Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Feline Mascot

"The feline mascot of the light cruiser HMAS Encounter,
peering from the muzzle of a 6 inch gun" (World War I):
Australian War Memorial collection (no. 304910).
Image source: Australian War Memorial.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Currently addicted to Papier d'Arménie -- "Le plus ancien désodorisant naturel de l'air ambiant" ["The most ancient natural room deodorizer"]. From the website:
Created more than 120 years ago, the famous "Papier d'Arménie" booklet contains detachable strips of brown perfumed paper. It is still produced in the same factory in Montrouge, where only traditional manufacturing methods are used.
The paper owes its unique pleasant fragrance to benzoin resin. Without it, "Papier d'Arménie" would never have become what it is. Whilst on a trip to Armenia, Auguste Ponsot discovered the resin's disinfecting qualities and subsequently decided to introduce them to France. Renowned since ancient times for its antiseptic, healing and expectorant properties, benzoin balm has been traditionally applied externally to treat asthma, coughs and hoarseness.
How to use: Tear off a strip, fold it accordion-style and place it on your "Papier d'Arménie" burner. Light the paper, blow gently so that the paper begins to glow (it should not burn quickly).
It smells a bit 'soapy' before you light it, at which point it is transformed into the most wonderful church incense smell. Lots of smoke too; most impressive.

In Australia I found it at Simon Johnson in Sydney. 
Other sources: papier d'arménie site and amazon.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Link Love

  • Yum... Lemon Layer Cake with Campari Frosting (from serious eats).
  • Sassoon at the Cambridge University Library (from war poetry)
  • The Old Foodie explores a scrumptious menu for the Royal Family during Ascot Week 1938. I can't decide whether Consommé Jeanne Garnier would have been divine or foul: a chicken consommé with pigeon added when the consommé is clarified, then champagne is added; then a final garnish with rice and prawns.