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Monday, January 05, 2009

Swooning at the Lakeland catalogue

I read an amusing account of how a woman eagerly devours seed catalogues, transfixed by the pages of beauty and casting her mind forward to summer when the days are long and the bees are buzzing.

I too like looking at seed catalogues and also swoon at the David Austin rose catalogue. But what I really enjoy is the Lakeland catalogue. I must confess I don't often buy anything, although their quality is top notch and at Christmas I love the rose & violet creams.

No, I like to read the catalogue and fantasise about a life which would involve lovingly making my own jam and chutneys, and the bread on which to serve it; never burning my arms from the oven because I'd be wearing Coolskins; producing special battle ship or butterfly shaped birthday cakes; always having the right spray or unguent to keep the oven, kitchen and windows grime-free, and always having the sharpest knives and the freshest ground coffee.

Dining would be fabulous with everything piping hot, either in a hostess trolley or insulated serving dishes, and the table would groan under the weight of damask, sauce boats, runners and napkins.

I would rediscover (?) the joys of cooking with a pressure cooker, of steaming my fish and vegetables and perhaps even ditching my oven in favour of the mysterious Czech Remouska, a portable oven which apparently cooks the lighest sponge cakes, crispy chicken and perfect pizzas.

Washing up would always be a doddle because nothing would ever stick to my pans, and the oven floor would be lined with that special Teflon wrap. And the summer catalogue, oh I love the summer catalogue with its pages of all fresco eating, picnics, jugs for Pimms and fire pits.

In fact, looking out now at swirling snow (most unusual for London), I'm wishing I had the Lakeland summer catalogue in front of me now.

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