Pontiac or Pontack Sauce

IMAGENAMEHEREEach year, the Elder trees produce a rich harvest of Elderberries. I think that since we started scattering a handful into our recipe for Blackberry and Apple pie, usually eaten on ‘Nutcrack Night’ at the end of October, more friends seem to visit the HoBB for Hallowe’en.

One recipe, using Elder Berries, eluded me for ages despite setting up alerts, designing the jar label (above) and searching the internet. It was the recipe for ‘Pontiac or Pontack Sauce’. A sauce that improves, so I’ve read, if you mature it for 7 years.

Happily, I received the recipe in an email from Marlys Coffey and here it is. I hope you enjoy waiting the full seven years – I’m going to be tempted to sample it after six (days).

Recipe for Pontack or Pontiac Sauce
with my thanks to Marlys Coffey

(Makes 1 x 350ml bottle)

> 500g elderberries
> 500ml cider vinegar
> 200g shallots, sliced
> 6 cloves
> 4 allspice berries
> 1 blade of mace
> 1 tbsp black peppercorns
> 15g root ginger bruised

Place elderberries in dish with vinegar put in very low oven for 4-6 hrs or overnight. Remove strain through seive, crush berries to obtain max juice.

Put juice in a pan with sliced shallots, spices and ginger. Bring back to boil and cook for 20-25 mins until slightly reduced. Remove from heat and strain.

Return to pan and bring back to boil then boil for 5 mins. Pour into warm sterilised bottles and seal.

Sterilize in hot water bath

Store in a dark cupboard and enjoy.

Waves ~~~~~~~~~ <+))))))))>< ~~~ Grant

Interior Design and hosting your own ‘Design Lodge’

Interior Design and Design Lodge hostingIf you live inside them and spend your hours wrapped by their ambience, then your room interiors should contribute to each one of your six or more senses – so does your interior designer ask you the right questions or are they on an ego trip of their own making? Can they absorb and then distil the subtle nuances of your personal life requirements, your location and your budget?

Imagine that you are trying to define your ideal enviroment; one integrated living home, perfect for your every requirement. Hold that ‘mind set’ and start answering the following questions because it could provide you with the recipe for experiencing a very very different living environment.

Do you celebrate Birthdays?
Wear House shoes or not?
What sex is your ego?
Plain or striped?
How old do you feel?
What is your weight? (To the nearest Kg.)
What is your height? (To the nearest cm.)
What is your body type?
What is the color of your hair?
What is the style of your walk?
What color eyes do you have?
Do you like entertaining?
Do you have eyewear?
In what area of the world do you live?
Parties or romantic dinners?
In what type of dwelling do you live?
House plants or not?
Friends to stay?
What type of transportation do you use?
Open Bookshelves or Cupboards?
What type of work do you do?
What is your favorite OUTDOOR activity?
Wood Floors or Carpets?
What is your favorite type of music?
Do you have any children?
How would you describe your sense of humor?
Drink in cooler or cabinet?
Smooth or rough?
Do you smoke?
What do you still have that you don’t want anymore?
What best describes your spiritual feelings or practices?
Are you happy with the fame and fortune in your life?
Shower or Bath?
When going somewhere, are you usually early?
Do you follow fashion?
Fav. Colour?
Deep or shallow water?
Do you lurveeeeeeeee Television watching?
Where would you prefer to live?
Which is your favorite season?
Ever been potholing?
Open plan or secret enclosures?
What is your main source for current events?
What style of dress do you prefer?
Tudor Mansion or Zen Penthouse?
What type of food do you enjoy most?
Cook Electric or gas?
What type of movie do you go out to see?
What Pets live with you?

Getting to know the person you are designing for improves the design results and outlines at an early stage if you are going to ‘get-along’ during the full contract term.

The new way of working up a living space design for your personal lifestyle is by holding a weekend ‘Design Lodge’, and in Italy, this literally means getting a Designer to lodge with you for a weekend and eat, sleep and dream your design onto paper, ‘live’ ! Contact me if this interests you.

In the UK, most designers will do a ‘site visit’ or two, to discuss your space requirements but you will be hard pressed to find many designers who will set up their design studio in your environment whilst speed producing your dream living spaces in front of your very eyes!

Historically, Interior Designers would take your dimensions, notes and photographs back to the safe proximity of their trusty Interior Design Library, draw out plans, elevations and maybe perspective views, then return to present them a few weeksdays later. Nowadays, specialist kitchen and bathroom designers will visit, measure up, and whilst on site, feed dimensions into their lap top and bring up several walk-through images of your new proposed layout, with finish and cost options, before leaving. Admittedly, these specialists are working around modular designs but they are getting a good reputation for speed and flair.

You have to trust that your chosen Interior Designer knows what is on the market thus ‘off the shelf’, and that they are able to design and commission that which is not ‘ready-made’. Once you are confident in them, they have to be made aware of your surroundings and required lifestyle.

With the increase in speed networking and speed dating, maybe speed designing will catch on if first thoughts remain the best ones.

Waves, whilst designing at leisure on this occasion ~~~~~ <+))))))))>< ~~~ Grant