Wednesday, 18 November 2009
This was a gathering of Twitter enthusiasts and business people organised by @JefPulver there is list of delegates a put together by @RobOCallaghan and a list of speakers Jeff Pulver's List of Speakers. Have a look at these lists - there are some great people to follow on them.
I you want to get a good feel for what it looked like @Britt_W has taken some really good photos - see if you can spot me in the crowd!
I will add some more to this later but one of the highlights of the conference for me and for many others I suspect, was the talk given by Stephen Fry - (captured on video by
@B33God ) which is well worth viewing. The message here and throughout the conference was that Twitter is about people and engagement, it is about enjoying contact with people and that business can benefit greatly from interacting with real people.
As we all know at #elevensestime!
Monday, 28 September 2009
200g caster sugar
200g plain flour
Roughly 150 - 200g courgettes
80g nuts (walnuts or pecans work well)
80g dried fruit
Generous pinch of salt
Half a teaspoon of baking powder
Cinammon to taste (I use half to one teaspoon)
Butter and base line a large loaf tin, and preheat your oven to 180 C. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat the eggs and add them one at a time making sure you mix each one in thoroughly. Coarsely grate the apple and courgette, squeeze out all the excess moisture and add them to the mixture. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon and gently fold into the mixture, then stir in the nuts and dried fruit. Transfer to the loaf tin, and then bake for roughly an hour (until golden and firm). Cool in the tin before turning out.
Thursday, 3 September 2009
I would strongly recommend you make your cake with your own local honey & local free range eggs, you may then rename it to your local area - so far, since I first posted the recipe on Twitter, it has transmuted successfully into both Perthshire Honey Cake & Somerset Honey Cake and Texas Honey Cake is imminent!
It really does need to be eaten on the day it is made, preferably still warm from the oven.
180g Shropshire Honey
80g soft brown sugar
2 beaten eggs
200g self raising flour
60g icing sugar
1 tbsp honey
1. Preheat oven to 180C and butter and line the bottom of a 18cm cake tin with bake-o-glide
2.Heat the honey, butter and sugar with a tablespoon of water in a large pan until melted.
3. Remove from the heat and mix in the eggs, flour & cinnamon, then put into the cake tin
4. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the cake is springy to the touch and shrinking slightly from the sides of the tin.
5. Cool in the tin for 20 minutes before turning onto a wire rack.
6. While the cake is still warm, make the icing. Mix icing sugar & honey with 2-3 teaspoons of hot water and then drizzle over the cake.
Hopton House, Shropshire - A Perfect Place to stay
Tuesday, 1 September 2009
Posted by hg_graceimaging but recipe from Doris Minter
Buy gooseberries and wash them. Cut of stalks and ends.
Cook in little water for about 10 minutes, the gooseberries themselves release lots of juice and let them simmer in it.
Take off the heat and mash or puree to desired consistency.
Remove from the pot and weigh the mass of fruit. Pour back into pot and stir in the same quantity of jam-making sugar.
Once the sugar desolves, add small lump of butter, all on low to medium heat.
Stir and bring to the boil. Boil for 4 minutes exactly.
Fill into clean jars. Cool and store.
Think it also needs to be kept in fridge after opening, due to dairy content.
Thanks to my German housemate, Doris, for supplying this recipe.
4 tbsp honey
For the cake mixture
275g/9oz softened, unsalted butter
200g/7oz plain flour
A pinch of salt
2 tsp baking powder
200g/7oz yellow polenta
3 organic eggs, lightly beaten
100ml/31/2fl oz milk
Place the honey into a small saucepan and gently warm through. When just warm, remove from the stove and pour over the blackberries. Set aside while you make the cake mixture.
Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Lightly grease and flour a 28cm cake tin. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then mix in the flour, salt, baking powder and polenta.
Add the eggs and milk and stir gently to form a soft dough – the mixture should easily drop from a spoon.
Spoon the batter into the cake tin and gently stud the blackberries into the top. Pour over whatever honey is left in the pan and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for an hour and a quarter.
To test whether the cake is cooked, insert a skewer into the centre; it should come out clean. Leave to cool and serve.*
(I find this delicious with cream poured over a slice...)
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
1 stick of butter (8 tbsp)
1 square unsweetened chocolate, melted
3/4 c sugar
6 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla
2 c unbleached white flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
preheat oven to 350F. grease a cookie sheet.
cream the butter in a large mixing bowl. drizzle in melted chocolate and beat well. (ideally use an electric mixer at high speed). add sugars, molasses and egg. beat several more minutes. stir in vanilla.
in a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, ginger and salt. stir this into the first mixture. mix thoroughly but briefly (just enough to combine wet and dry ingredients). do not beat.
lightly flour your hands and form 1-inch balls. roll the balls in granulated sugar. place them about 2 inches apart on the greased cookie sheet. bake for 12 min at 350F. they will be soft but the surface will be cracked. cool on a rack.
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Sunday, 23 August 2009
8 fl oz (250ml) vegetable oil*
12 oz (375g) sugar**
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsps boiling water
6 oz plain flour
2 tsps ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 3/4 tsps baking powder
4 oz (120g) chopped pecans or walnuts
8 oz (250g) finely grated raw carrots
* I use sunflower oil
** I like to use demerara sugar, but light brown, granulated or castor will all work well.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Preheat the oven to 375F, gas 5
Combine egg yolks, oil, sugar, vanilla and boiling water in a large bowl and beat until well mixed.
Sift together the flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and baking powder, then add to the egg mixture and beat well.
Mix in the nuts and carrots.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold carefully into the mixture.
Pour into a well greased and floured cake tin - I use a loaf tin - and bake for 50 minutes to one hour, until the cake springs back when you press the top lightly.
Turn out and cool on a wire tray.
To make the cream cheese frosting:
7 oz (200g) icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Tub of Philadelphia cream cheese
1 1/2 tbsps softened butter or soft margarine
Beat all the ingredients together until well mixed, and use to ice the cake when cooled.
This is a delicious, damp, nutty cake.
Friday, 21 August 2009
A couple, both younger than my late thirties were sat at the table beside ours and had been laughing and joking as we had been. Some confusion then seemed to set in after their tea had arrived. The gentleman looked towards his lady companion with a look of puzzlement on his face. The lady returned his look of puzzlement.
I dropped a sugar rock into my cup of English Breakfast and stirred it.
Something was perplexing this couple. Something that no matter how hard they tried, they could not work out to their satisfaction.
My friend opened the jar of honey that accompanied her toast and started to spread some on a slice.
As the house manager passed by the gentleman caught his attention. The manager walked over to the table and asked how he could be of service.
The gentleman lifted a small metal piece from the table.
Then he indicated the small bowl in which the piece rested.
“And this bowl? What’s this for?
At the same moment my friend and I looked at each other. The look when people realise a faux pas is taking place and are trying not to take pleasure at the discomfort of another. I left my cup on its saucer in the event that my self control wasn’t up to scratch and I spluttered tea everywhere in laughter. My friend did the same.
We knew what was coming.
The house manager (an excellent chap who is unfazed by the many variations in clothing that I have worn to his establishment) politely explained that the tea served is leaf tea which needs time to brew and then be strained with the strainer as it is poured from the teapot into the cup. The bowl is to catch any drops of tea which fall from the strainer when it is at rest.
Do we really have a generation which does not know what a tea strainer is?
Thursday, 13 August 2009
This recipe is Perfect for morning or afternoon tea and an ideal snack for a kids lunch box.
* 2 tsp Baking Powder
* 500g White Flour
* 200g Whole Meal Flour
* 200g Brown Sugar
* 2 tbsp Mixed Spice
* Pinch of Salt
* 500ml Milk (Soy or Rice if preferred)
* 100g Butter
* 175g Dried Fruits (cut into small pieces)
* 2 Handfuls Walnuts, chopped
* pre-heat oven to 170 Celsius/338 Fahrenheit
* Soak the dried fruit in hot water for 10 minutes
* Butter a 10cm by 22cm cake tin
* Sift flour & baking powder together in a bowl
* Add mixed spice, sugar & salt and stir
* In a pan warm the milk, do not boil
* Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the milk
* Stir until butter is melted
* Add milk mixture to the flour mixture and combine
* Stir until mixture is smooth and sticky
* Finally add the dried fruit & nuts and mix in well
* Pour mixture into baking tin and cook for 50 minutes
* To check it is done insert a fork into the cake - on removal it should come out clean
* Cool and cut into slices
Friday, 31 July 2009
whats this got to do with flowers then?
well the sale of flowers, (you can buy them in our fabulous online boutique) has supported pankaj through school, because he has worked so hard, last year we went to see his headmaster and agreed to transfer him to an english school. recently he told me in english he had achieved his first ever 1st class pass, so excited he dived under his mattress to find the certificate to show me… all i managed to do was burst into tears because he had told me in english, that totally confused him but luckily the international language of laughter got me out of that hole!
next time you go to make a purchase ask where it came from...
read more of our story here or have a look at some pictures here
Monday, 27 July 2009
7” cake tins 
Resting rack (could use a grill tray) 
Big mixing bowl 
Smaller mixing bowl 
Mixing device (electric beaters or hand whisk) 
Pretty big spoon 
Washing up sink ready to wash pots.
Cocktail stick 
Fresh strawberries or jam to taste.
The flattest plate you have over 7” across or a big round chocolate tin lid.
Self-raising flour [8oz]
Caster sugar [8oz]
Medium eggs 
Icing Sugar [4oz]
Vanilla extract [2 drops]
Pre-heat the oven to 190°C (for fan assisted). Grease the cake tins (if you need to).
Put 8oz of margarine in the big mixing bowl. Add 8oz of caster sugar to the big mixing bowl. Mix the margarine and caster sugar. Break the eggs into the smaller bowl. Whisk the eggs. Start adding small amounts of the egg to the big bowl and mix it in. This will make the egg curdle, so add flour to the big bowl and mix it to bring the mix back. Continue until all the flour and egg has been added to the big bowl.
Spoon the mix into the two cake tins so they have equal amounts of mix. Level the mix out in the tins, but try to have a little more around the edges and less in the middle (it rises more in the middle and cooks slower so doing this will lead to a more level sponge).
If the oven is stable at temperature, put the filled cake tins in and start a 15 minute timer (if not, carry on with instructions until it is).
Wash the smaller bowl (we’ll need it again soon). Wash the big bowl and put it away. Wash the mixing device. Put the remaining 4oz of margarine in the smaller bowl. Mix the margarine to smooth it and make later mixing easier. Put small amounts (table spoon sized) of icing sugar in the smaller bowl and mix it in (if you add lots you will make a big cloud of icing sugar dust).
Continue until about 3oz of icing sugar has been mixed with the margarine. Add 2 drops of vanilla extract to the smaller bowl and mix it in.Taste the mix and decide if you need more icing sugar, keep adding sugar to taste. Put the smaller bowl in the fridge to cool until the cake is ready. When the cake is ready it will be golden and when you slide the cocktail stick in it will come out with no cake mix left on it. Once the cakes are ready, take the tins out of the oven (but not the cakes out of the tin!). Let the tins cool for 5-10 minutes. The cake should now have shrunk and the tins cooled enough to remove them from the tins and put them on the rack.Leave for another 5-10 minutes to cool more.
Choose the flattest sponge as the one for the bottom. Put the bottom sponge on the plate / upside-down lid.
With jam: Smear the jam over the top of the lower sponge.
Smear 2/3 of the butter icing over the jam.
With fruit:Wash then slice the strawberries up.
Smear the top of the lower sponge with 2/3 of the butter icing.Place ¾ of the strawberries on top of the butter icing. Place the top sponge on top. Smear the last of the butter icing over the top sponge. With fruit:Place the last of the strawberries on top of the butter icing. Put it all in the fridge for 15 minutes for the icing to harden up.
Enjoy it all with a nice cup of tea at #elevensestime
Kindest regards, StoatWithToast (aka Dave) Dave Walker
Friday, 17 July 2009
mygreenlipstick has just launched their upcyled collection comprising exclusive designs made from vintage fabrics, lace & trimmings, in limited numbers, creating a range that is not only 'green' but exclusive too! Vintage pieces are 'lipsticked' as a unique style is added to each piece making it truely adorable & distinctive at the end of its upcycling journey. These pieces are one-offs, made from refashioned, recycled materials including repurposed garments, vintage silk scarves, vintage buttons & buckles & sustainable materials such as organic cotton & silk; all waiting to start a new life!
mygreenlipstick are proud of their environmental responsibility within their cutting-edge designs working their fashion magic with a mixture of vintage fabrics & lace & accessories. The results are as striking as they are ecologically sensitive.
The collection has a uniqueness all of it's own but works well with the other designers that mygreenlipstick have brought together, already proud to have celebrities as clients. Kate Moss, Keira Knightley, Gwen Stefani, Cheryl Cole, Paris Hilton, Rihanna, & Sienna Miller are just some of the celebrities who are loving 'green'.
"The big names are there - from Hollywood eco-darling Deborah Lindquist to ethical editors fave Ciel' Time Out - London.
The beautiful collection looks & feels great & will leave you wanting to add more to your wardrobe. Go on line and view the complete collection today at www.mygreenlipstick.com! You'll find yourself making time in your diary to visit again.
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Watching this in the main browser twitstream can be difficult. But at least it is a single stream so you only have to go up and down the list of posts; avoiding any from people who are not in the main loop. And don't even try to follow a conversation back too many steps.
And setting up a third party application like TweetDeck can be complicated. You probably need columns for:
- Mentions - so you can see messages which refer to you.
- Elevensestime search - so you can see all posts with the hashtag.
- Elevensestime group (i.e. all the people in the group you communicate with) so you can pick up the posts which miss the tag.
And then there is the time delay, with posts appearing much sooner in the web browser than TweetDeck (or any other app being used) you might be tempted to switch from app to web to speed things along.
And there is a possibility you run out of API calls in TweetDeck requiring you to change the way you might be working.
Does anyone find this easy. Obviously we men, not being competent at multi-tasking, will struggle. But has anyone found an easy way to do this? What systems and processes are you using to track elevensestime? Have the recent changes to TweetDeck helped (personally I find the conversation window quite useful, especially when you come into a conversation late). What other system do you use? Does the multiple columns on the iPhone version of TweetDeck help?
Sunday, 14 June 2009
250 grams plain chocolate
100 grams margarine
100 grams sugar
100 grams self-raising flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp cold water
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C.
Melt 200grams of chocolate and the margarine with 2 tsp of cold water gently over a pan of hot water or in a microwave. Break up the remaining 50 grams of chocolate into small pieces and mix together with the sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla essence. Pour into a greased 8” square tin. Bake for about 20-25 minutes in the middle of the oven. It should be a bit squidgy in the middle. Allow to cool slightly and then turn out onto a rack. When cool cut into pieces.
Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee at Elevenses Time.
Monday, 8 June 2009
Earlier in the week BBC4 Today did a short feature on the Cabinet War Rooms, with historian Richard Holmes who has written a book highlighting some of the stories of people who worked there.
One story he didn't have was that of my parents, who met when they both worked in the War Rooms, so I emailed Today to tell them that. I expected, at most, that they might read the email out but instead they set up a studio interview with James Naughtie for Saturday morning, 7.30am. Which meant getting up at 5.30am for a 6.30am taxi to Plymouth... At 6.25am, just as the taxi arrived, a phone call from Today called the whole thing off.
Anyway... my father was at that time a sergeant in the RASC and unfortunately I know very little about much of his war service except that he worked in the Map Room in the War Rooms, presumably sticking pins in maps.
My mother was a corporal in the ATS and had been posted to the CWR some time in 1940, as a shorthand typist. She had both very fast shorthand and very fast and accurate typing and worked for what she refers to as the "top brass" by which I think she means the top military bods in the War Rooms, up to and including the General Officer Commanding.
She both worked and slept in the War Rooms while on duty. If any of you have been there you will have seen, shortly as you go in, a glass plate let into the floor and steps leading down even further into the warren of rooms and tunnels under Whitehall. She slept down there... she remembers calling a sentry one day to deal with a rat running over the pipes snaking around and over where she slept. He bayoneted it and said he was taking it to the canteen. Joke, I hope.
She's now 91 and her memory is shot to pieces, so I can't get too much more out of her than I already know but she says that at the start of the posting she was told that in the event of invasion no-one down in the War Rooms would get out... scary but I suppose in the war it seemed perfectly normal.
She remembers Churchill wandering around in his siren suit and occasionally watching her type. She says that when she'd finished typing something - letters, orders or whatever, she'd take her shorthand notes, the finished work and any carbon papers used, in to be signed, when the shorthand and the carbons would be burnt. She also remembers trekking through the various tunnels (funnily enough, my husband, who was in the Navy, worked for several years in the MoD and used the same tunnels some 30 odd years later. The underground bunkers are all still there and all operational...).
Exactly how my parents met and how they conducted a courtship I do not know and, of course, I reget bitterly that I never asked my father more about his war service... it's a lesson too late in the learning. He continued for a while in the War Rooms after they married, but she had to leave because married couples weren't allowed to work together (she says)... she didn't stay in theArmy much longer because she became pregnant - not with me - and had to leave. My father was given a commission and during D-Day was in Essex - rather annoyed, judging by his letters - and later went to Italy and Africa.
I'm quite relieved about the loss of the interview, but I did want to highlight the work of the Army typists in particular as most of what you hear about War Rooms staff comes from the civilian side - Churchill's secretaries and civil servants. There were so many people with fascinating stories.
Saturday, 23 May 2009
So here goes:
Granny's Ginger Biscuits
1 lb self-raising flour
1/2 lb marge or butter
1/2 lb brown or white sugar
6 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tabspoon golden syrup
Oven 200-225°C (Adjust for fan oven)
Put everything in mixer and blend till well-mixed
Rub fat into flour; add dry ingredients.
Beat egg and add to golden syrup.
Add to the dry mixture and work into dough
2. Roll pieces the size of a walnut. Place on floured baking tray and press down gently.
Cook for about 10 mins - until light golden brown.
Delicious straight from the oven; even tastier the next day if they last that long!!
[NB Sorry only imperial measurements and no gas oven temp - it is home recipe, and I haven't done the conversion]
Friday, 22 May 2009
On the bill were the following:
Fumble - (can't any free sources for Fumble )
McGuiness Flint - Spotify - "When I'm Dead and Gone" (Don't read too much into this track choice, there weren't many to choose from !)
Alvin Lee (Ten Years After) -Spotify - "Once There was a Time"
Wishbone Ash - Spotify - "Sometime World"
Were you there too? If you were, can you remember any other acts that were on the bill
What was your first live gig? Post replies to the @ElevensesTime #ElevensesTime tag and join us for a cup of tea or coffee and a chat at 11:00 am (BST)
If anyone can track down alternative legal and free sources for tracks (e.g blip, last.fm etc) please post them on the Twitter #ElevensesTime hash tag and I will pick them up and add them here.
We also now have a collaborative Spotify playlist for @ElevensesTime so you can relive some of those magic moments!
Saturday, 16 May 2009
We'll get the kettle on at 11:00am (GMT!) i.e. London Time so drop in and say hello!