17 December 2009


Phew, busy week here! Must give a brief update, the bed did get remade just in time (and I did have that glass of wine that evening) and we had a really lovely weekend with our friends. Which is what brings me to today's ponderings, that being the joys found in friendships but this time from the perspective of a mom witnessing the bonds children create with eachother. This weekend seeing how smoothly my son fell back into synch with his old friend (keep in mind he is only 5 years old) was heart warming to witness. After not having seen eachother in almost  two years it was unexpected the way the boys picked up just where they left off as if they had never been apart. The sign of a real friendship in my mind, for although both now live in different countries T in Malta and L in Italy they have enough in common that they seemed to have plenty to talk about.  They met as 6 wk olds on a summer day when we lived in England 5 years ago, breastfeeding under a shady tree. You just never know in life how or when you will meet someone who can become so dear and how this starts even at a young age. From cards, races, legos and tent building, bear hunting to sleep over pillow fights and endless giggles they were like exhausted happy puppies by the end of the weekend when it was time to say good bye. T was sad and whistful in a way I have rarely seen him the following day, and insisted on drawing L. pictures and beginning on preparing to send a parcel to Italy, (he also has taken to drawing maps, (which now prominently include Italy and Malta). Isn't it a delight when you meet a kindred spirit and low and behold your children also find a connection!
Lastly some recipes as I have received quite a few emails
first is the dipped figs and the mulled wine but I did make it and it was very good. I did not include the lime but did include everything else.

 Chocolate dipped figs 
8-12 Figs
1/2-3/4 cup Brandy
dark chocolate
1/2 cup walnuts

step 1. Make one small 2 cm incision on side of figs and place in a bowl, cover with brandy and set aside for a few hours to overnight.
step 2. Stuff each fig with some walnut pieces (you can toast the walnuts first) and form each so sitting on a plate.
step 3. Melt chocolate in a double boiler,  dip each fig (holding fig by the tip so it's important you don't cut the top parts off).
once they are all dipped place in fridge and when hardened put in covered container.

and here is the mulled wine recipe I used (honestly a really nice one) I think the key thing is making the syrup and the fact that his recipe uses tangerine peel,star anis  and bay leaf (who would have thought bay?!) so thank you Jamie Oliver.



  1. Thanks for the recipes. Actually the fig one is similar to the one for dates dipped in chocolate with a walnut in the centre. Will give it a try with figs though. Its sure to be delicious too.

  2. Awww, so true about lasting friendships!! I've known my oldest friend since we were both three and, although we don't see each other often, we always just pick up where we left off!!

    Lovely recipes

    C x

  3. Priya, brandy soaked dates sound interesting, actually I have never had chocolate with dates either. Think I shall have to give it a try! Do have a good recipe for a christmas pudding which has lots of prunes and chocolate in it.

    My best friend in the world is the same, the story goes that our first meeting is when she was four months and I was still in my mothers belly. Although we live far far apart today and rarely get to see each other we do seem to pick up were we left off when we do and she is just as dear and important as ever.

  4. Juniper, you are so right! Friendship is so important - having a soulmate, someone you can rely on and you can be yourself... me and my best friend met when we were 9 years old and until now and since we are living apart for a long time it always lasted and very often when one of us is feeling bad the other one happens to call out of the blue, just because of a deep inner need to call...

  5. Thanks for sharing your recipes. I was disappointed to find that Jamie's link has been removed. Just my luck!! Will try to look for it in other sites. Looking fwd to your other recipes. : )

  6. HI Zen, thanks for the heads up, have found the recipe I used elsewhere and have included the new link.

  7. Lovely and true words on children's friendships...


  8. Your hart must have been warmed up million degrees, seeing G so happy! Brighton was always a special place for him, wasn't it?

  9. Very sweet post...the recipes and even more heartwarming the picture and story of your son's friendship...all good things for this holiday season. Adding chocolate dipped figs to my list of things to try. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  10. Hei there, Loved this post so much... L is also drawing things for a parcel and talks of his dear friend very often. He's also still a tad obsessed with slapping patatas - that's cultural learning for you! Wishing you all a really lovely christmas and thank you again for weekend of memories to treasure x


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