Archive for the ‘Chocolate’ Category

Morning all!

What a fab day it is here today!

How’d you fancy a bit of cake with/for your brekkie? Or your tea? Well, Herself says you can taste her choccie cake this evening if you happen to be passing by The English Forum in Nantes round about half past six or so…….she’s bringing the cake in to celebrate her birthday (that was last week, but the Forum peeps were on a week off, except for the hardcore Brit expats who met down the pub instead!!) Nothing can separate some peeps from their beers!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Well….(drum roll)…….It finally got made! Wonders will never cease! A cake has been born, mesdames et messieurs!

Smells lovely – very chocolatey indeed, she says – and she’s in a great mood. What more do you want, she says – when you’ve got the fab smell of chocolate wafting throughout the house, and the sun is splitting the stones outside! And – bless us all – she’s now started singing What a Wonderful World (but with out the Louis Armstrong-style vocals, ha!) ;p

Now, that cake looks so appetising that Himself was overheard to say something along the likes of: “that IS a lovely-looking cake! Can we not have it? Do we really have to give it away? Do we? Do we? awww……it looks so tasty, too. Are you sure you want to bring that cake along for a crowd of hungry strangers to devour? I think the cake would prefer to be consumed by us. Just look at it’s little face!”

(Okay – I made that last bit up, the bit about it’s little face!!) ๐Ÿ˜€ But yes, Himself is very taken with said cake, and even peered in at it in the oven where it has been residing since last night. In fact, he opened the oven, and breathed in the chocolate fumes in a manner reminiscent of the Bisto kids in the TV ads from years ago! For all I know, he may even have come up with a name for it!

Well, she says she’ll slice off a portion to keep for themselves, then bring the rest of it along this evening, to be washed down with Newcastle Ale or another beer they have every so often, interestingly titled Bishop’s Finger! Say no more! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Loads to do here today at Teapot Towers, as usual, and work to be done, so I shall lend myself to service as I usually do (I deserve a medal, me!) and keep my spout pointed in the direction of interest – so I shall log out now, and catch y’all later!

See you later, and have a great day! Enjoy the fabby weather, she says! ๐Ÿ˜€


Me & the Cake....now y'see it, now y'don't! yumyum!


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Morning all! how are things?

Well, I haven’t been a lazy teapot as such…but Herself hasn’t really been in the zone for dictating notes this week, and that’s pretty much due to a family illness issue (her dad’s been hospitalised this week, and the outlook ain’t great). But – fingers crossed, she says. She’s hovering by the phone for updates, but trying to stay upbeat all the same, you know how it is yourselves. So she watched Monty Python’s Life of Brian the other night just to hear ’em singing Always look on the bright side of Life!”

Cheered her up a bit, it did!

Weatherwise – Spring has sprung around here – the past few days have been glorious, she says. Cherry blossom in full bloom (she says it smells like Fry’s Chocolate Cream, as I think I’ve mentioned before) ๐Ÿ™‚

She’s been attempting to keep busy, but her head is ‘a bit all over the place’ as she says herself – but she has been getting on with some work stuff all the same, and has to follow up a couple of work leads today as well.

Paris last Friday was terrific, she says. They were lucky with the weather, and after she’d got business out of the way in the morning, Himself and Herself strolled around Montmartre, explored the Marais district, spent some time at Montparnasse, had lovely meals and enjoyed a naughty bottle of wine at around 4pm! It was her birthday y’see, and she says what is a girl to do when she finds herself turning 21 – again! ๐Ÿ˜€

And it was a very busy weekend at Teapot Towers, the kids were here, so there wasn’t a moment left spare to chill out. She says it was like Clapham Junction at times!

Herself has just let out an almighty sigh and says she feels really old this week. Ah look….she’s off to the bookcases rifling through the CD collection and….yep…..a pile of 80s stuff is making its way over to the CD player! Well, she says, that’s one way to feel young again!

LOL …. you know you’re old when….. you dance around to 80s stuff in your pyjamas!! At 9 o’clock in the morning! ๐Ÿ˜€

Dancin' around the kitchen in your PJs

Sorry – no actual pics of Herself in her PJs – that’s not allowed… She says she doesn’t want to put peeps off their brekkie!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Right folks, off again I am, to be of service to the household – so until later..

Bon journรฉe!

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Howdy-do folks!

Well, this morning has flown past, and Herself isn’t too long out of bed. She faffed about until the wee small hours rearranging furniture and trying to Feng Shui the place up a bit. Don’t know if it’s working though, lol ๐Ÿ˜€

She says she’s moving around in slow motion this morning, doing a very good impression of a Zombie and being very un-French indeed – having an รผber late breakfast (boiled egg & a piece of toast) right at this minute. She boiled the egg too long she says – not the correct texture at all …. and then she spent an age checking emails and what not, so now the toast’s gone cold! And the egg!

So back to Feng Shui – are there any rules in particular that one should follow, she says? She’s making sure that the middle of the living-room is uncluttered, and there are neat lines and patterns of furniture and whatnot. Although she says she sounds like she’s got a bad case of the OCDs, arranging furniture in lines (Heh heh … I think she HAS got the OCDs….has ’em reeaal baaad!) ๐Ÿ˜€

Decluttering is great for the mind, she says – it provides wonderful ‘thinking time’. She achieves a near-minimalist look, y’see (but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t hoard stuff! Oh no sirree!). It means stuff is out of sight – and when it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind! So every possible storage space in the house is being wisely utilised. She says she’s just got to declutter the bathroom now, and her mission is complete (for another while). She enjoys getting the house to herself, she says, as she can really let rip with the Feng Shui experimentation (and hoovering the place to within an inch of itself). Or something like that!

Today, she says she’s going to shop for the ingredients of a lovely stew (she’s been keeping some red wine aside for it – to put IN it, y’see, not to drink with it. Slurp! she says) – and also some cake mix. Some cake mix or perhaps all the cake ingredients from scratch. Now seeing as Herself hasn’t baked since the last century (!) (many decades ago at school, in domestic science class! – urgh, bad memories, she says), she reckons she might play it safe this week and just opt for the ready-made cake mix – as an experiment. The results of this experiment will be known as, referred to as, and eaten as The Birthday Cake. I’m wondering myself how it will turn out!

Back to limerick composition now, she says. People are getting very excited indeed about this Andouille competition on A Taste of Garlic. She says she’ll brainstorm a few more whilst faffing about getting ready to go out. The old creative juices were flowing like wine the other evening – 4 gems in a row, she wrote (well…..liberal use of the word ‘gems’ there. I’d say ‘efforts’ would be a better description!!). ๐Ÿ˜€ So she says it’s about time she wrote a few more!

So, it’s a bientรดt for now, and I’ll try to remember to post during the ‘creative baking process’ later! ;p
Bon journรฉe!

TP ๐Ÿ™‚

To cake-mix or not to cake-mix - that is the question!

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Hello and a Happy Valentine’s Day to you, folks!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Valentine's day!! ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s been a busy couple of days here at Teapot Towers. ..so Herself is feeling guilty for not dictating a blog post…and so this is a short one whilst she prepares tonight’s dinner….a large pot of stew! So far, the large green salad bowl is full of chopped veg, and the onions have made her eyes water. She’s now sporting very fetching mascara streaks down her face! Lovely, eh? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Herself & Himself swapped cards this morning. After all her worrying about not being able to locate Valentine cards, she found one in a nearby store (and so did he, by the looks of things). She’s been surfing facebook today, and remarked that this year sees an upturn in the amount of people being presented with flowers…..lots of people have posted pictures of the longstemmed roses, or bouquets they received today.

No Flowers here in the Towers, but she’s happy with her card (picture of pink roses on it), and just happy to be with Himself…awwww! ๐Ÿ˜‰

They spent the weekend ‘gallivanting‘ around the place….walking around Nantes, taking photos, going for a drive. She hasn’t uploaded any pics yet, but when she does, she says she’ll post a few on here. Mountains of French homework to be tackled first though (she didn’t do a scrap of study all weekend!!)..Tut Tut!!

So now it’s back to chopping garlic, slicing meat, and sprinkling parsley. She hopes the stew will be ready by around 8pm. Perfect!

They’ll have an aperitif though…a local speciality: Kir Nantais…..and a chocolate dessert treat. I say treat because they don’t normally eat dessert at all. After all that though, she’ll be wanting to drink tea! Hurrah!!

It’s lashing rain here at the moment…nice weather for ducks! ๐Ÿ™‚

A tout suite!

Celebrate with Kir Nantais!

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Bonsoir folks!!

How are things?

Well, it has been the most beautiful, warm, sunny day here in the city of Nantes…Herself says she can sniff summer on (in?) the air, and is delighted with the rise in temperature. She ventured out earlier, to do a spot of grocery shopping, wearing ugg boots, a huge woolly cardie and scarf. Now she says she’s boiling, even too hot to wear her slippers in the house, so she’s padding about the pad in her flip-flops. It was so warm in here that she had the patio door open. Really felt like summer, it did. Fabulous!

So the shopping today was carried out in Leclerc, and she managed to locate some attractive flowering house plants with which to help cheer the place up (visitors arriving next week, y’see). Bargains! A cerise pink azalea for a euro, and a pot of red mini roses for 3 euro. She’s currently admiring them now…they’ve joined the mini-daffodils over on the dresser. Have to say, the place is looking lovely! ๐Ÿ™‚

A couple of things came to Herself’s notice whilst shopping in Leclerc today:

1) They’re not advertising anything to do with Valentine’s Day at all…yet. She says if it was up to her, she’d be cheering up the store with Valentine-related products and decorations, and arranging cards, flowers, teddybears, candles, etc etc all together. You know the type of thing, yourself! Instead, the instore special promotion has moved from Chinese New Year to….random spring vegetables! Hmmm. Nothing romantic about a bunch of carrots, she says. Or bags of spuds! Odd that…no Valentine cards, or anything. And it’s just 5 days away! Odd. Very odd. And even any remotely red items (such as kitchenware, for example, or teapots that resemble my good self!) have not been promoted. There’s a distinct lack of the romance there at the moment (which has reminded Herself…where on earth in France do you get a decent Valentine card for your other half? Answers below, please)..

Not romantic!

Not romantic!

2) So it’s bad enough, she says (being one of life’s romantics, and still getting used to the French way of ‘doing’ things) that there is nothing Valentine-y or cheery about the local supermarket (she’s volunteering herself as Head of Instore Marketing & PR, by the way, if we have any Leclerc owners/managers reading!!!!), but why, oh why, do the cashiers decide to close the tills when a queue forms? And more to the point…when Herself joins said queue? “AAAAaaaaaaarrrggghhhhhh!” (she says). There she was, leaning on her trolley, waiting patiently in the queue for the till. 4 people in front of her. 4 slow people. 4 slow people with packed trollies. And then the cashier spoke to Herself (very quickly spoken French, she says). She missed most of the actual words spoken due to the speed at which they were delivered, but guessed from the intonation and facial expression of cashier that she wanted Herself to bugger off to another till. Then cashier produced a ‘Fermรฉe’ sign (Herself reckons the French get a real kick out of producing these signs when it is inordinately busy…she says her mind boggles). Herself said the only thing she’s rather fluent at, at the moment. She said: “Je parle un peu Francais”, to which the cashier shrugged, rolled her eyes, pointed at the sign, glared at Herself, then sighing, said: “Apres!”. So Herself figured out that the till would close after she had purchased her items. So that was that. Items purchased. And she’s still none the wiser as to what the cashier actually said. Why do people speak so fast? she says…

She still has some items to buy yet, before the week’s grocery shopping is complete…but says she’ll pop into Lidl on her way home from French lessons tomorrow, and pick up the remainder. Which reminds her…she’s got homework to do tonight, for tomorrow. She’s up now, monitoring the potatoes on a slow boil (they’ll have the remainder of the chicken tonight for dinner, with the boiled potatoes, and maybe some carrots. Accompanied by HP sauce. No squeezy bottles here in France it would seem, so a glass one was purchased, costing over โ‚ฌ3!!!). She’s going to place an order with the visitors coming over next week…..bring some squeezy HP, some Fry’s Chocolate Cream, and some Crunchie (that ought to do it until the summer, when the next batch of visitors come over).

Romantic! ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, she says she’s got work to do, so I’ll sign out for a while, and catch you all later! In the meantime,

Bon Soirรฉe!!

TP ๐Ÿ™‚

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Greetings readers, and Happy Friday!

Herself is about to get stuck into a pile of ironing, then it’s off to the supermarket for a chocolate cake for Himself’s son. After that, she says she has hoovering and dusting to do, and a pile of laundry to sort. And she has been given an extra-large pile of Les Devoirs for Tuesday’s French lesson – so there is plenty to keep her out of mischief, she says!

I’m on the table, and the tea is going cold! But housework makes Herself thirsty, so more tea will definitely be consumed ๐Ÿ™‚

As a matter of interest, Herself is wondering if it is in fact possible to get hold of some Crunchie bars in France? Probably won’t be able to get any for today…but for later tonight, there’s a tasty bottle of Bordeaux waiting to be consumed.

Short & sweet (pun) post today….but Herself would like to hear from you, so leave a comment, and/or follow her Tweets.

Until later,


Is Crunchie available in France?

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Bon soir! (it’s v late in the evening, as I narrate for you here. In fact, it’s somehow about 1:30 in the morning!)

Herself is in bed, with 2 hot water bottles (although apparently it’s about 10 balmy degrees outside!!) falling in and out of sleep, whilst Himself snores gently beside her! She was out in town this evening, mingling with folk at the France/English Forum thingummybob… the group held a Quiz night tonight…with all the questions based on English culture. They had 4 prizes for the highest scores, and Herself was one of the winners. She was handed an envelope containing a book about Edward & Mrs Simpson.…written in French!!! She says she’ll keep practicing her French so she can read it. At some point. Still, she says, it’s nice to win something all the same ๐Ÿ™‚

Tonight’s meeting was useful for networking in Nantes, she says – she met a few new people to the group who told her about a meeting (or some such thing) scheduled for tomorrow night somewhere in town (all the details are a bit vague at the minute) for people who wish to teach English. So, still hoping to land a job soon, she says she’ll go along to that, if she can find out where and when it is. Himself will be out at choir practice tomorrow night, so it will keep her occupied, she says. Friday night TV is usually dismal, apparently!

She says she’ll do a spot of shopping in Leclerc tomorrow during official ‘French eating time’ (ie: 12:30-14:00…not a moment before, not a moment after!!) as she’ll have peace & quiet to drag her trolley around the store while most other people are consuming their sarnies (or whatever it is they have during that brief window of culinary opportunity)! Think she’s talking about purchasing a couple of pork chops for Saturday’s dinner, and some kind of chocolate gateaux thingy for the youngster’s birthday…something that looks nice anyway (he’s a chocolate fan), and malleable enough for a candle to be stuck into it, for decorational purposes.

Her French lesson went well this morning..she feels she’s making the tiniest bit of progress. However, she was on the return bus journey from the teacher’s house, and still had about 20 minutes of the (25 minute long) journey to go, when the bus pulled in at a particular stop. The front door by the driver swished open, yet Herself could not see anyone at that point. Instead she heard an over-loud, rather odd-sounding “BONJOUR! VOILA!”. Instinctively, she felt that whoever it was boarding the bus would come and sit beside her. Now, there was plenty of room…empty double seats in front of her, across the aisle from her, and behind her….but where oh where did weird loud person sit? Yup! You’ve guessed it! Right in beside Herself, squashing herself right up against the windowpane. She spent the next 20 minutes or so, wondering why she seemed to attract ‘weirdos’ in buses. Of all the empty seats in the bus, Weird Dude (as he shall now be called) threw himself into Herself’s seat, digging his elbow in, shoving her right up against the glass, and muttering to himself, seeming to take pleasure at her squirming discomfort.

She wonders why this sort of thing keeps happening to herself! Himself says she must be a walking self-fulfilling prophecy..ie: if you think something will happen to you, then it will!. Weird Dude had taken in all the empty seats, spotted her, decided to home in on her, squashing her in, clamping her coat with his weight during the process – ensuring she was well and truly trapped. She glared out the window, hoping some random passerby would spot her predicament and rescue her. But no!

For 20 long minutes she sat, pinned and squashed, while Weird Dude muttered, mumbled, thrust his hand into his trouser pocket and out again (!), scratched his head, sniffled and snorted (incessantly runny nose or something), and….farted continuously. Yep, farted! And she couldn’t escape. And Weird Dude hadn’t seen the inside of a shower since they were first invented either…she says she’s sure she can still smell his ‘aroma’ off her coat at this point (she has treated said coat to several long sprays of Febreze since returning home this afternoon).

Eventually, the bus arrived at the stop she wanted to alight at. A few people got up and moved towards the door, ready to disembark. She says it was obvious that Weird Dude wasn’t going anywhere, he was content to remain on board. She stood up and politely said: “Pardon”, and attempted to get out of the seat past him. He was having none of it. She was his prisoner. Weird Dude blocked her exit with his bulk, put his arm across to prevent her from stepping down from the seat, came out with ‘a stream of angry/ vulgar French’, got up and moved slowly towards the door in front of her, all the while blocking her exit with his bulk. As soon as Weird Dude stepped out onto the pavement, Herself shot out from behind him and down a side street, muttering to herself…and was struck by the irony of it all. There she was, fleeing down a street, looking/ sounding like a Weird Dudette! But without the farts. And sniffling/scratching! She moved, fleetfooted, in the opposite direction of Weird Dude, only stopping for breath when she reached a flower market – then buried her head in a bunch of roses, drinking in the scent to drown him out!

She says Weird Dude’s behaviour was most unsettling, and she hopes he won’t be hanging around on the same bus service, same time next week. We’ll see! She stopped off in several locations around Nantes centre hoping to find a copy of the February edition of The French Paper, but no-one had seen it, or heard of it. She says she was looking forward to a good old read of the paper, and supposes she’ll just have to read it online now instead.

Herself says her eyelids are droopy with sleep and that she’s close to floating off to the Land of Nod, so I suppose I had better wrap things up here for the night/morning. The sooner Herself gets off to sleep, the sooner she’ll wake up and need a great big mug of tea!

So on that note, I’ll say Bon Journรฉe, and see you on here later!


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