Thursday, March 9, 2017

La-Z-Boy, Hummers.

Well that was interesting. The inspection from La-Z-Boy was carried out by a young Asian. We thought he was a kid, but I imagine he was older than he looked. He took a photo of the chair, turned it upside down, took a couple more pics. Gazed at it pulling various facial expressions, put the chair upright, said it was the mechanism (no really?) the office would call me with a quote once they knew what parts were needed, charged me $67.80 and left. Had big problems understanding him too. I thought they would fix it today, or take it away today, not take pictures. Whatever the estimate turns out to be, they include the inspection fee into the final cost.Where was that first born when I needed one?

Been watching an incredible video all about Humming Birds. They really are an incredible bird.
Stunning colours and stunning abilities.  I always remember the first time we ever saw a Humming Bird, we had stopped at a rest stop for lunch on a Canadian Hiway and suddenly there was one, a Ruby Throated, right above us. We were so excited. The camera work on this programme is amazing and they have caught video of their tongues which split when drinking nectar and have tiny hairs to help pick up the liquid. One of my favourites is the Bee Hummingbird. I used to have a picture of one sitting on a rule and not taking up an inch. I thought this picture was a pretty good representation of how small they are. There is another picture of one sitting on top of a pencil.

I seem to be on a sweet recipe kick at the moment. I thought these looked pretty tasty and the rum lime and mint combination sounds good.

Lime, Mint and Rum Tarts

These small tarts, inspired by a mojito, are the perfect celebratory end to a meal: refreshing, light and boozy. If you don’t have a spice grinder, finely chop the mint for the final step of the curd and then crush it in a pestle and mortar with the rum before adding to the curd. The aim is for the mixture to be as fine as possible, almost like a paste or like pesto, so that it’s fine enough to turn the curd slightly greener, rather than just fleck it with mint. A touch of parsley makes the green even more vibrant. If you want to work ahead, you can make the pastry dough a day in advance. The curd will keep in the
fridge for up to a week; the vibrancy of the mint will fade a little, but it will still be fine. Bake the pastry on the day you are serving, though, and serve as soon as possible after the rum is poured over the tart.

1 cup/150 grams all-purpose flour (plain flour), more for rolling out dough
6 tablespoons/80 grams cold unsalted butter, diced
1 Tbs plus 1 teaspoon/20 grams granulated or superfine sugar (caster sugar)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbs ice water

½ cup/120 milliliters lime juice (from about 5 to 6 limes), plus the zest of 2 limes, cut in wide strips, avoiding bitter white pith
? cup/120 grams granulated or superfine sugar (caster sugar)
1 packed cup/25 grams mint leaves, plus 12 small mint leaves (or regular leaves, shredded just before using) for garnish
2 Tbs dark rum, plus 1 tablespoon for serving
6 parsley leaves
2 large eggs plus 5 large egg yolks
2 tsp cornstarch (corn flour)
7 tablespoons/100 grams cold unsalted butter, diced
1 Tbs Demerara sugar

1. Make the pastry: Place flour, butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times, until mixture is the consistency of fine bread crumbs, then, with the machine on, slowly add vinegar and ice water. Process for a few seconds, until pastry starts to come together, then dump the dough onto a clean surface. (It will be very sandy.) Gather and pat the dough into a disc that is roughly 1 inch/3 centimeters thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour, or overnight.

2. While the pastry chills, make the curd. First, make the lime syrup: Bring lime juice and granulated or superfine sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, swirling frequently, until sugar has melted, and then boil for another minute. Remove from heat, add lime zest, along with a generous 1/3 cup/10 grams mint leaves, and set aside for 10 minutes to infuse.

3. While the syrup cools, make the herb paste: Pour 2 tablespoons rum into a spice grinder with the parsley and remaining scant 2/3 cup/15 grams of the mint. Pulse for about 10 seconds, until a paste forms, scraping down the sides of the work bowl and pulsing and/or shaking the machine again, if necessary. Set aside. (Alternately, you can whirl the herbs in a small food processor until chopped and then reduce the mixture to a paste in a mortar and pestle. Or, finely chop the herbs on a cutting board and, adding a small amount of rum at a time, work the mixture into a paste with the edge of a large knife.)

4. Strain lime syrup into a large heatproof bowl; squeeze the leaves and zest to extract as much flavor as possible and then discard. In a separate large bowl, whisk together 2 whole eggs, 5 yolks and the cornstarch until no lumps remain, and then stir into the cooled lime syrup.

5. Add scant 1 inch/2 centimeters water to a medium saucepan, bring to a simmer over high heat and reduce the heat to medium. Place the bowl of eggs and syrup over the pan of gently simmering water and whisk continuously for 6 to 8 minutes, or until you have a thick, mousselike curd. Add butter and stir for an additional minute, or just until butter has melted, then remove from heat and set the curd aside to cool for about 10 minutes. Stir reserved herb paste into the curd, cover the surface directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until completely cool.

6. On a lightly floured work surface, tap the chilled pastry all over with a rolling pin to soften slightly before rolling out until 1/16 inch/1 to 2 millimeters thick, using additional flour sparingly to prevent the dough from sticking. (The dough should be about 1 foot/30 centimeters in diameter.) Using a 3 1/2- to 4-inch/9- or 10-centimeter round cookie cutter, cut out 8 circles and gently ease these into the cups of a muffin tin. (If you use a 4-inch cookie cutter, you'll need to roll the dough very thin.) Press down to fill the cups and press the sides so that the pastry rises to the rim of the cup; doing this will help you fill the tarts generously. Re-roll the remaining pastry to form 4 more circles and transfer to the muffin tin. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.

7. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/180 degrees Celsius. Blind-bake the pastry: Line the pastry shells with either paper muffin liners or squares of parchment paper. Fill with pie weights, rice or dried beans and then bake for 18 minutes, or until the pastry shells are a light golden brown around the edges and inside. Remove the parchment paper liners and weights and return the pastry to the oven for another 6 to 7 minutes, until dark golden brown. Quickly and carefully remove the shells from the muffin tin and set aside to cool completely on a wire rack.

8. To serve the tarts: Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons (about 40 grams) of the curd into each tart shell, or enough curd to fill the shell up to the rim. Smooth the surface of the curd with the back of a knife. Sprinkle the center of each tart with a pinch of Demerara sugar and then arrange the small mint leaves or shredded mint on top. Finally, drizzle each tart with few drops of the remaining tablespoon of rum.

Yield: YIELD12 tarts

Source: The New York Times

Have a great day


  1. I hope the chair quote turns out to be reasonable.

    I've never seen a humming bird in real life but I was watching a doco on them a couple of weeks ago. Extraordinary photography of extraordinary birds. I wonder if it was the same one.

    1. Me too otherwise Matt will say I shouldn't have it repaired Helen.

      Probably was the same. Absolutely fascinating pictures.

  2. La-Z-Boy is a Michigan company and I have a few of their pieces. No actual La-Z-Boy recliners though. I'm assuming they are going to order and then replace the mechanism? When I needed a repair on my sofa, they came and picked it up and took it away for repair.

    I've seen that Nature video on hummingbirds. It was quite incredible.

    1. My recliner is the comfiest chair Denise. I really thought they would deal with it straight away, not take pictures etc.

      It is incredible.

  3. I've only seen a hummingbird once - when we were in California - they're such an exciting bird to watch - beautiful - I love that picture.
    I hope you get your recliner fixed quickly.

    1. Aren't they just Fil. We used to have feeders at our home in North Carolina and found them fascinating to watch. Only one species though, Ruby Throated.

      Me too. I really miss it.

  4. I watched the same program last night and thought of you. I was hoping you saw it and would talk about it. The camera catching them drinking the nectar blew our minds-who knew they had a forked tongue plus the nest building was cool. I am in love with hummingbirds and last year, when we visited my hubby's aunt and uncle, they had a hummingbird feeder and we would just watch them come to eat and argue. That was quite the windstorm wasn't it?

    1. We used to have a couple of feeders in North Carolina Birgit, had one here for a short while too. I always remember just before a hurricane, some friend were visiting and we were preparing to run but the hummers still kept coming to the feeders and my friends kept saying "brave little bu**ers". You should put a feeder outside your windows.

      Yes it was, blew stuff around that the construction people had left. Quite heavy metal sheets etc. Noisy.

  5. I guess you'll be getting another visit from them with the parts for the chair.

    1. I gather I will get a quote first Alex.

  6. I was amazed at how loud a hummingbird was when I was close by them when we lived in Southern California. Their wings flapping so quickly made an unusual noise. Hope your chair gets fixed soon.


    1. That's why they are called humming birds Betty. They actually cheep and chatter but it's the humming noise of their wings which most people hear.

      So do I.

  7. Hummingbirds used to follow me home from work when I lived in Marin and walked from the bus stop. I think they were attracted to the beaded barrette I always wore every day.

    1. What fun JoJo. Matt once had one investigating a leaf logo on his red shorts.

  8. I've seen one hummingbird. They're lovely. The quote had better be better than that inspection fee!

    1. Aren't they Pinky? I didn't realise they are only on the American continent.

      They do deduct the inspection fee into the total bill.

  9. Although I don't have a sweet tooth, I like the sound of these tarts ... have you tried them Jo? Mojo is a very popular cocktail on Fuerteventura so I might print this recipe and take it out with me for when its my turn to entertain next - the ingredients seem fairly basic and easily accessible.

    1. I do too Sue but no, I haven't tried them. How was India?