The Witch Doctor remembers the early days of The Chocolate Tasting Club.
She was a member.
Apparently you can now invest in Hotel Chocolat by investing in bonds with a 5.83% tax free return.
But the interest is not in £’s or $’s. It melts in your mouth.
The interest is paid annually in chocolate – 13 boxes a year!
A few years ago, a GP sent an e-mail to everyone in his address book.
His dog had died after eating a whole box of chocolates that had been left lying about.
He had no knowledge that chocolate could be so dangerous to animals and he wanted to warn the rest of us.
This is just a warning!
I’ll get round to tell you more about why chocolate is poisonous to dogs later.
If I can be bothered.
Now I feast on such piquant luxuries as fresh English mint ganache by Allsop available at my local market in Marlow, and bars of 70 per cent chocolate by Amadei. I scour food magazines such as Olive for the latest flavours (rose, for example, or Japanese black vinegar). I plan trips to London along my chocolate route, taking in Rococo in Marylebone, L’Artisan du Chocolat in Chelsea, and La Maison du Chocolat in Piccadilly.
What surprises me is that I am obviously not alone in my addiction. Despite the prices they charge, these shops are heaving. The luxury chocolate market seems not to have been affected by the recession at all. In fact, quite the reverse: this Easter, you can get an Amadei egg from William Curley filled with carmelised Piedmont hazelnuts, almonds or orangettes for £25. Selfridges has an egg containing a Gold Bullion Britannia coin for £1,000, billing it as “the ultimate alternative investment for chocoholics”.
I downloaded this photo of a grape hyacinth (Muscari) recently to use at the top of The Witch Doctor site. I love the simplicity of these little spring flowers. At the moment, for reasons I won’t go into, I have a really neglected garden, but in the days of its former glory there were edgings of hundreds (no, thousands) of little grape hyacinths along the paths every spring. They were a deeper blue than the ones in the picture. My grape hyacinths have long since gone. At some point, I know not when, alpine strawberries got the upper hand and now dominate.
I suppose the Muscari edging the garden paths look more like the ones below.
I think I’ll start over again and buy a selection of bulbs in grape hyacinths in lots of shades of blue. They are probably better planted now “in the green” the same as snowdrops.
Found a supplier that still has some bulbs left this year.
I’ll order some to get started and his time I’ll tend them well.
Here’s another nursery that specialises in small bulbs:
This is how I like to see flowers arranged in the house.
Looking as if they are just thrown into a glass or a jug (although they are really subtly arranged so’s no one will notice).
This is a very young blog, My Black Cat.
But already people are finding us using search engines.
They are asking “Are nectarines brown in the middle?”
There are some people out there who are not sure what the inside of a nectarine should look like.
The Witch Doctor has another bee in her bonnet.
Sometimes people tell her they don’t like strawberrries.
Could it be they have only every tasted large crunchy strawberries?
Do you suppose they think strawberries are a member of the turnip family, My Black Cat?