slightly more luxurious.  There is a depth of taste there that you just don’t get when you bake with hen’s eggs.   Which is what I was looking for this weekend as I spent Saturday afternoon hanging out with two fabulous women, discussing very important things.  Well, important to us.  And in my world, it is crucial to have good cake when beginning something that will change yours, and other people’s children’s future.

However, baking with the duck egg is not without it’s hazards.  I have not yet made a victoria sponge where the sponge hasn’t verged on the descent into oblivion, otherwise known as a biscuit.  Moreover, I still seem to be having difficulty with the heat of my not so new to me now, electric oven.  Work in progress I think.

So here we are on Mother’s Day, again.  The speed at which days are flying by is frightening.  It only seems like yesterday that we were bunking down for the festive season and now we are opening up for spring, and the endless conversations about not having enough time to clean.  Or is that just me?

I always try and spend some time on Mother’s Day reflecting on the beauty of both life and death.  Inevitably, the wee boy and I have a conversation about death, my favourite of which was not today, but very recently.

Wee boy:  Mummy, when you die do you want to be buried or cremated?

Me:  I want to be cremated and my ashes planted with a seed which will grow to be a tree

Wee boy:  When I die, I want to buried under your tree