Hello and welcome back to my 14th Sunday Summation!
(Yup, I had to double check the Roman numerals...)
This week has been pretty uneventful as weeks go, dominated mostly by a flare up of my good old friend endometriosis. This resulted in a few days in bed, where I put myself to good use by re-watching The Walking Dead, reading copiously and sleeping the pain away.
Despite this little blip, there have been a fair few sources of pleasure in the past week:
Off-the-cuff tart recipes!
They say that necessity is the mother of all invention... this last minute pear and Apricot Frangipane Tart was the prompted by my rather sweet tooth and a fridge full of ripe apricots.
The recipe is basically an amalgamation of a couple of different methods/ingredients/ratios I found strewn across the internet (just Google apricot tart and you'll find them).
You will need:
A sheet of puff pastry (this size of a large baking tray, the pre-rolled stuff is perfect!)
10-14 small, very ripe apricots (depending on size)
2 conference pears or similar
50g ground almonds
2 tbsp caster sugar
Preheat your oven to 180C, line a large baking tray with baking paper and place the pastry sheet on top.
Slice up the fruit thinly and arrange on the sheet as you see fit (I alternated in rows between the pears and apricots).
Evenly coat the whole tart with the ground almonds and caster sugar then bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Serve with cream, yogurt or ice cream for a really decadent treat!
Getting our Belgian beer on at Vahe Bar in York
If you're looking for a quiet drink in York city centre, you can't go wrong with Vahe. This small, but perfectly formed bar is tucked away on Goodramgate and even enjoys Minster views from the front windows.
During our trip to Bruges earlier this year we acquired a taste for flemish/Belgian beer, especially lambic beer in my case.
(If anyone knows where I can get a case of Bourgogne des Flandres, I will be eternally grateful!)
After our walk down the river we made a quick stop at Vahe to refuel and relax (FYI this is also a good place to escape the crowd on a race day).
Trying yet more beer
On a bit of a whim we decided to buy a bottled selection of various beers for the weekend. Among them was an amazing find - Amarillo Sour 5.4% ABV from Chorlton Brewing Company.
Unfortunately I've already recycled the can, so I have no photographic evidence. You'll therefore have to take just my word that this was an extremely tangy sour beer, with lots of body.
Reading lots of books
Here are my selected literary recommendations from the past month or so:
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
A great follow up to Sapiens (which I also totally recommend). Homo Deus is a philosophical exploration of humanity's future and the technological revolution that will fundamentally change human societies and may even see us transcend death.
Walden Two by B. F. Skinner
This 1948 novel came to my attention during our stay at The Clearing, where I became fascinated with the history of Communes in the 1960's and 70's.
The novel is essentially one of many ideas - exploring concepts such as free will, sexual equality, political ethics and the common good.
Walden Two's fictional utopia with its emphasis on behavioural analysis became inspiration for the structure and governance of Communes such as Twin Oaks in Virginia, USA.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
This was another Clearing read and is probably one of the most enjoyable fiction books I have read in a very, very long time.
I'll try not to give away too much, but if you like post-apocalytiptic narratives, strong female characters and non-linear storylines (done well) - this book is definitely for you!