Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

We’ll be heading to London next weekend to meet up with my brother and sis-in-law to do a belated celebration of my birthday for a few days.  I must note that my brother is paying for our hotel and my birthday dinner. (I have a great brother!)  I haven’t seen them since I went back home to the States for their 25th Anniversary party and that was two years ago.  Needless to say I’m really looking forward to seeing them both.

One of the things we are doing is going to one of the really nice restaurants, called Murano’s. It’s mainly an Italian restaurant and is owned by one of the many celebrity chefs in this country, Angela Hartnett.  I’m sure I’ll have lots of foodie stuff to talk about when we get back.  I selected the restaurant, although my first choice was Le Gavroche but my brother said he didn’t want to have to remortgage his home just to go out to dinner!

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The above is one of the reasons I want to shed the few pounds before we go…I know I’ll end up putting it back on with all the eating (and drinking!) we’ll do.  So far, I’ve lost two lbs. 🙂 and as long as I keep eating properly and stay away from the alcohol for the next several days, I should be OK.  One of the items I made was a Breakfast Casserole from Kalyn’s Kitchen.

It makes life easier as all I had to do was cut it up into serving pieces and reheat when needed.

This morning I sliced up the serving piece, warmed it up and put it into a whole wheat wrap along with sliced tomato.  I must admit it was pretty tasty.  Now, what to have for lunch….

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I’ve been busy with trying to restock my jellies and jams for the next market at the end of the month and as we’ll be away for a few days, I have even less time to do this.  Yesterday I made Piccalilli and today I’ve started the process for Chili Jelly with Lemongrass & Ginger. The apples, dried chilis, lemongrass stalk and chunks of ginger are simmering away.  That will all be put into a jelly bag to drain overnight and I’ll finish it tomorrow.

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In our back garden, we have branches of a plum tree that belongs to the next door neighbour, hanging over our fence.  Two years ago, I picked several of the plums and used them to make a jam.  Unfortunately, I have no idea what type of plums they are…perhaps one of my UK friends might help me out on this; Marie? Karen?  When I picked them the first time, they were a yellowish gold color.  I assumed they were ripe as they had been on the tree for a while.

The jam came out very nice and that was that.  This year, possibly due to a proper winter, the plums are absolutely gorgeous!  They are turning red and I can’t wait to pick them and make jam again!

Maybe now that they are the proper colour, I can find out what they are.  They’re not very big, about the size of a walnut or a golf ball.  Could they be Damsons?  Will they get darker?  What will become of these mysterious plums???

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Terri’s Tasty Tip…

Here’s a nice Guacamole recipe to take to your next barbecue.  It’s a recipe from  the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, 1999, but I’ve tweeked it a bit.  Don’t forget to take along a bag of tortilla chips!

4 ripe avocados
3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Tbsp. Tequila (optional)
8 dashes of Tabasco
1 small red onion, small-diced or minced
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 medium tomato, seeded and small-diced
1 Tbsp. coriander/cilantro leaves, chopped

Cut the avocados in half, remove stones and scoop out flesh with a spoon into a large bowl.  Immediately add the lime juice and Tequila, if using.  Using two knives, criss-cross slice the avocados until they are finely diced.  Add the remaining ingredients except the tomato and coriander leaves and mix well.  Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.  Add the tomatoes and mix.  Sprinkle with coriander leaves prior to serving.

Happy Cooking!



  1. You have your answer already Terri, about the plums! I don't have them in France, but I DO have Mirabelle Plums, and Victoria plums too!The casserole looks amazing – I LOVE American style breakfast casseroles. You pot your preserves and jams exactly as I do………..and I am getting ready to plunge into JAM and CHUTNEY making mode! I have been saving jars for a year now.I think your brother sounds GREAT! Hotel paif for, what a treat!Karen

  2. Oh thanks Marie! Now I finally know what they are! I very rarely have a problem with sealing except if it's a bad lid. I get jars from people (my MIL's friends and sometimes people at the market drop them off to me). I clean them and remove all the labels. I keep them in a few wine bottle boxes and when I'm ready to make something, I pick out what I need and they get put into the sink with hot soapy water and a squirt of bleach. Then they get rinsed and put onto a baking sheet and put into a cold oven then set at around 130c and they stay in there about 30-45 min while the preserves are cooking. I pull one out at a time, fill up the jar, pull out the lid, cover it and let it sit…all of this while everything is hot!As the jars cool, the vacuum forms and I can hear the lids 'pop' so I know they're sealed. I've never had a problem doing it this way. Once in a while a lid doesn't seal, so I usually keep that jar for ourselves as I know it will get used sooner.I'll try to remember to take food pics!

  3. I have the same plum tree Terri! They are called Opal Plums! Yummo! Your preserves sound fabulous. I have always stayed away from making jams, jellies and pickles over here as they don't have the jars I am used to. How do you get them to seal?? I am used to screw band and pop lidded ones. SOunds wonderful, your time with your brother. You will have to take some pics of the food you eat!! Proper foodie or what!! Enjoy!! xxoo

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