Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What She's Eating

Olive had too, too much fun making you all guess what bears love to eat! At last, all shall be revealed. Olive was thinking more Winnie than Grizzly, and thus the answer is... honey!

A golden thread of ancient goodness, Olive adores honey! She could wax enthusiastic about the different kinds (alfalfa to manuka) and uses (in tea, drizzled on yogurt), but she shall restrain herself to introducing you to a new take on an old favourite: what was once basic honey on toast is reinvented as Japanese Honey Butter Toast! A scrumptious treat topped with a round of ice cream, Olive think Winnie (and Tigger, too) would happily lap it up all afternoon.

Japanese Honey Toast:

4 thick slices square-shaped white bread, crusts removed

Softened butter


1 scoop vanilla ice cream

Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Stack the bread up squarely and spread butter over each of the 4 sides. Unstick and spread each slice of bread with as much or as little of the butter as you prefer. With a cookie cutter (round, square, star-shaped, etc.) cut into the middle of each slice of bread, but do not remove the part that has been cut. Leave it in the bread. Stack the slices on top of each other at right angles to form a three-dimensional 4-point star shape. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 3 to 5 minutes until the bread is golden brown and crisp. Transfer to a plate and drizzle with the honey, again using as much or as little as you prefer. Top with a scoop of ice cream and serve immediately. Eat with a knife and fork.

Makes 1 serving.

Recipe: The Vancouver Sun

Image: Flikr

Monday, January 25, 2010

What She's Celebrating

My goodness, you didn't forget, did you? It's Robbie Burns Day! Olive will be laying out her best plaid napkins, warming up the haggis (yum! truly) and reading a selection of Mr. Burns poetry in her best Scottish brogue. Even if you don't share Olive's deep Scottish roots, liven up this Monday evening with warm scones with clotted cream and jam.

Don't you be looking up any kilts, now!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What's She Admiring

Olive so loved this image she wanted to share it for almost no reason at all! It does, however, relate to Olive's next missive... Clue: what do bears love to eat (aside from a warm beverage, in this case)?

Image: deviantArt

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What She's Drinking

Olive doesn't like to engage in needless hyperbole, but when she sat in the doctor's office and was sternly told "no dairy or soy" her first panicked thought was of hot chocolate! How does one make said fortifying drink without the help of a decent cow or at least a soybean?

Well, a few months passed, cocoa-less and far less enjoyable on the palate, until one day Olive discovered true "drinking chocolate." The grandchild of the potent brew consumed by Aztecs, today's South American mixture is an aromatic mix of quality chocolate, "spices, chilies, honey, vanilla, or even cornmeal." Traditionally stirred with a molinillo - a grooved stick - Olive's latte whipper also did the trick. Although it can be made with milk, Olive found using water just fine (so there, Doctor). Follow this recipe and tell Olive if the humble cow cannot be put out to pasture!

Pssst... A little extra fun: According to the Texas State Library and archives commission, children in Mexico sing this (scroll down) song while stirring their morning chocolate with the molinillo.

Information: edible Vancouver
Image: chocolate.com

Monday, January 18, 2010

What She's Pondering

Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday

- author unknown

On a somewhat worrisome day of Olive's, a week or two ago, a late Christmas gift arrived in the mail for her. It was this bicycle charm, sweet in itself, but all the more appreciated because of the timely quote that accompanied it. As a new week begins, Olive hopes you, like her, won't worry too much about tomorrow!

Bicycle charm: Copperbleu

Friday, January 15, 2010

What She Learnt

"Factrice" is the French word for postmistress.

Now wouldn't it be intriguing to be the postmistress of a little French village, if only for a day, sorting and snooping through other people's mail? Exotic postmarks, intriguing handwriting, gloriously suspicious lumps and bumps...

This fact was found at The French Factrice, a blog devoted to antique postcards. If you're like Olive and have a soft spot for this sort of mail, The French Factrice is for you.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What She's Reading

Is it wrong to secretly be glad when one comes down with the sniffles? Certainly, the symptoms are not to be envied. Yet, once the extra-strength medicine has been gulped down and the aches subside, isn't there a quiet relief in forced rest and reading? Olive felt rather guilty at such feelings when she succumbed to the latest bug last week, but not so badly that she didn't curl up with a pile of tomes beside her, somewhat manic with glee (and said tonics) at the possibility of a good read. Curious as to what she stuck her little red nose into? She is happy to divulge.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
Lewis Carroll

From the moment Olive saw its pale gray and flamingo festooned cover to the appearance of the White Rabbit on page two, she was utterly enchanted with this classic tale, first published in 1865. Let her tempt you with this quote from page one:

So she was considering, in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.

Shakespeare: The Life, The Works, The Treasures
Catherine M.S. Alexander

Olive loves Shakespeare (even better when he's "In Love"), but can a muddled, sick brain make it through Richard III. I'm sorry, Mr. S, but no. That's why Olive so loves this book; it contains pull-out facsimile documents of Shakespeare's baptismal record, his marriage bond and beyond. Olive can assure you she had great fun extracting these old documents from their parchment pockets, as Will (could you resist?) any Shakespeare fan.

Death of a Dude
Rex Stout

Olive adores mysteries, but preferably of the pre-CSI variety. As such, she was thrilled to receive this vintage Nero Wolfe novel for Christmas. But what? You have not heard of the rotund New York detective who lives in a luxurious brownstone and grows orchids when not nabbing criminals? Nor of his street-smart, breezy side-kick, Archie Goodwin? Tsk Tsk. Olive encourages you to trot down to your library or vintage bookstore to investigate!

Happy Reading & Good Health!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

She's Back

A Happy New Year to you all! Olive has returned from a holiday hiatus, perhaps a little frazzled from the festive season, but recovering nicely. She hopes you enjoyed a time of sparkling jollity and refreshment of the spirit. Hmmm, come to think of it, that is just what Olive wishes to achieve this year at Olive Writes! She very much hopes you will stick around to see if she succeeds.

This week, Olive gets downright personal! We learn what she's reading, watching, wearing, eating and beyond. This is not just an exercise in narcissism, however. No, she wants to discover what you think of her tastes and habits. Perhaps there is a better novel out there, a warmer pair of mittens. Ah! But we must not divulge facts too early. Stay tuned!


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