Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bright Copper Kettles and Warm Woolen Mittens

There is nothing so lovely as the turn in temperature to make one feel all cocoon-y.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day preparing for a dinner party.  I always love to do that, but I can be a bit of a tightrope walker, suddenly deciding that I am going to make something I've never made before.

In this case it was a panna cotta recipe by Gordon Ramsay, and despite fears, it turned out beautifully.


Serves 4
2 medium sheets leaf gelatine (11 x 7.5cm)
250ml double cream
50g caster sugar
50ml milk
15ml dark rum, or to taste

Pomegranate glaze:
20g caster sugar
275ml pomegranate juice

Chocolate shavings:
Block of good-quality dark chocolate, for grating

1. Soak the gelatine in a shallow dish of cold water for a few minutes. Meanwhile, put the cream, sugar, milk and rum into a saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer. Heat gently for 30 seconds, then remove the pan from the heat. Taste for flavour, adding a little more rum if you wish.

2. Squeeze the gelatine leaves to remove excess water, then add them to the cream mixture and stir until fully dissolved. Tip the mixture into a jug.
3. Now pour into four individual glass dishes, leaving enough room for the glaze. Leave to cool, then place the glasses in the fridge to set for at least two hours, or overnight if preparing ahead.

4. To make the pomegranate glaze, heat a dry frying pan.Tip the sugar into the hot pan followed by the pomegranate juice. Bring to the boil and allow to bubble for 10–15 minutes, until thickened to a sticky, syrupy glaze. Pour into a small jug and leave to cool completely.

5. Pop the chocolate in the freezer for 10–15 minutes before serving. Pour the cooled pomegranate glaze on top of the chilled pannacottas. Take the chocolate from the freezer and draw a small straight-edged knife along the flat side of the bar to make curled shavings. Top each pannacotta with chocolate shavings to serve.
(Christmas with Gordon by Gordon Ramsay is published by Quadrille.)
NOT mine!  Stolen from the internet!

Yay Gordon and Wendy!

After hours of good conversation and a healthy dose of wine, I headed to bed after midnight.

Honestly, midnight itself is exciting enough; I see it so rarely, that when I do see the two hands of the clock pass twelve it feels as if I am doing something naughty!

The morning after a late night is reserved for coffee and much laying about.  In this case, you would have found me curled up with Indy on the couch, reading Middlemarch.  I am getting ready for Dani and GSL's book club in late November, and I am truly loving the book.

Last night, however, you would have found me boiling my homemade ravioli in my lovely new copper pot.

If a person can love an inanimate object (no Ryan Gosling jokes please and thank you or other smutty comments), well, I love this pot:

Made by the Italian company Ruffino, it cooks like a dream.  I do not mind the polishing one little bit.  It is very meditative!

And of course once you start thinking of copper kettles, you start to think about warm woolen mittens, don't you?

And when I think of warm woolen mittens now, I can't help but think of my friend Barb, a retired school teacher and gifted writer, who has a wonderful blog called wool gathering.

In the blog, Barb shares her perspectives on many things, but what I love best about her blog (and her Facebook posts) is when she shows the spectacular mittens she makes and sells:

Given her literary bent, she is not one to simply make the mittens and sell them.

Nope - she gives them the most spectacular names.  The ones above are called (left to right): Strawberry Blizzard: Strawberry Blush; Stormy Rose; Strawberry Yogurt; I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.   Last winter she had a pair (and Barb correct me if I'm wrong!) named after David Adams Richards' novel Evening Snow Shall Bring Such Peace.  I mean, come on, how cool is that?

Don't you just love it?????? 

Well I do, and so I thought it worth sharing, along with Barb's blog link for those who are interested in some of Barb's favourite things.  

I see a pair of Barb's mittens in my winter wardrobe for sure!

And perhaps a cream-coloured pony under the Christmas tree?

It has been so long since I had a "real" pair of mittens!  I can't wait!!!

Hope you are having a fantastic Sunday!  Stay safe out there!

xoxo wendy


  1. Your copper pot is so beautiful, it's very Wendy looking. I can't believe you made that pannacotta way to go, that's a favourite dessert of mine and I tried it once but I couldn't get the gelatin right. I'll try your Gordon recipe, thanks Wenders.
    Very happy you are enjoying the book. Geez I was up until midnight last night too and I drank a couple of glasses of wine, paying for it today.
    What beautiful mittens and I definitely love the names.xo

  2. I keep forgetting about the book club...need to get on that. Love the pot and yes I always try something new for friends for dinner. The mittens are so pretty...I always travel with a pair ever since I was in Orlando at Treasure Island and had to buy a pair for a small fortune. Is Montreal far from you?

  3. I was thinking about getting a copper pot myself this weekend snd was scouring may curl but I like the hammered look on yours. I would be worried about upkeep so I haver bitten the copper billet yet!!! Love mittens something about it reminds me of toddlers :£

    1. Naomi - they are a bit of a thing, but I do find it worth it in the end and honestly, this pot is divine to cooks with!

      I feel like you about the mittens! I might have to get Barb to add string to mine!

  4. Your copper pot is beautiful, Wendy! I would love to get one, or two...actually an entire set, but that will have to wait for now. Too many expenses topping the list since our move, not to mention winter just around the corner, so we've got some big-ticket purchases in our near future for that.

    How brave you are to attempt the panna cotta for the first time when you have dinner guests arriving. It looks delicious, and I'm sure it tasted that way, as well. Love Gordon Ramsay, btw.

    The names for the mittens are brilliant! Learning to knit is on my list of new things to learn this year. Finding the time is proving to be more and more of a challenge though.

    Hope you have a lovely Monday! :)

    1. Hi Melissa! I brought my little copper roaster in Paris in 2012 and have now added this one. I would like to eventually be all copper (except for my cast iron frying pan and a non stick frying pan!)

      Hope you have a lovely MOnday, too!

  5. Hi Wendy, what a lovely cosy post, what with the warm copper and the mittens. I do prefer mittens in really cold weather, but I like mine to be snowproof - nothing worse than soggy, cold wool!

    Well, you'll be pleased to know that our trip went very well, including a lovely visit to the Brora shop in Edinburgh. As soon as I have some photos organized I'll send you an email.

    1. Patricia - I cannot wait to hear all about it! Dani will be so thrilled you went to Brora!

    2. Wendy, I just sent a couple of mails with photos, look out for them!

  6. The copper pot is beautiful! I must have missed it in all the fun conversation about poor critters and such. I have given Barb's mittens to my adult daughters and they are their favourite hand warmers.

    1. You were drinking Mary and I think Barry was blocking the view!

  7. I think I have that same pot. I love botanical features on cookware and adored the handles! We are in the cozy season. I have to put my mind around a warm weather vacation but only want to wear sweaters and fuzzy socks. Well done on the recipe. Looks divine!

    1. No warm weather vacation for us this year. We are heading to NYC in early March! I love the pot and it cooks well, doesn't it?

  8. I love copper pots and pans but I would be worry about the maintenance...
    I love the mittens, but you are so right, the name are just fantastic! This definitely shows a creative mind :-)

  9. The copper pot is magnificent. I can assure you that nothing I cook would be worthy of such a lovely pot, but I have seen your creations and am sure you get proper use from such a wonderful object. I recently visited your friend's blog, and enjoyed looking at her beautiful mittens. I had an "a-ha" moment last year when I realized that only mittens, not gloves keep my hands warm. Now I just need the time to make some new ones! (Kidding. I'll never have time. )

    1. I only wear my uggs mittens in winter - nothing else works for me. But I want to add a pair of barbs mitts for another option.

  10. That dessert looks delicious, and seems easy nough to make. I must attempt it too.

  11. Great job! Livin' on the edge, woman.

  12. I am thrilled that my mittens and I are featured in your blog today, Wendy! And such wonderful comments about writing, creativity, and literary bents. Thank you! I did make a pair of mittens called Evening Snow Shall Bring Such Peace. I also had Snow Falling on Cedars, Grape Expectations, and 50 Shades of Grey to allude to a few more literary greats! I have yet to use "copper" in my mitten names and color palette, but I see it in the near future. A beautiful pot, indeed!

  13. That is a gorgeous copper kettle! Wendy, you are quite teacher's pet racing out front on the Middlemarch star for you!

  14. Hey Wendy! Thanks for your recommendation on White+Warren cashmere. I just got one of the travel wraps and have decided I will be giving these as Christmas gifts to lucky ladies on my list this year. So soft and thick with gorgeous color. Head and shoulders above Brora IMO. Love!

    1. Anon, I wish I was on your list, her hee! They are fantastic. Honestly, it is my favourite cashmere, which seems blasphemous because I love Dani so much!

    2. I hear you Wendy. It's almost sacrilegious to say so, but I have plenty of Brora and W+W really seems better. The colors are so much nicer too. Thank you again.

  15. What is that copper pot lined with? i would love one to make jams. Mittens are fun to make-- my dear mum made a pair for every grandchild every Christmas. now she knits "for the poor", as she says.

    I am away-- just heard there is some bad news from Canada so I am off to find what is happening. Feeling slightly ill...

  16. The interior is lined in no reactive hammered tin and it cleans a mum sounds like a doll! The news in Ottawa is shocking. We are so sad.

  17. I am definitely making that dessert! Looks yummy!

  18. What an amazing pot! It's like right out of the downton abbey kitchens- so glamorous and elegant!


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