Thursday, May 15, 2014

On the menu...a melange!

Baby it's hot outside!
French Homework, gardening, reading and keeping tabs on Mother have kept me busy.
Time to sit, with the shades down, quietly sip some tea and plan a post.
My thoughts are all over the place so this is a bit of a scramble.

You've arrived at The Humble Bungalow Blog.
Today the Hostess is serving up a melange...
(sounds like a dessert doesn't it?)
I'll blame it on the heat...

I am smitten with this brooch...
vintage 1960's perhaps worn with gold sandals, big Jackie O sunnies, white pants and white top 
perhaps Saint Tropez in the summer time?
Can you smell the Bain de Soleil?
Scents can transport you...a gal can dream...

Sophie Conran Heart dish...
I love her simple design and the china can go into the oven so it is very versatile.
Our regular everyday Maxwell Williams is getting ugly grey marks where the knives have sliced into the glaze...
the porcelain must be inferior quality as the set is not more than 4 or 5 years old.
I am really disappointed and am thinking of buying Sophie Conran's set of plates and bowls.

Do any of you own and use her dishes?
Are they better quality than Maxwell Williams?
I hate wasting money so I'd like to be sure before I buy them.
The idea that we live in a throw away society just makes me mad.
(fear not I will donate the scratched plates when I replace them)
I am referring to the lack of quality that has infiltrated our marketplace.
Toasters, kettles, appliances in general wear out,
 and instead of repairing them the companies offer replacements.
Just think of all those bits and pieces filling up our landfill...

  Mother still uses many of the appliances that she received as wedding gifts when she was married in the 1950's.
But let's not get all bent out of shape, 
it's way too hot to be getting our knickers in a twist.
 Let's embrace a little beauty shall we?

May means that one of my favourite flowers is blooming and scenting the garden.
Behold the beautiful Muguet de Bois.

I can pick a handful in a matter of minutes.

Delicate blossoms remind me of baby's bonnets.

Their fragrance is intoxicating...
I love to put a vase of these in our Humble Bungalow bathroom and let the scent waft throughout the house.

I read this novel super fast...
I liked it but I found it not quite as riveting as Louise Penny's books.

This one is next...

I've recently discovered a strong brew that has been tickling my taste buds...
it seems the Scots like their tea to pack a punch (like their single malt Scotch!) 
so I am using less loose tea when I brew a pot.
It's bold and delicious and calorie free.

If you are a vegan or vegetarian look away now...
just for the next two images and skip right to the Asian Slaw!

Julie our friend and caterer, told us about Chef John and I really like going to his site for recipes...
these ribs are wonderfully moist and delicious.

I made them first for Mr. HB before serving them to guests.
They are easy and are baked in the oven.

Janet blog writer at The Gardener's Cottage posted her Asian salad on her blog a few days ago
 I love a pea-nutty dressing so I whipped up a batch of the coleslaw to serve with the ribs.
Oh boy...this one is a winner and a good one to have on hand for summer picnics and barbeque's.

I used red and green cabbage, grated carrots, some onion and almonds as I did not have any peanuts in the house.
Next time I will try adding the dried cranberries as Janet suggests as they would really add to this dish.
Janet has a background as a professional cook/caterer so when she posts a recipe you know it is going to be good!

It has been HOT this week and tea with my friend at Abkhazi Gardens was wonderful.
The weather could not have been better.
(I will work on that post.)
The garden is thirsty and the edges of the lawns need trimming so I must not dawdle any longer...
there are radishes to harvest and flowers to pick.
The birds are chirping and a new day is unfolding...

BTW I really have been enjoying your comments.
They are a breath of fresh air here on the blog...



  1. Ah, my favourite sort of post! A little if this and a little of that. I'll definitely check out the ribs and cole slaw as both items will be in my Victoria Day shopping cart. Enjoy your garden - it looks like we'll have another wonderful day - I'm off to Dallas Road for some early morning sunshine!

  2. Lily of the Valley, one of my favourite flowers. Did you know it is used medicinally? It is used like the foxglove, digitalis. My mother wore a magnificent spray of lily of the valley on her wedding day. I adore Nina Ricci's L'Air du Temps. I always get pleasure from your posts Hostess. Thank you! Susan

    1. Susan I had no idea that muguet de bois was a medicinal plant. I like to learn something new everyday!

  3. Many years ago my mom used to have me gently use comet cleanser to remove gray marks from her ironstone plates. You might try one plate. Rhonda

    1. I have tried several products and nothing seems to get rid of all the marks...some fade but they still look pretty tacky.

  4. I have GOT to try that Asian salad. I'm also discouraged by how quickly things wear out these days. When we moved into our house, it was equipped with a dishwasher that was probably close to 40 years old at the time. It ran for another 10 years before the motor finally burned out and we couldn't get a replacement. The replacement only lasted 4 years. We're now on our second replacement.

    1. We are on our second or third dishwasher...and I only run it when it's full so it often doesn't get used every day.

  5. You are funny -- it's way too hot to be getting our knickers in a twist! Alas, though, it is true, my grandparents' appliances lasted 40 years! Now we're lucky to get 5. I love the sweet lily of the valley. Jealous that you have handfuls to pick. the ribs and coleslaw look fabulous.

  6. Love the pictures today from your brooch which is a show stopper; to the lily of the valley and finally to the food..where did you pick up that tea? sounds wonderful and thoroughly enjoyable; I love trying different types of tea..and the Asian slaw will be mixed up for the weekend for are such a source of inspiration and I can hardly wait your daily are the best!!

    1. I found the tea at Home Sense...they carry a few food items and spices which are not generally stocked in the local grocery stores.

  7. I love the melange! I have a friend with the Sophie who loves them. Both The Bay and Homesense seem to put them on sale which makes them less expensive. Love the heart dish. And the salad: yum!

  8. Love your blog; Sophie is wonderful and is even nicer the more you use it...great the salad and where can the tea be purchased? thanks again for your daily news!!

  9. I will try the slaw when I get home. I'm so glad that the weather is looking fine for Victoria Day.
    It really is the beginning of our summer season. Some people recommended the Tope books and I will try to borrow them from the library. Bon week-end!

  10. Lily Of The Valley is one of my favourites. I planted it years ago at the farm. Strangely enough on Mother's Day, I just talked about digging it up, and transplanting it here at the house.

  11. Lily of the Valley is my birthday flower...just love them!! To our surprise, when we came home from our recent trip to LA, there was some growing in our garden!! I don't know how they got there, but it sure made me happy :) Now to wait until I can bring in a handful of them to enjoy.

    Love the idea of peanuty Asian slaw...what are the ingredients for the dressing? BTW...cranberries do give it a nice chewy texture.

  12. Tell me where is the 49th parallel?Me thinks your in SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA!
    You are a fine HOSTESS indeed..........books,flowers i just planted some of those bulbs this year!Tea, covered a lot of ground!I just did a post on my garden......take a peek!Now, I must go search how to subscribe to YOU!

    1. The 49th parallel is close to Victoria BC....actually in Ladysmith I think and it is the latitude that divides Washington state from BC Canada.
      I read your most recent post and your roses are spectacular!

  13. I adore your melanges, as you well know. I'm surprised it's so hot in Victoria!! I envy your green thumb and adore Lily of the Valley. I used to wear that old drug store staple, "Muguet des Bois" by Coty in my early teens. Scent does have such a long and strong hold on memories. I can almost smell the Bain de Soleil, just by having you mention the name!! Enjoy your weekend my friend. xoJennifer

  14. My sister told me to use Bon Ami or Bar Keeper to erase the dark knife marks on my dishes.
    She uses these products to make her Fiesta Ware dishes shiny and like new. I hope it works on your dishes. Harriet

  15. FInally it's cooled down in California! I hope up north too! And kudos to your ineffable style, from lapel to garden to kitchen:).

  16. I love my Sophie Conran mugs. I use them for my morning tea.