Category: food

Farewell to the espresso machine that saved us over $7,000

Our beloved espresso machine gave up the ghost this weekend. The irony of it happening on Easter Sunday, the day of resurrection, did not escape us. This little machine has been resurrecting us on Sundays, and every day in between, for the past 4 years and 6 months. We know that because I’ve an exact record... Read more »

It's no small fry finding Paddy in today's Chicago Padvent Calendar

Do you know what? We’re exactly half way through the Chicago Padvent Calendar. Eight days behind us, and eight more to come. I think you deserve a little treat, especially as you’ve been very good and not had a single chocolate. So I’ve organised today’s window especially, in the hope that it gives you a... Read more »

You know Christmas is over when....

It’s 9:30 am on what we call Boxing Day, but what apparently this side of the Atlantic is just called ‘the day after Christmas’. That said, I’m not quite sure if I’m in some kind of a time warp, and it’s actually the night before Christmas because all through our house, not a creature is... Read more »
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My life-long love affair with coffee on National Coffee Day

It started with my Dad. He was my caffeine facilitator, introducing me to the delights of Nescafe while I was still in Middle School. We grew up young in Northern Ireland in those days, hot drinks-wise especially. A cup of tea was generally regarded as the answer to all that was wrong in the world,... Read more »

My top 5 discoveries this summer. No 1: time travel

It’s that time when your kids are working out how to squeeze a summer’s worth of holiday homework into a couple of weeks – or less. The cicadas may be singing their hearts out, but there’s that feeling in the air the end of summer is just around the corner. Which made me stop and... Read more »

Rio Olympics: alternative sports learned as a Carioca. Ryan Lochte, take note.

Twenty years ago I was a Carioca. If you’ve been watching the Rio Olympics, you’ll know that means someone native to or resident in Rio de Janeiro. It can also be used for anything to do with Rio, so the next time you get caught doing something, for example vandalizing a gas station bathroom, you... Read more »
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How would you describe #ChicagoInFourWords

Sky full of towers
#Chicagoinfourwords came up as trending on my twitter feed over the 4th July weekend, so I was intrigued. Up near the top of the list were examples such as ‘Those are not fireworks’, and ‘Leave while you can’, which given recent headlines are hardly surprising. We can’t and shouldn’t ignore the shocking violence in Chicago,... Read more »

What if the UK/USA 'special relationship' meant Brexit led to BritUS?

There’s all this fuss going on about whether the UK should leave the EU. I’ll not bore American readers with the ins and outs of the in-out campaign (the BBC explains it here), but silly rules over things like abnormally curved bananas, higher than predicted immigration, and a very high ‘club’ membership fee have irked enough... Read more »

Make American Tea Great Again

America, I’m wondering if the time is right for you to re-discover the drink that made America – the humble cup of tea. Not the fancy cup of tea that smells of wild pomegranate seeds, Tibetan mountain juniper flowers and freshly-cut moss, but the cuppa that smells of old cigarettes, newspapers and wet dog. The... Read more »
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10 things for summer I didn't know I needed until I went to Bed Bath & Beyond

The Woof Washer. I love the 'before and after' element to this photo. I'm assuming it comes with full instructions, including how to keep the dog perfectly still. If so, I'd buy it just for those.
Do you remember that shiver of excitement you’d get as a kid when the toy catalogues started to pop through the mail box in the run-up to Christmas? I still feel that way when the Bed Bath & Beyond flier comes through my door. I defy you to tell me you’re not the same  –... Read more »