Lavender Fields & Purple Desserts

Last month’s visit to the lavender fields reminded me and got my mouth watering for one of the desserts that I grew up with, the sapin-sapin or layers. It is mainly made of sticky rice and coconut milk. The purple part would be purple yam. On top, you’ll find a sprinkling of latik or toasted sweetened coconut.

If you’re up for the challenge and adventure, find the recipe here.


The third-world life: More toys from found objects!

Forever fans of recycling, we’ve been making more toys from found objects. We concentrated on driftwood found on beach walks, like this little raft – cute, right? We made other things, a dragonfly, a butterfly, a bird, three flowers, and a couple of stick people on holiday, but you have to wait for them. The full series will appear in the Etsy France blog’s Cahier de Vacances next month. To help you wait you can check the 2011 Cahier here.

Fans de recyclage, nous avons faits d’autres jouets à partir des objets trouvés. L’été presque ici, nous avons utilises des trésors offerts par la plage, notamment du bois flotté. Voici notre petit radeau. Il y a aussi une libellule, un oiseau, un papillon, trois fleurs et un couple en vacances, mais il va falloir attendre, car ils vont apparaitre que le mois prochain dans le Cahier de Vacances de Blog Français d’Etsy. Vous pouvez patienter en jetant un oeil sur le cahier de 2011 ici.

The third-world life: Toys from found objects

When we were kids, there wasn’t any Toys “R” Us, we made up our own games and created our own toys. This probably explains a lot why we are who are today, but that’s beside the point. We decided to have some old-fashioned fun this mid-week, and make play things from pieces found on the beach, from walking on the streets, and our own scrap fabric pile. As you can see, summer is on our minds these grey early-spring days.

We took shells from two very fat clams, twigs from fallen branches, and pieces of cloth fished right out of our sewing room trash bin to make these sail boats. Tip; To get your sail pole standing up on the shell, cut a flat piece from a wine cork, and stick this to the shell with a generous dollop of wood glue. Once dry, poke a hole in the middle of the circle of cork. This is where the  twig-and-sail goes.

This trio we call “Bakasyonistas,” city folk on a beach holiday. They’re made from wine bottle corks and small shells, and scrap fabric and thread,. The faces are drawn on with felt-tipped pens.

P.S. In the shade and out of the sun, the bakasyonistas take their shell hats off.

The third-world life: How to Cut a Mango

Mango, fleshy tropical fruit, deliciously acidic when green, heavenly sweet just as soon as the skin turns yellow, how do we eat thee?

A great way to go about it when you’re on a picnic is to take a knife and go down and around, peeling the skin down in a spiral.  Go ahead and bite into the flesh with your teeth. When the fruit is ripe, you can do without the knife and peel with your fingers. Juices running down to the elbows are part of the fun!

Or you can cut your mango into strips. (As you can see, we are all for playing with your food.)

Our absolute favorite is the hedgehog, where you cut a “cheek” off and with your knife make criss-crossing marks on the mango meat. To eat, you can pick the squares off either with fork tines or go at it with your teeth.

A tip: If you’ve grown up eating mangoes, you know that it’s best enjoyed with a dip, like fish sauce or a combination of vinegar and chili. For beginners, though, before trying the mother-of-all-dips “bagoong” (fermented shrimps), we recommend you start simple, sprinkling your mangos with rock salt.