the second hand city

morning tea

Yellow’s everywhere isn’t it?  Instead of purchasing a ceramic pineapple or owl (the two favoured yellow homeware items I’ve noticed everywhere of late) I’ve introduced a bit more yellow into my life with these dried flowers. I bought them from Lord Butler.

what a beautiful florist with so many great ideas.   It's not usually open, just while the elk sale was on (it's in the same building).

So many beautiful ideas for floral arrangments and plants and all things associated.  I walked out of this studio/warehouse seriously contemplating learning floristry.  Lord Butler isn’t usually open to walk in off the street, just while the elk sale was on (it’s in the same building).

And I have put them into my Nanna’s silver vase.  Which is perfect.  Because I don’t like to put water in this vase (I have this vague idea that it’s not good for the silver, right?  Or am I mistaken?)  and these flowers don’t need any.  I probably should polish the vase, shouldn’t I?  But then again, if I do it will show up all the other tarnished silver things I have.  And then I might be endlessly polishing silver. So on second thoughts, I think I’ll just leave it as is.


I’ve got the vase on my kitchen table.  The flowers look great with the yellow Johnson cups and plates that I have out at the moment. And the saucer.  It’s one of my favourites. Myott.  So cheery.


johnson ware (love)

I think I am sort of addicted. Because even though I know I shouldn’t buy it and use it – because I hate hand washing dishes and I keep wrecking beautiful things in the dishwasher – I just find it so hard to pass up lovely patterned Johnson ware.

However, I am not going to think about the practicalities.  I choose to live in the moment and enjoy what I’ve got.


See how lovely it looks. The cream cup has a more classic design than lots of the Johnson ware I own. I’ve combined it with a pastel pink saucer (very morning tea in a church hall don’t you think?).  And added in this side plate with gorgeous little wildflowers on it.

Hold on, I’ll just eat those little lemon filled pastries that Scarlett and Clive bought (how lucky am I) and take a proper photo.

… There you go. Cute huh? Excuse the slight dusting of icing sugar…


… and some easy stuffed peppers (tapas or pintxo?)

Is it tapas or pintxo?  It is secured with a toothpick … And you can eat them off the toothpick.  Does the name matter?

I am still aiming to build my spanish starter (tapas) repertoire.  And this is an authentic every day recipe straight from the horses mouth (in saying this Santi, I am not in any way suggesting you are a horse!).

Our friend Santi(ago) is from Spain.  And he likes cooking. I have been asking him for some tips.  He suggested the Pintxo last week.  It was in a loose way mind you … something like, ‘you just put things like olives, spanish cheese and chillies on toothpicks’.  Well, that is really what you need to know, isn’t it?

And also this recipe.  Which he makes for his kids quite often.

All you need out of the ordinary is a jar of whole red peppers.  I always see these jars in mediterranean supermarkets.  But I have never really known what I should do with them.

And now I do!

So, this recipe is equally vague. It goes … you make a bechemel sauce (white sauce).  You put chopped up boiled egg in it and stuff the peppers with this mixture.   You put a toothpick through the the top of the peppers to stop the mixture falling out.  Then you warm them in the oven.  That’s it.  Done.

I can actually be more specific now I have made some.

Red Peppers Stuffed with Egg in a Bechemel Sauce

To make the sauce I put 1 rounded tablespoon flour and 1 rounded tablespoon of butter in a saucepan and cooked it, adding milk along the way to make a thick bechemel.  Oh, and I added some salt and pepper as well.

I let it cool.  I peeled and roughly chopped up 4 boiled eggs and mixed them in.

This was enough for the whole medium sized jar of peppers.  About 25 I guess.

And I had a bit left over (which Clive had in a sandwich with some leftover poached chicken – best sandwich EVER apparently).  So maybe 3 eggs would be enough?


Some technical tips …

When you are stuffing the peppers make sure the stuffing mixture is cool, or you will get in a bit of a mess.  And the peppers are quite delicate when you get them out of the jar.  So be careful not to put holes in them if you can.

But when you heat them the peppers firm up quite a lot. So even if you think it is a disaster, it’s probably not.  The peppers will become firm enough that  you can actually just pick up the toothpick and eat off it (which is hard to imagine when you are making them).

I warmed them in a medium oven (180 degrees) for about 10 minutes.  The peppers went a deeper red when they were heated.


They really are yummy.  And my kids liked them too.  From now on I am going to keep a jar of red peppers in the pantry.  Thanks Santi.

Do you know any other easy ways to use these peppers for tapas?  Or any other simple tapas I should try?