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It’s all in the pastry…

tarte aux pommes: 2, originally uploaded by rhino75.

This is the first time I’d used a pastry recipe from my Michel Roux book (many thanks to Nardac for that) and I have to say it was a winner. A dream to handle, no shrinkage and it produced a really light, crisp crust.


Birthday Boys

Birthday Boys, originally uploaded by rhino75.

Birthday Girls

It’s a big year for divas, dear reader, what with Kylie turning 40, Madonna celebrating her 50th (yeah, right) and Grace Jones blowing out 60 candles – count ’em – on her cake. To mark the occasion, that august publication the Daily Telegraph has published portraits of all three. For all Madge and Kyles’s ferocious work ethic and “reinvention” it’s nice to see that the coolest of the three is still “our Gracie” – just for being bonkers and decadent. And those choons still stand up well today. Here are my favourite quotes:

Her family left the Caribbean for the US when she was 14 and it was via an American model agency that she wound up in Paris, where she shared an apartment with Jerry Hall. (“We didn’t sleep in it. We just kept Champagne there.”) — Birthday Girls: Grace Jones – Telegraph

If anything, she has become more doll-like over the years, more often than not playing the romantic victim, messed around by some dark-haired cad, denying her the fairy-tale white wedding that Charlene got all those years ago. — Birthday Girls: Kylie Minogue at 40 – Telegraph

It is Madonna’s self-belief that has ebbed away as she has grown older. Suddenly she looks like everyone else, desperate to stay young, to stay in touch. That girl who skipped on to a stage three decades ago didn’t give a damn what anyone else was doing. She was going to do it her way. — Birthday Girls: Madonna – Telegraph