Friday, 20 January 2012

A birthday treat for you

This Sunday it's my birthday. How old am I? None of your sodding business. Ok I'm 72, yes a lifetime of extra olive oil, no dieting, no smoking and drinking in moderation has done wonders for my complexion. I'm also coming up to the third anniversary of creating The Underground Restaurant.
To celebrate I'm giving you dear readers a present...
One of the best cookery writers is Diana Henry and I have her reissued 2008 classic book 'Roast Figs, Sugar Snow' to give away. A collection of interesting and inspiring recipes drawn from Northern countries and perfect for that push through winter, Henry was ahead of her time in promoting Scandinavian cookery. The days are getting longer now...not long till Spring.
All you have to do is...leave a comment below why age doesn't matter or what kind of birthday treat would make that special or even why birthdays are a waste of time to celebrate? Preferably with your email address so I can send the book to you!

34 comments:

  1. My birthday is tomorrow too, 48, which could seem quite old though I'm seeing the incredible privilege to live in a time when we are allowed self-reinvention. Youthfulness is a state of mind based on open-mindedness, and keeping life full of new challenges and people. There are young people who are old and old people who are young. I have to be young because I am such an old mum to young kids. I don't know if my littlies or hubbie are going to be making me a cake, or the etiquette of making one for oneself???? But for ages I've wanted to make a Tower of Crepes, filled with apples and cream, maybe cardamum, maybe clove, and I only need to make 12 if each pancake represents 4 years? And Happy Birthday to you Ms Marmite Lover, I love your blog and your style.

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  2. Aw thanks Annie.
    That tower of crepes sounds awesome!
    x

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  3. Birthdays do NOT matter, and if you ARE 72, and that is REALLY your picture, even if it was taken in the past 10 years, I am going to just slit my throat. You CAN'T be 72 and look like that. Simply can't. See?

    I will start eating Marmite daily, if I can figure out what it is...

    Happy Birthday, Ms Marmite Lover.

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  4. Happy Birthday, MsMarmitelover! You are an inspiration.
    My birthday is in the summer and if there is going to be an unpleasant event such as a funeral or moving day it will inevitably fall on my birthday. Moving day has actually fallen exactly on my birthday twice now. As for cakes, I always have a Boston Cream Pie, which I buy myself at a bakery. But Annie I am interested in your tower of crepes, because for years I have wanted to make a croquembouche. I get a little bit obsessed with it at Christmas time and say "This is the year I am making a croquembouche!" but it never happens. I never thought of doing it on my birthday. If we aren't moving this year - and that's always a possibility - I am going to try and finally make my croquembouche. Building a tower of food on your birthday just seems...right.

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  5. Your never too old especially if you are a cheese or a wine! yum. At the age of 60 my mum decided to go and jump off a cliff and try her hand at Paragliding.She is trying to persuade me to go whitewater rafting with her next!eeek
    Immy14@hotmail.com

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  6. I am 64, spent 25 of those years in London and moved back to Germany just in time to miss the Underground Restaurant. I deserve to win because you feel sorry for me.
    ilse
    izambonini@yahoo.com

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  7. and..happy birthday fellow capricorn!

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  8. Linda: yay, hope you start to like Marmite
    Elizabeth:I've made croquembouches...NOT easy.
    Imogen: your mum sounds great!
    365 tage: ah I'm an Aquarian but happy birthday to you too

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  9. Dear MsMarmitelover, happy birthday!

    Age is nothing but a number and you're as young as you feel you are. Birthdays are a great opportunity to celebrate the enthusiasm, ideas, optimism, creativity, things still to come, places to be discovered...

    A great cake is a must (since it's chilly outside something rich and chocolatey perhaps?), teamed up with a glass of champagne......or with some mulled wine (though that might call for a different type of cake). I'd leave the choice to you though as you're the cookery wizard and always come up with interesting, yummy recipes.

    All the best - have a great day!

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  10. Age is just experience - for which there is no real substitute.

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  11. 72 with a 17 year old daughter! Has the Daily Mail heard about you:) I have the book so just wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday!

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  12. Happy Birthday!

    I think birthdays aren't worth celebrating on the most part. It's like anything, if you build it up to be a great day in your mind, it never is. So I think keep it simple with your nearest and dearest and you can't go wrong.

    I'd love to win this book - one I have wanted for aages!

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  13. Best birthday treat? Strawberry and white chocolate cake! Need I say more?

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  14. Happy Birthday! Being one of the birthdayless (otherwise known as born on Christmas day) children I like the idea of celebrating a birthday but have never really done it. On the flip side I have never had a bad birthday and look forward to the mayhem of family and friends that fill our house. Ages and dates don't matter. Making time to celebrate the good in your life should be done as often as possible.

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  15. Lex: argh, even worse having a christmas birthday...
    Zuips: mm sounds good
    Charlotte: it's a great book isn't it?
    Jean: thank you! Yes I've lived a virtuous life.
    Zia: experience is so worthwhile, why don't we celebrate it more?
    Mojca: The answer to everything is 42!

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  16. I had my 60th 6 months ago. The best present was that I could retire. The next best present was a blank 'Bucket' list to be filled in with all the places I want to visit before moving to Canada this year. I've just completed the last of my journeys (with the giver of this wonderful gift) We have been all over europe, finishing in Guernsey for New Year.
    I'd say getting older equals freedom!

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  17. Birhday's should be a day to indulge, whether that be in food, drink or chocolate. Or my favourite combo of all three! Spent with the nearest and dearest is the best present of all.

    Happy birthday and fab book - would love to get my hands on a copy!

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  18. Happy Birthday! Age can be a good thing. With it comes wisdom and maturity. People mature like fine wine.
    I would love to win that book...

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  19. Happy Birthday! 72! How wonderful!

    I recently celebrated my 50th and as a cancer survivor I relish each new day not to mention each new year! I am pondering the possibilities of starting my own underground tea room here in Texas as it has been my dream to retire from teaching and open a tea room. This "underground " concept might be the perfect way to let me begin living that dream now!!

    And so, happy birthday and make it count! (Which, from reading your blog, sounds as though you defiinitely do)

    Wishing you many happy returns!
    Mischelle

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  20. 72! How Wonderful! I recently celebrated my 50th!
    As a cancer survivor, I am thrilled to get a year older and relish each new day. One of my dreams is to have a little tea room business after I retire from teaching school and I think your concept of "underground " dining might be something I will try here in Texas to give my dream early flight! I could offer events on certain weekends and school holidays now with no problem!

    And so my dear, Have a Lovely Birthday and Many Happy Returns!

    Making every day count!
    Mischelle

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  21. Lynne: 60 is the new 40!
    Louise: so far I've had pancakes with maple butter syrup....yum
    Mark: or a vintage champagne?
    Elementary ideas: well done you, you are an inspiration!

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  22. Getting older is definitely much more interesting. Aside from gaining the wisdom of a sage, you can start behaving really badly and get away with it!

    Champagne all the way....and first class plane tickets to somewhere hot and gorgeous!

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  23. Getting older is definitely much more interesting. Aside from gaining the wisdom of a sage, you can start behaving really badly and get away with it!

    Champagne all the way....and first class plane tickets to somewhere hot and gorgeous!

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  24. Getting older is definitely much more interesting. Aside from gaining the wisdom of a sage, you can start behaving really badly and get away with it!

    Champagne all the way....and first class plane tickets to somewhere hot and tropical!

    Happy Birthday!!

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  25. Hello, and happy birthday! Just discovered your blog and think its great.
    I think it is far too easy to be grumpy about birthdays. I agree that the getting a year older bit is not ideal but birthdays are a fantastic excuse to get together with friends/family and spoil yourself. Everyone needs to be spoilt from time to time, and getting a homemade cake is the ultimate I think. Besides all of this we need excellent birthdays and excellent cakes so we can write all about them on our blogs!!
    Fleur.mccrone@gmail.com

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  26. Joanie: now you are talking...champagne and first class flights..
    Home made by Fleur: ah yes I should have done a cake.

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  27. The Teen will pick a winner tonight!
    Thanks everyone for all your comments....xx

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  28. My birthday is today and I'm 34. I hope I'm not too late to enter the competition. I love Diana Henry and I already have one of her books.
    Age is a funny thing. My boyfriend is a lot older than I am and yet has one of the 'youngest' attitudes of anyone I know whereas I know people who are younger than me that act much older. It's all in the mind, except when your knees start to creak!
    I hope you had the happiest of birthdays and from reading your blog, I'm sure you celebrated in decadent style.
    My address is sharondingle [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  29. If I leave my normal literary masterpiece type comment I know I would win but unfortunately my email address has closed its letterbox to parcels, so it would be best to give it to a runner up doncherknow.

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  30. annieL and Elizabeth, could you post your email addresses? We're choosing today! Xx

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  31. Having just turned 40 myself, I can say with some authority you are only as old as you feel - the rest is just cladding.
    Happy Birthday Ms Marmite.

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  32. Hello! Oh, glad to see i am still in the running. my email is heshwesh@nsworld.com. BTW i ended up using plum preserves i'd made in September in the cake, and it just that perfect border between sweet and tart and creamy. A friend likened the cake to tree rings. Elizabeth -- I say go for the crocambouche! Just do it.
    Love to all.

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  33. whoops, i don't know if that posted... heshwesh@nsworld.com

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