Archive for the ‘ Peter ’ Category

…Sunday December 21st, 2014…




Thank you, John Glenn Hall!!!!


…these are so good together with  Christmas pudding, that you’d think it was a traditional combination…


1/2 pint (1 cup) chilled whipping cream or heavy cream,  2 Tbsp powdered sugar,  2 tsp vanilla extract

Sift the powdered sugar.

Lay ice cubes in the bottom of a 3 quart metal bowl, and cover them with water.  Nest a second 3 quart metal bowl on top.  For crème  Chantilly  use whipping cream, for whipped cream use heavy cream. Pour the cream into the second bowl, and beat it SLOWLY – with a LARGE BALLOON WHIP, circulating the whip all around the bowl, and lifting the cream as you whip it. Gradually increase the whipping speed, as the cream begins to foam, until a bit of cream lifted and dropped onto the surface will softly retain its shape. For crème Chantilly stop whipping here. For whipped cream, continue until a bit of cream lifted and dropped onto the surface comes near to retaining its shape.

Before serving, fold in the sugar and vanilla essence.

Serves 4 or more…



1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup white sugar, 1 tsp vanilla essence

Best to use a heavy iron skillet or other ironware…

Heat the cream in a small saucepan until bubbles start to form around the edge – do not heat it further and do not let it boil.

Heat the sugar in a large, heavy iron skillet, over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. When the sugar begins to melt, reduce the heat to low. Continue to stir constantly until the sugar has entirely melted and is a light brown color.

Gradually add the warm cream, stirring constantly until the sauce is smooth. If some of the sugar crystallizes out, heat again, stirring constantly, until the crystals dissolve again.)

Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla essence.

(If you are making this in a regular pan, add 2 tsp sugar to allow for crystallizing out.)


Years ago, Peter used to sing in the chapel choir at St. John’s College, Oxford. This Christmas Punch recipe, written down on the back of a postcard by Lady Southern, wife of the college president,  brings back many, many  happy memories…


70 fl oz red wine (almost 3 bottles),  15 cloves, 3 sticks cinnamon, 3 oranges, 4 bay leaves, 3 or 4 allspice berries, sugar to taste, optional port, brandy, sloe gin or cointreau to taste

Slice the oranges.  Stew the spices,  oranges and bay-leaves in a quarter of the wine (approx. 17 fl. oz.) for at least an hour.  Mash it a bit to get the orange juice. Add to the rest of the wine and sweeten considerably, to taste.

Add optional port, brandy, sloe gin or cointreau to taste.

Serve hot, but do not let it boil at any time.



If you don’t know Hyde Park Books, you should stop in at this neighborhood gem: the Children’s section is an invaluable local resource  (and they have plenty of young adult, Christian fiction,  fiction fiction,  and classics)…  but more than this: they have half a wall of local authors and poets; they regularly host Ghosts and Projectors,  Tooth and Bristle,  and – of course – Homegrown Theater’s readings series;  and their commitment to local hikes, trails and bike-rides is so huge: they even have a recent edition of  On The Road.  This is the place to get your copy of The Idaho Review,  The First Line, Idaho Magazine, or even a Granny Martin Hat  – all wooly hat proceeds go to local Meals on Wheels. They have the Idaho Wilderness Calendar – and the  associated note-cards – or you can brown bag it with Books by the Pound:  brown paper bags full of Romance, Suspense,  Christian Fiction, and more…

So – thank you to Hyde Park Books for hosting a lovely performance last Sunday, and providing a backdrop that matches our cloth-covered folding tables! And thank you to the wonderful, warm, generous audience and to the many friends who were there…



Peter is an alum of Oxford University, England – and from the college archives he bakes this Christmas cake recipe – by Randolphus Ayres – every Christmas.

It’s at its best two to four weeks after you bake it, so anytime soon after Thanksgiving is perfect.


8 oz flour, 8 oz. wholewheat flour, 2 lb golden raisins, 3 oz candied peel, 1/2 oz  powdered nutmeg, mace, cinnamon (all mixed together), 15 powdered cloves, 9 oz brown sugar, 2 eggs plus 3 yolks, 3 fl. oz  sherry, 11 fl. oz beer, 2 tsp dried yeast, 15 oz heavy cream, 1/2 lb unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Set the butter to melt.  Dissolve the yeast in the beer to make a reasonable facsimile of ale-barm.  Mix the dry ingredients together.  Add the sherry, eggs, egg-yolks, beer and yeast.  Stir in the cream and melted butter.  Leave it all to stand in a  warm   place for an hour.  The mixture should rise and it will still be very sloppy. That’s ok. Grease 2  cake tins, line the base with parchment paper and pour in the mixture. Wrap a thick layer of newspaper round the outside of the tins.  Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour, then turn the temperature down to 300 degrees. Bake for a further 1  hour  and 20 minutes. Test with a skewer or toothpick.  When the the toothpick comes out pretty much dry,  turn the oven off, and leave the cakes in the oven to cool with the oven door ajar.

Randolphus Ayres did not specify it, but this cake is outstanding with the traditional marzipan and “royal icing”.