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Wednesday, 14 May 2014

GREEN BEANS WITH GARLIC

Good Afternoon to you,

Do you remember the first perfume you ever bought?


I do, my first perfume was made by Avon and it was called Wishing. 

When I started work at the age of 15 years, my weekly salary was the princely sum of £3 a week. £1.50 was given to Phyllis for my board and keep and the remaining £1.50 was mine, so Avon was the perfect price point for me at the time. 

I have to tell you, I do have a love for perfume, and as I was spraying myself yesterday,  I started thinking about the different perfumes which I have used over the years. 

I remember my Aunt Rose gave me a bottle of 4711 Eau de Cologne.  I must have been about 11 or so, at the time. We were in her bedroom, Aunt Rose was sat at her dressing table and I was sat on a chair, talking to her. She opened her drawer and began dabbing, what I thought was perfume, behind her ears..... she then placed some behind my ears and she told me, the trick, was to dab just a little, and not too much. I asked her what the difference was between eau de cologne and perfume and she explained that eau de cologne was much lighter than perfume and nice to wear during the day. I was admiring the bottle, when she opened her drawer again and took out a tiny bottle of 4711 and gave it to me as a gift.... I was thrilled, as this tiny bottle of 4711 was my very first perfume.

I am fast forwarding to the 1970's  and I can tell you the perfume I loved in those days was Charlie by Revlon.  Do you remember the advert?  Well, I have to tell you, I wanted to be like Charlie, I wanted to walk like Charlie, swing my hair like Charlie and smile like Charlie. Charlie became my signature perfume and for many years I did not wear any other perfume..... but then I discovered L'Air du Temp by Nina Ricci and this perfume became my new perfume.... but then Yves Saint Laurent brought out Rive Gauche.... what was a girl to do when there were so many different perfumes.... well add another to her dressing table... Anais Anais by Cacherel.

The 1970's came and went and the 1980's arrived and with it came Obsession by Calvin Klein and Poison by Christian Dior..... all too strong for me now, but not in those days.

.... and with the arrival of the 1990's my daughters became teenagers and they had their own favourite perfumes.  It was the hey day of The Body Shop when we were introduced to a different kind of perfume.... such as vanilla.  It was also the time that I noticed the perfumes on my dressing table were going down very quickly.  I was not using any more perfume than normal, but I remember thinking that maybe I was being a little too liberal when spraying the perfume..... yes, you've guessed it, I wasn't using any more perfume than normal, it was just that two extra people were using it..... Natasha and Danielle.  I remember Natasha giving me a kiss goodbye one day and as she walked away, I said, "I know that perfume", Natasha smiled and dashed out of the house..... apparently both Natasha and Danielle had been, what they called, "borrowing" my perfume for quite a while, but I had not noticed...... I soon discovered that this was just a small part, of the rich tapestry of life, which I would experience throughout Natasha and Danielle's teenage years.

In the 2000's I wore and still on occasion wear Romance by Ralph Lauren, Eternity Moment by Calvin Klein and Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel,

but,

my utmost favourite perfume of all time and which I wear nowadays is L'eau d'Issey by Issey Miyake.... this is my absolute favourite..... and do you know how I discovered this perfume... well I shall tell you.

I had taken Phyllis on holiday to Cyprus and on our return flight to England we were upgraded to first class.... it was a fabulous experience and I loved every minute of it.  In the seat just across from me was a young women, who started talking to me. We talked about Cyprus, and she told me that she was Cypriot, but lived in London and popped backwards and forwards to Cyprus every couple of months to visit her family. Then whilst talking, she opened her vanity case and it was full of various kinds of Chanel makeup, but there on top was a bottle of perfume. She removed the top and sprayed her neck and wrists.  The perfume was beautiful and as we girls do, she asked if I would like to spray myself, I thanked her and did and that was it, I had found my perfume.  I wrote down the name and since the early 2000's L'eau d'Issey has been my absolute favourite.

How about you, what was your first perfume and what is your favourite nowadays..... you never know, I might discover a new perfume, but it will have to go some to beat L'eau d'Issey.

I must stop talking to you about perfume and organise myself.  I am being true to George's request and I am not baking, so today I have something very simple, but delicious.


green beans with garlic, olive oil and white wine vinegar.  These green beans are a lovely summer dish.

So it's on with the pinnie and the album I am listening to is,


Judie Tzuke. I love Judie's voice and my favourite song  is 'Stay with Me Till Dawn' although it is not on this album, listen to it on Itunes, you will enjoy it. My favourite songs from this album are 'I Never Know Where My Heart Is' and 'Higher and Higher'.

'You are the Phoenix' is playing at the moment so I am organising my ingredients.  There are not many today.

INGREDIENTS

300g green beans
5 tablespoonfuls of olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
3 tablespoonfuls of white wine vinegar
2 cloves of garlic
12 ice cubes

1 small jam jar with a lid


Wash the green beans in fresh water
and
then
top and tail the beans.

Place enough salted water into a pan
to cover the beans.
Bring the water to the boil.
Place the beans in the pan and
return the water to the boil,
simmer the beans for 3 minutes.


Using a suitable bowl,
fill it three quarters full with cold
water, then add the ice cubes.


Drain the beans and
place into the iced water.


Finely slice the garlic
and set aside for the moment.


Place the olive oil 
and
the white wine vinegar


along with the


sea salt and black pepper.


into a jar.
Place the lid securely on the jar
and 
shake
until you have a creamy dressing.


Drain the beans
and remove any excess water.


Pour the garlic dressing over the beans
and toss together.


It is really as simple as that, 
but I would say,
if you are going to be eating these
beans later in the day,
make them in the morning to allow
the dressing to infuse with the beans.

If you do not enjoy eating finely sliced
garlic, I would suggest you enjoy
the beans and dressing, but leave
the garlic in the dish.


The sun is shining, the weather man tells me there is a high heading our way, so I am going in to the garden to do a little pottering and to enjoy the sunshine..... what could be nicer.

Take care and I will see you on Sunday.








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