Try this for Christmas, Nigel Slater’s Cherry Pie.

Use all cherries if you wish, but the tartness of the blueberries seems to amplify the flavour of the cherries.
The cornflour becomes invisible, but effectively thickens the juices. Serves 6.
For the pastry: plain flour 230g; butter 140g; icing sugar 50g; eggs 1 large yolk, plus another beaten to seal and glaze the pie.
For the filling: cherries 800g; blueberries 200g; cornflour 2 tbsp; lemon 1; caster sugar 100g (plus a little extra).
You will also need a wide-rimmed metal pie plate or tart tin measuring approximately 26cm in diameter (including rim).
Make the pastry: put the flour into the bowl of a food processor, add the butter cut into pieces and process until the ingredients resemble fine, fresh breadcrumbs.
Mix in the icing sugar and the egg yolk. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, then bring the dough together with your hands to form a smooth ball.
Wrap the dough in parchment or cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Stone the cherries, put them in a mixing bowl then add the blueberries and the cornflour. Finely grate the lemon, add it to the cherries, then cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice. Sprinkle the juice over the fruit and add the sugar.
Tumble the fruit, cornflour, juice, zest and sugar together and set aside.
Place an empty baking sheet in the oven, then preheat to 200C/gas mark 6. Cut the pastry in half. Roll out one half to fit the base of the pie plate, then lower on to the pie plate, leaving any overhanging pastry in place.
Spoon the filling into the dish, leaving a bare rim of pastry around the edge. Brush the rim with a little beaten egg.
Roll out the remaining pastry and place it over the top of the tart, pressing firmly around the rim to seal. Trim the pastry.
Brush the surface with beaten egg, pierce a small hole in the middle to let out any steam, then sprinkle the pie lightly with caster sugar.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, on the heated baking sheet, until golden.
Source: Nigel Slater’s cherry pie and cake recipes | Life and style | The Guardian

Artworks that define Christmas.

Winter Landscape by Caspar David Friedrich (1811)
Image Credit: Photograph by Corbis

See more Artwork via The 15 artworks that define Christmas – in pictures | Art and design | The Guardian

Daffodils On the Slopes Of Mount Golica.

Image Credit: Photograph by​ Aleš Krivec
One of the most known facts about my hometown Jesenice is, that in May the northern slopes above the town get covered in a white blanket of daffodils (Narcissus poeticus).
So one morning I drove up the mountain road to the foothills of Mount Mala Golica.
It’s only a 15 minutes hike from there to get to the meadow which is fully covered with daffodils.
A lot of people mistakenly thinks the daffodils are at Mount Golica. But that is not the case as Mount Golica has two peaks and daffodils can be found on the slopes of the lower peak (Mala Golica).
As you can see from the image above the slopes turn almost completely white and it’s truly an amazing, almost otherworldly sight to see.
More info: dreamypixel.com
Source: I Photographed Daffodils On The Slopes Of Mt. Golica | Bored Panda

“A Beery Christmas”.

A Beery Christmas

Photo: Don’t forget to right click to view larger format.
Those Monotype blokes loved their Christmas parties didn’t they, but where is the BEER? and Who put that sign up?
The answer is the Overseer said, “No beer to be shown in photos!” And the weak bastards copped it…
Now you can have lots of fun trying to guess who’s in this photograph apart from Paul Korff (in the front, as always) and standing next to him a grinning Kevin (Danny Kaye) McBride.
See how many you can get…
Photo courtesy of the Korff Family.

Winter at the Flatiron Building.

FlatironJonas1In the midst of a Winter Storm, photographer Michele Palazzo braved the blustery weather in hopes that he’d capture a one-of-a-kind shot.
Fortunately, he came across New York City’s Flatiron Building and that’s when something magical happened.
As tufts of snow swirled in the wind, Palazzo aimed his Ricoh GR camera and photographed the building, surrounding streets, and meteorological conditions.
After enhancing the image in VSCO Cam, the artist noticed that the snow swirls created patterns resembling swift brush strokes.
FlatironJonas2
As a whole, the photograph incredibly echoes an impressionist painting.
If you look closely, you’ll notice that the Flatiron’s windows feature an origami installation by artist Chelsea Hrynick Browne.
Her hand-cut paper creations perfectly add to the otherworldly, Winter Storm moment.
All photos via Michele Palazzo.

Source: NYC Winter Storm Photo Remarkably Resembles an Impressionist Painting – My Modern Met

Christmas Black Cake.

If you’re someone who can’t wait to plan Christmas every year, it’s never too early to start preparing the Caribbean holiday treat known as black cake.
To make this dessert, islanders soak dried fruit in rum and cherry brandy for up to a year before baking.
After British colonists introduced plum pudding (which is more like cake than it sounds) to Caribbean islands, locals adapted the recipe with available ingredients.
Black cake may be a far cry from the original pudding or its cousin, fruitcake, but it does include a combination of cherries, raisins, prunes, currants, and dates.
Where traditional fruitcake makers leave the pieces of soaked fruit intact, black cake bakers pulverize them into a sweet paste.
The finished product is a rich, smooth cake that may be iced, but more often stands alone.
Regional flavors punctuate the uniquely Caribbean confection. A combination of extracts, called “mixed essence,” adds notes of vanilla, almond, and pear (though on Trinidad, home of Angostura, recipes may use bitters and vanilla).
A homemade burnt-sugar syrup called “browning” contributes a caramel flavor. And the rum-soaked fruit offers a bit of bittersweetness.
The New York Times describes the resulting cake as “darker, deeper and altogether more absorbing” than its fruitcake relatives.
Families across the islands and their relatives in the United States—especially in New York—reserve baking and eating black cake for Christmas.
Whoever’s making black cake bakes only a few, so giving one is a deeply affectionate gesture. Someone devoted months of preparation and more than four hours of baking to each cake, along with lots of love, liquor, and expensive fruit.
Digging in should make you feel like a slice of the sweet itself—warm and more full of rum than you appear.Need to KnowSome Caribbean and West Indian establishments sell black cakes during the holiday season.
If you’d like to try your hand at making black cake, but don’t have year-old, booze-soaked fruit at home, fret not—many recipes say three days of soaking works just fine.
Source: Black Cake – Gastro Obscura

Children Celebrating Christmas, 100 Years Ago.

From lighting a real candle on the branch of an indoor Christmas tree, to a well-dressed family singing carols on a stairwell in the home, this lovely collection of nostalgic photos reveal how children from a bygone era celebrated the festive season.

A little girl and her Saint Bernard deliver a present at Christmas, circa 1910s.

Children carrying holly and mistletoe, London, December 1915.
See more wonderful Images via Lovely Vintage Photos Show How Children Celebrated Christmas More Than 100 Years Ago ~ vintage everyday

Mareeba, Atherton Tablelands.

Mareeba_wetlands_queensland
Image Credit: Australian Geographic by Phoebe Baldwin.
Take a hike, grab a bike and get airborne in this tropical oasis nestled in the fertile plateau of the Atherton Tableland.
Go on a trip to Far North Queensland and explore the area around the largest town on the Atherton Tablelands.
Mareeba experiences more than 300 sunny days a year and prides itself on being the ballooning capital of the world.
Abundant wildlife and magnificent scenery await you at this destination with something for everyone.
Rich in Aboriginal heritage you will find plenty to do with bushwalks and bike tracks galore.
Adventure during the day and enjoy the unique accommodation and fantastic local foods at night.
Source: Mareeba, Queensland – Australian Geographic

The Futuro Spaceship House lands in Britain.

The Futuro house by Matti Suuronen … restored by Craig Barnes, on show in Le Havre. Photograph: James Hemery
Like jetpacks, flying cars and robot butlers, the Futuro was supposed to revolutionise the way we lived.
Unlike those other staples of an imagined future, however, this architectural oddity actually existed.
A colourful pod in the shape of an ellipse, the Futuro was a sci-fi vision of the future, offering us a living space light years away from what most of us were used to.
Nicknamed the Flying Saucer and the UFO House, it was symbolic of the ambitious space-race era.
But as the Futuro celebrates its 50th anniversary, the revolution it promised clearly never happened.
One belongs to Craig Barnes, an artist based in London, who saw a Futuro in a “dishevelled and tired” state while on holiday in Port Alfred, South Africa.
He decided to mount a rescue mission. “I have family out there,” he says, “and I’d been seeing this Futuro since I was about three.
I viewed it as a spaceship. I drove past in 2013 and workers were knocking down a garage next to it. I panicked and managed to trace the owner.”
Read on via Source: Back to the Futuro: the spaceship house that landed in Yorkshire | Art and design | The Guardian

Yorkshire’s Secret: Christmas Cake and Cheese.

Photo: The combination of a well matured and baked dark fruit cake accompanied by slices of crumbly piquant cheese is a rare treat not to be missed.
The poor fruitcake has gotten a bad rap over the past few decades, and not just a cellophane wrap.
People misunderstand its booze-infused density and dank fruitiness, chalking up the decision to give such a gift as nothing more than a misguided antiquated ritual.
But Yorkshire natives will not be dissuaded from enjoying the holiday loaf and, furthermore, from topping the succulent slice with a thick layer of piquant cheese.
In England, a Christmas cake refers to the dried fruit–speckled, rum-soaked round that many other cultures simply call fruitcake. Ideally, the cake is made ahead of time—up to two months—allowing the ingredients to mellow and blend as they receive a regular dowsing of alcohol.
But how did cheese come to accompany the holiday treat?
According to food historian Peter Brears, the creative combo comes from the Victorian era, specifically in Wensleydale, Yorkshire.
Wensleydale is also home to an eponymous cow’s milk (formerly sheep’s milk) cheese that, at the time, was made only during the summer and reached maturity right around the Christmas season.
Folks found that the sharp and crumbly cheese—either perched atop or eaten alongside the cake—paired perfectly with the moist, rich baked good, and a tradition was born.
The Christmas custom has remained mostly a delight confined to Yorkshire, but has become very popular across the border in Scotland
Source: Christmas Cake and Cheese – Gastro Obscura