Monday, June 28, 2010

Jo Seagar's Cook School!

Well blog chics, I know you've all been waiting for this post for a long time. I know I have!
So I apologise in advance to everyone who's not reading this in New Zealand, because obviously some of the hype will not be quite in context, but...
Jo Seagar is a Kiwi chic icon, in the true sense of the word. More famous than the All Blacks in certain circles.
She trained at Cordon Bleu in England, then at some fancy cook school in France and has worked for various notables, but she is just a Kiwi chic from the Hawkes bay at heart!

This is the chocolate and raspberry brownie with chocolate mousse in a little shot glass. Devine!

Here is the woman in question, deep in meaningful conversation about ground almonds or something with my girlfriends Leigh and Debbie.

We've had this girls weekend planned since November, and it was quite a trek to get there. Oxford is a tiny town in inland Canterbury (South Island), about forty minutes drive from Christchurch. Seagar's of Oxford is the biggest thing to hit Oxford since the local pub opened sometime early last century I suppose. (We sampled the local pub cuisine and watched the rugby with said locals on Saturday night - great company - and we won the rugby!!)
There is the cafe, cook school, cook shop and the Band B all in the same corner site in the main street of Oxford. Leigh and Debbie and I stayed in the B and B and had breakfast in the fab cafe with a big gas fire going!

This is the B and B. Used to be a skody old motel, completely re-facaded and done up inside. Very comfortable.

Deb and I outside the cook shop. All the locals were very accommodating about taking photos!

Local took this one outside the cafe.

More food!

We watched Jo Cook for about 4 hours each day, at the same time telling rude stories and hilarious anecdotes from her various exploits catering in the High Country for Christine Fernehough of Castle Hill Station, taking the cook school to Umbria for a month every year and what happens on your wedding day when your bridesmaid has a wooden leg!
We had a few hands on turns at pasta making and truffle rolling etc, but mostly we just watched mesmerised and laughed and laughed at all the stories. Then we ate lunch which lasted two hours - more stories!!!

Lemon possit and lemon roulade.

Aforementioned truffles.

Chocolate mousse, brownie and berry coulis.

Playing with the pasta machine. Leigh rolled and I looked clever with lashings of rolled pasta sheets!

I have always coveted one of these!

Jo's fab kitchen!

Celebrity photo shoot LOL!

This is the fabulous Emily who would appear through the door with whatever was required next for Jo. It was quite miraculous , her timing. We wondered if she was run secretly by remote control and Jo had a secret Emily call button under the bench.

We were very reluctant to leave actually. It was so much fun, and they made us feel so welcome.
Back to Christchurch and a flight home unfortunately.
I have so many wonderful photos and memories. Thanks girls, I'll be boring my grandchildren with tales of cook school I expect. They will be very enduring memories.
PS - they did not give a prize for being most like the Swedish Chef from the muppets! Otherwise I would have got it. I got an autographed menu and a Seagar's of Oxford apron instead!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More Tea Vicar?

I've always wanted a tea cosy. One of those old fashioned ones that look like what Granny would have worn on her head to church or the Easter Parade!!! Well now I have one in my very own colour pallet and everything! My Mum made it especially for me. She knew that my life would not be complete without one I guess. Just like Auntie Lex gave us a butter knife for an engagement present 25 years ago. Same reason LOL.

I've moved it round my "Granny China" cupboard, auditioning it in several places.

I've finished Val's bag too. I'm very happy with the way it turned out.

And ... despite rumours to the contrary last week, I've finished Cooper's mouse hat. It has matching mittens too, but they wouldn't have fitted the dolly well enough to show you.
I had to borrow Dolly's head to model it at it's best advantage.

The other thing I've been experimenting with this week are the little button flowers made by Emily at Ravenhill. She's done a very easy to follow tutorial about how to make them here.
She's also invited everybody to post photos on her flikr group around what they've turned them into. That's the Cute as a Button Flowers Flikr Group.
Most of you probably know Emily anyway and have all been to have a look. I find her creativity so inspiring, and love reading her blog. She has gorgeous children too, which always helps with blog appeal :P

I turned this one into a brooch, just made some leaves for it.

But I thought it would be equally as good as a shoe embellishment if I made a matching one (didn't get as far as actually making it though!)

Then I did my usual trick and spent about half an hour taking photos of it all around the house, just because it made me happy. I know you are all inflicted with the same bug, so I am in good company with my blog chic confessions LOL.
Back again next week blog chics. Did I happen to mention that I'm off to Jo Segar's Cook School tomorrow:P?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I'd Do Anything...

At the moment I'm enjoying watching Andrew Lloyd Webber
and Graham Norton audition the Nancy's on the UK edition of I'd Do Anything.
We had our own version of it here in Hawera about 4 months ago when "she who is proficient at separating eggs" went to Nancy School and got down to the last three!
I think they had similar sing offs, but only the director was allowed to vote people off!
And there are a few lovely characters just as wonderful as Graham Norton at the Hawera Repertory Society! Mostly they play the role of the Dame in the pantomimes LOL.

I was first invited to become a makeup lady about ten years ago when my kids were dwarfs in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. They had gummed on beards and all.
What a fag that was getting them off!
So apparently once a makeup lady always a makeup lady
as far as Hawera Rep are concerned.
So I get a behind the scenes look at all the productions;
all of which "she who is proficient at separating eggs" takes part in with great gusto!
This time she's the rose seller who gets to sing "Who will Buy...".
So that is her moment of glory, and I'm looking forward to it.
Am not tempted to sneak beyond the green room and take a peak at the dress rehearsals.
I want to see the real thing with all the bells and whistles!

I know she looks like a circus clown, but under the lights it looks perfectly normal. Honest!
You get used to the fact that they have to look hideous in the green room
in order to be seen at all under lights.

I don't think I've put any lippy on yet, but other than that, she's ready to go.
Oompapa and all that!
What - Fistycuffs even?
I tell you, you gotta watch your wallet in the green room when Dodge is about!
Actually Dodge is gorgeous and I remember him when he was about five and I was teacher aiding at his school. He's perfect for the part.
I'm counting sleeps till I go to Oxford now blog chics!
Have a good week.
You just know I'm going to be the one that most resembles the Sweedish Chef from the Muppets!
Wonder if I'll get a prize for that?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Image Fairy Pays a Visit.

You know how I love to start projects... I've been captivated by the Altered Art Circus book I bought the other week, and I've left all the knitting and the stitching and the crochet Granny squares in a neglected heap while I turned the kitchen table into a bomb site with hot glue guns, glitter, all sorts of bits and bobs and started on my altered art project. I'm sort of pleased with it. Of course I wanted it to be fantastic and perfect like the one in the book. It has potential I think...

Hubby drilled the holes for me in the picture frames, so that they actually came out in the right places, and I didn't have to throw the whole thing away in disgust because the holes weren't right. Lucky he knows me so well and just offered, in a gesture of goodwill (or was that damage limitation?) to do it for me. Anyhow, the holes are perfectly aligned.

I was inspired by this project in the book. My recipes will be very cup cake related I fear, and so will the collagie stuff. But what fun! I used a copy of a photo of my Grandma as a small child and turned her into a cup cake fairy for the cover.

The lovely lady who wrote the book found my blog post about it last week and left me a lovely comment and advice about where to find more images to use. Don't know weather that was just serendipity or the mysterious powers of google, but find me she did.

I had been making good progress with Val's bag up until the Art Circus bug hit.

Who knows blog chics, next week there may be hats, mittens, bags and altered art completed...
But I think it's unlikely, because I'm off to Jo Seagar's Cook School next week!! I'm so excited. I've been looking forward to it for months. My friend Leigh and I booked it in November.
It will be a girl's weekend, staying in the little cook school B and B in Oxford in the South Island.
It's such a picturesque little village. I love it. However it will be COLD! I am hoping that there is no snow on the roads too, cos I am in charge of the rental car to get us there from Christchurch airport! I have time for at least two long blacks at Christchurch airport before Leigh and Debbie's flights get in too. What more could a girl ask for?
Have a great week ladies :P

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