In the shop today

Ranunculus. Don't be fooled by photography, that is a full size bucket, and the heads really are as large as golf balls AND Locally grown.


Also pretty roses, so pretty it is almost unbearable.

A bit busy here and The Hound has gone to a "meeting" which i think is code for ale and pizza at the pub.


Do you Flickr?

I wish I did, then i could upload this photo and enter this contest. not that it would win, but I wanted to enter the dog one, and didn't, and what if The Hound hadn't won? Perish the thought.

The problem is you need a yahoo account to get a Flickr one. Easy really, fill out details, and click. Except i clicked when adding in my birth year as this year, and now Yahoo thinks i am too young.

"Go and get your Mom and Dad" really that's what it says, in a shouty tone.

That's what it is telling me to do, it is obviously recognising my computer, and despite a change in the date, thinks i am a cunning child who has just changed the date in order to look at x-rated sites or something.

If it recognises i am too young, perhaps it could also recognise i am in the UK, so it should really say.

"Now be a good little girl, and run along and find Mummy and Daddy to help you with this part,"

In my head I have won the contest.

It had to be a sandwich or two

Sourdough bread, toasted belly pork, last piece of crackling, roast veg, and that sauce. Then crab, just crab and a bit of mayonnaise.

Sandwiches have always been my thing, back in 1958/59 I worked for Pret a Manger, I could probably still make 120 chicken and bacon superclub in 45 minutes.

I have been a little extra obsessed with sandwiches since watching that BBC 4 documentary, I am now desperate to go to Bristol and try one of those famous Trethowan Dairy cheese sandwiches.

and whilst we are on the subject of food, I watched Eat, Drink, Man, Woman again at the weekend. The opening sequence is mesmerising. A man with knife skills is a good thing. If you haven't seen it, go and get it, and watch over the Bank Holiday. It is going to rain non-stop so you will need something to do.

Sophie is on again tonight, food for romance. Let's hope she is better, and doesn't look so scared of the food this time.

As i was buying a coffee this morning, the gentleman asked if he could have hot milk in his coffee instead of cold, as it would keep warmer longer.

"No it won't"

I wanted to say, a hotter liquid will lose it's temperature more quickly. I learnt that in my very first lesson of Physics A-Level. We rolled up, all 8 of us (not the most popular subject in an all girls boarding school) and we got to make a mug of coffee, and drink it in the lesson, and learn about heat loss and stuff. We thought we were the coolest people in the world, and scoffed at those that had chosen humanities. that lesson was taught by Mrs Gobbett, who was quite scary until you got to know her. I saw her in the Tobie Norris on Sunday night.

I didn't tell the man, the shop was busy, and he is a teacher, I didn't want to embarrass him.


The dilemma

not like Nelly and Kelly, something much more serious. What to do with all the weekend's leftovers? I have feasted. A secret supper club, which I can't tell you about because it's like fight club, snatched snacks and a roast. But that was the weekend, and now it is the week, and a girl still needs to eat, so what to do with all the bits? Roast veg, cherry tomato, cream and apple sauce, a crab, and a piece of roasted belly pork.......which may or may not have any of it's crackling left since the photo was taken.

Suggestions please, whilst you think on I shall eat this sticky apple and pecan bun.


A little bit of twee for a Friday afternoon.

LOCAL daffodils, in a rusty VINTAGE bread bin.

The only thing missing is an ORGANIC certificate, then they would tick all the boxes, I won't get started on the Organic thing because this isn't the time or the place, one day.

So what plans for the weekend? Will it be full of twee? I do hope so. Perhaps you might be feeling a little parched and need some ale? Then head to Beer festival at the Tobie. I don't like beer, I don't think a lady should drink out of a pint glass, but i do like to watch men try and order a pint of "Fuzzy duck thumb ducker" after they have had a few.

For me, it is feasting,the second race, shopping with a vintage wicker basket, and an afternoon of throwdown. Bliss.

The Hound will be mainly playing hide and seek, sometimes you have to humour him.



I have made up a lot of faded arrangements today. Colour but not colour. I think it maybe because I watched 500 days of summer again the other day, or maybe because I have seen the delightful Match.com advert a few times.

I really want a heavy fringe a la Zoey, but with hair prone to curling? difficult.
Other things that have been noted this week.

Who needs a boy with a hammer, when you are a girl with a meat tenderiser? Does the trick just as well. Apart from the one picture which fell down in the night, and The Hound thought we had an intruder, and it turns out he isn't very brave.

The Hound has taught me about followers, who knew? there you were lurking at the back somewhere, and now I have put you on the front. Follow away, I don't know what happens if you do, maybe there is a rainbow? You could take a screenshot of your avatar on the blog, and frame it.
"Me on Miss P's blog" or you could un-follow, maybe you were happy with nobody knowing you actually read this?

I can feel a giveaway coming on.....


The sweetest idea

This is a pudding, and it is made of ice cream and looks like potted plants.

By the ever fabulous Pioneer Woman. Read her blog, cowboys, food, Basset hounds, photography and all kinds.

For step by step instructions including how to make a boy version go here.

I have been scouring t'internet for ideas for a very special lunch party I am hosting, a casual affair chez Miss P, but needs to be a little bit wow, and it is just men coming, so no need for a salad course, or cous-cous, or quiche.

suggestions if you will....

In the shop today

Bouquets of roses, mimosa, rosemary, and that leafless alstro again.

A stash of herbs demonstrates there is more than one way to do green, and the scent, oh my the scent, how i wish you could smell the lemon thyme. It's like the hill tops of Italy, spit-roasted chicken and gelato all rolled into one. I can feel a feast coming on.

Why is it so hard to buy a can of diet coke? I don't want a plastic bottle it makes the coke taste funny.


I wanted to love it

but I didn't. It made me cringe.

You will remember we all got excited when the book came out.I love Sophie Dahl, I think she is exquisitely beautiful, and would sell The Hound to the highest bidder to have her cheekbones.

But why did she listen when someone said, Let's make a TV show?

The food was good if unoriginal, but it just all felt a bit forced. From the perfectly twee kitchen to the literary quotes, Dorothy Parker anecdotes and the fish facts??

It was so contrived, the Cath Kidston of the cookery world, and her forehead didn't move.

Perhaps I am just bored of the format, Nigella, Nigel, Jamie, Delia, what we all really need is a new Fanny Craddock. The Hound thinks he would be better as the Galloping Gourmet. Either way we are pitching it Channel 4 in the morning. There just aren't enough dogs cooking on television.

Perhaps next weeks will be better? Please let it be.

We don't do duvets

or alstromeria.

do you remember Trevor and Simon? where are they now?

So alstro would be on my flowers so loathsome list. but if you buy nice ones without the brown flecks, in a lime green colour, and remover the leaves (it is the leaves that irritate me the most) and they are actually quite nice.

Separate out the flowers and use with Majolica roses, and i would almost go so far as to say superb. What are your thoughts is it ?

A. I love them brown flecks and all
B. I will search out these lime green ones and use them
C. Is that a half naked action man?
or is it D. What did you say? I am too busy swinging my pants.

Answers on a comment please.


A day in the city

I went to meet a very old friend for lunch, he's not old, I've just known him a long time. We met at divertimenti, a hardcore porn shop for cooks.
We played find the most useless piece of kitchen equipment, a herb mincer won. Who minces herbs?

Lunch was at Le Relais de Venise. They only serve one thing, ever. Green salad with walnuts, followed by steak-frites. Not great if you are a vegetarian, but we aren't.

The steak is delicious and comes in a secret sauce. Which is green, and doesn't actually look that appetising. But it is.

Just when you think, "that was so delicious I could eat it again"....they do just that. It is a meal of 2 halves. This is a concept that more restaurants should adopt.

The tables are very close together, Tory party spin doctors to my right, South African bankers to my left. We drank a lot of red wine, and had creme brulee and profiteroles.

Then to a shop opening, The Beautiful People have opened a shop. It was full of equally beautiful people who were all unusually tanned given the time of year. Black sequins de rigeur. I wore floral, tweed and snakeskin. We ate canapes, one was a bit like hog roast in a vol-au-vent, only posher. I think it could be the best canape i have ever eaten.

I couldn't wait to get to London, my longing to be back there seems to have been gaining momentum over the last few months.
But now I think here is where I belong, I think this is me.

Or maybe Paris?

Meanwhile The Hound spent the day with The Mother Hen, and started his own blog.


Introducing.........The Captain

Husband to The Mother Hen, father to The Small Child, stepfather to The Other Miss Pickering and yours truly.

A man of great integrity, captain of his very own ship, architect, chief advisor, wee dram drinker, and in case you hadn't noticed.............brilliant.



Actual real life flowers, who knew?

I give you Scilla Peruviana and muscari.

Today has been greatly enhanced by the gift of a bacon sandwich.

Currently loving........Cowboys

I want to go to a Rodeo

and kiss a cowboy

who is wearing spurs.



Fruit and veg

A friend of mine has opened a fruit and veg shop in Uppingham. It's on the High Street, I can't remember the number, but as it only takes 45 seconds to walk from end to the other you are sure to spot it.

She sells fruit and veg, not in a twee way, there are no Farrow and Balled vintaged dressers, and the name of the grower isn't written on each potato in organic ink.

It is just honest. Fruit and veg and some free range eggs. This is the way a fruit and veg shop should be.

I bought some butternut squash, roasted it, then smooshed it up a bit and roasted it some more.
That way you get more of the caramelised bits. Remove from the oven and chuck on bits of gorgonzola. The heat of the squash will melt it. Add some fresh sage and a hunk of bread.

I made this recipe after deciding to go wheat/dairy free.

I gave up after 5 hours, a girl cannot survive on Earl Grey and Gin alone.

Spell checker doesn't like my use of the word "smooshed"

This post killed the last laptop

I'm not sure it was entirely responsible, but it was what i was doing when it gave up the will to live. This morning I have woken up with the most awful chest, and a barking cough. Most unpleasant and inconvenient. Why do we always get sick when we take a few days off?

Whilst I feel sorry for myself, I will hit publish on a few posts that never saw the light of day.

I love foliage, arrangements without it have their place, who doesn't love a dome of tulips or roses? But imagine if you never had a bouquet scented with rosemary, oregano or mint. If you hadn't had a vase of olive branches and mock orange, that instantly transported you back to a holiday in Kephalonia. Or just had some eucalytpus with a few stems of oriental lily, or fallen head over heels for the blousy viburnum opulus?

To never experience these things would be quite terrible.

Foliage.......there's more to it than "a bit of greenery"

If there was a foliage association i would be it's marketing manager.

I would however refuse to market leatherleaf. That stuff is just wrong.


I have just had a Pretty Woman moment

Sadly it wasn't this one

Or this one

It was the one where she goes in the shop and they were mean to her for not looking the part. in my case they were mean because i rummaged through the remnant bin, and deigned to make a purchase and ask for a bag, because i didn't want to put it in the same bag as my Cromer Crab.
I want to name and shame, but i won't. In the words of Destinys Child.
"You know i'm not gonna diss you on the Internet, 'cos my mama taught me better than that."
I will just wait for my Big mistake, big, huge moment.

A day at the museum

Did you guess the Cambridge museum of technology? Probably not, it wouldn't be top of my list either, but it turned to be really rather good.

It is basically a big chimney, large engines made out of cast iron and steam, I still have absolutely no idea what it all does, but don't tell anyone.

It is run by a fabulous group of volunteers, who all look like Fred Dibnah, even the one that only looked to be about 14.

Mr F started chatting to them, and soon they realised there was more to this man than meets the eye. He talked to them about things i didn't understand, a secret language if you will, we'll call it engineer. They seemed to be rather in awe of our dear Mr F, and tried to recruit him as a volunteer. I wouldn't mind seeing him with large sideburns. I do hope he signs up.

The Hound enjoyed it too, he loves museums. Later in the gift shop, he pinched a mans Mars Bar, right out of his hand. Then we walked along the river in the sunshine.

Those Victorians knew a thing or two about tiling, the most decorative engine room you ever did see. It would make a rather cool space for a cocktail party, you would just need to move a few things about.


Only the best presents

have your name on them.

A new laptop bag from The Other Miss Pickering, it might stop me from dropping the laptop into a big pan of arrabiata sauce.

I love monogrammed things, I am also into engraving. Personalising things is my new thing.

Get your bag here

I fully intend to take the tulips out before putting the laptop in.

It doesn't have to be Xanths

Funeral flowers for a lady that lived near the shop. She was well known in Stamford. A big part of the dog community, a lady that wore bright clothing and crocs.

It was the crocs that summed her up, a mature lady with a young outlook. She would come in to buy flowers for friends, and bring me dead orchids asking for my tips on resuscitation.I gave it to her straight.....

"bin it, buy a new one"

and then we would laugh, a lot.

It was only after her death that i found out she was President of the flower arranging society.

I hope the tied bouquet of roses, ranunculus, tulips and snowdrops and herbs would have met with her approval.

If not, she would have given it to me straight, and then laughed.