A Tale of Two Kitchens – Kitchengate: The Story So Far

Described today by the Daily Mail as “the REALLY important political issue of the day” (don’t assume that’s ironic – there’s little evidence of irony the article by Mail Online reporter Ollie Gillman), rarely has the humble kitchen appeared so often in the news headlines and the political sketch columns as it has in the last couple of weeks. So here’s how the story unfurled in Britain’s free-to-view online daily rags.

‘Two kitchens Miliband': Labour leader posed in SECOND ‘functional kitchenette’ at £2.5m mansion for interview with his wife
Labour’s plan to cast Ed Miliband as an ordinary family man appeared to have spectacularly backfired tonight – after it emerged he posed with his wife in the family’s smaller second kitchen.
Daily Mail, Published on Thursday 12 Mar 2015 at 07:37pm

‘Two kitchens Miliband': Labour leader says he prefers the SECOND ‘kitchenette’ at £2.5m mansion where he posed for TV

Ed ‘Two Kitchens’ Miliband under fire in bizarre row
Labour leader criticised by Tories after a humble kitchen he posed in with wife in soft-focus interview actually the smaller of two kitchens in his house
Telegraph. Published on Thursday 12 Mar 2015 at 07:47pm

Kitchen sink drama for Miliband as homely photo backfires
Labour leader seen as down to earth with no-frills cooking area on BBC film; until it was revealed as his home’s second kitchenA harmless picture of Ed Miliband and his wife Justine Thornton sipping a cuppa at their north London home, in what appears to be a relatively modest looking kitchen, has ended up providing dream tabloid headlines.It turns out that the couple were filmed by the BBC in a second kitchen at their Dartmouth Park home.Ed Miliband’s kitchen is lovely.
Guardian. Published on Thursday 12 Mar 2015 at 08:03pm

Ed ‘Two Kitchens’ Miliband: Politicians and the photos that inadvertently come to define them
With a seemingly innocuous row about the Labour leader’s kitchens making headlines, we look back at how political photocalls can backfire by crystallising weaknesses in the eyes of the electorate
Telegraph. Published on Friday 13 Mar 2015 at 09:54am

Is Ed Miliband’s ‘actual’ kitchen more like one of these?
Labour leader may be seeking to hide a much grander family kitchen like some of these on his road.
Telegraph. Published on Friday 13 Mar 2015 at 10:17am

The most important political issue of the moment? Ed Miliband’s kitchens
The puerile nature of political discourse in modern Britain crowds out the issues that matter to ordinary peopleThe problem with an open sewer is you cannot escape the stench. The Daily Mail is, of course, that open sewer, along with a sizeable chunk of Britain’s Tory-dominated oligarch-owned “free press”. Let’s just have a quick recap about the level of political discourse we have reached in Britain. The big political controversy of the moment is not the national scandals of low pay, child pov…
Guardian. Published on Friday 13 Mar 2015 at 11:19am

Ed Miliband: I have two kitchens but only use the small one
The Labour leader admits he has two kitchens in his north London mansion but says that he and his wife choose to use the smaller one upstairs
Telegraph. Published on Friday 13 Mar 2015 at 12:27pm

Labour’s Ed Miliband says he prefers the SECOND ‘kitchenette’ at £2.5m mansion
The image of the Labour leader as a man of the people with a run-of-the-mill home was not all it appeared. For Mr Miliband actually lives in a house with two kitchens.
Daily Mail. Published on Friday 13 Mar 2015 at 03:34pm

Out with policies, in with pedal bins: kitchenology will decide the election
This focus on the politics of lifestyle is absurd. By playing along Miliband has only himself to blamePoliticians: if you can’t stand talking about the kitchen, maybe get out of the kitchen? We’ll never know the precise chain of events that led to Ed Miliband and his wife being pictured in the second kitchen of their north London house as opposed to the first – but frankly, who needs to? They agreed to be pictured in the kitchen. The rest is just geography.@Nigel_Farage pre #BBCSP @ukip pic.twi
Guardian. Published on Friday 13 Mar 2015 at 06:24pm

Ed Miliband tries to defuse ‘two kitchens’ row
ED Miliband has tried to defuse controversy over the kitchen arrangements at his £2 million town house in London – by insisting he only “uses the small one”.
Scotsman. Published on Friday 13 Mar 2015 at 07:15pm

Martin Rowson on the media furore over Ed Miliband’s kitchens – cartoon
Guardian. Published on Friday 13 Mar 2015 at 10:43pm

Martin Rowson on the media furore over Ed Miliband’s kitchens – cartoon

 

Ed Miliband’s trial by media: Damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t
The revelation that Ed Miliband has two kitchens dominated the political agenda last week. Besides the fuss about the lime green recycling bin, does the row say more about how the Labour leader is treated by the media, Twitter and voters – that, whatever he does, he’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t?
Independent. Published on Sunday 15 Mar 2015 at 12:00am

The Milibands in the kitchen… What is this weird outdated parading of leaders’ wives?
Labour’s pink bus is a masterpiece of gender neutrality compared to this Mad Men-style strategyEven the most progressive kitchen analyst would have to concede that the room where Ed and Justine (formerly Thornton) Miliband unsuspectingly huddled last week is conspicuously less roomy and appealing than the series of well-appointed domestic spaces in which David Cameron and his wife have posed over the years.In fact, to judge by the number of times Cameron has invited inspection since he was firs
Guardian. Published on Sunday 15 Mar 2015 at 12:05am

Ed Miliband must take a tip from Three Kitchens Boris writes Rachel Johnson
Ed may never live down this episode of inadvertent Marie Antoinette-ing in the Labour family. It’s not because he’s got two kitchens – It is because he did not stand by who he really was.
Daily Mail. Published on Sunday 15 Mar 2015 at 01:02pm

Two Kitchens – The Movie: Miliband invites the cameras into his house AGAIN as it emerges the live-in nanny uses the big kitchen while Ed makes tea upstairs
Days after it emerged his £2million house has a large family kitchen and a smaller ‘functional kitchennete’ upstairs, ITV is expecting to film him relaxing in at least one of them this week.
Daily Mail. Published on Sunday 15 Mar 2015 at 01:59pm

Ed Miliband invites the cameras into his house AGAIN
Days after it emerged his £2million house has a large family kitchen and a smaller ‘functional kitchennete’ upstairs, ITV is expecting to film him relaxing in at least one of them this week.
Daily Mail. Published on Sunday 15 Mar 2015 at 05:06pm

Rolling pins at dawn: David Cameron and Ed Miliband clash over kitchens at PMQs
David Cameron and Ed Miliband may be in the battle of their political lives but that doesn’t mean they haven’t got time to have a domestic about kitchens.
Independent. Published on Wednesday 18 Mar 2015 at 01:04pm

Andy McSmith’s Diary: David Cameron’s kitchen stink could backfire on him
David Cameron must think the “two kitchens” story is doing Ed Miliband serious damage, because he managed to work no fewer than five jokes about it into Prime Minister’s Questions.
Independent. Published on Wednesday 18 Mar 2015 at 06:08pm

Ed Miliband complained about chancellor’s ‘two kitchens’ jibe, say Tories
In budget speech aftermath, the Labour leader is understood to have told George Osborne it was unfair to make jokes at his expenseEd Miliband complained in person to George Osborne after the chancellor used his budget speech to mock the Labour leader over the two kitchens at his north London home, according to Tory sources.In the aftermath of the budget, the Labour leader is understood to have told the chancellor that he had acted unfairly after making jokes at his expense.Ed Miliband’s kitchen
Guardian. Published on Friday 20 Mar 2015 at 06:12pm

David Cameron and Ed Miliband need to forget spin and give public the truth
Carole Malone says the party leaders are too busy scoring political points against each other rather than explaining why we should vote for them on May 7
Mirror. Published on Saturday 21 Mar 2015 at 04.55pm

Forget the general election, vote here on the most important political issue of the campaign: Who’s got the best kitchen?
Ed Miliband was the first to welcome cameras into his kitchen, and since then Nicola Sturgeon and the PM have both invited television cameras to snoop around the pantries of power.
Daily Mail. Published on Tuesday 24 Mar 2015 at 01:17am

Forget the general election, vote here on the REALLY important political issue of the day: Who’s got the best kitchen?

David Cameron, Ed Miliband, and Nicola Sturgeon: Who’s got the best kitchen?
Ed Miliband was the first to welcome cameras into his kitchen, and since then Nicola Sturgeon and the PM have both invited television cameras to snoop around the pantries of power.
Daily Mail. Published on Tuesday 24 Mar 2015 at 08:49am

20 Red Nose Day Recipe Ideas

Red Nose Day Cupcakes for Comic Relief

Red Nose Day Cupcakes for Comic Relief

Red Nose Day raspberry cookies

Red Nose Day raspberry cookies

Red Nose Day Recipes – Gluten Free

Red Nose Day Recipes – Gluten Free

Red Nose Pudding

Red Nose Pudding

Delia Smith's Chocolate Drop Mini Muffins with Red Noses

Delia Smith’s Chocolate Drop Mini Muffins with Red Noses

Let the Comic Relief Bake Off begin: White forest gateaux recipe

White forest gateaux recipe

Red Nose Day Cookies

Red Nose Day Cookies

Monster Red Nose pizza

Monster Red Nose pizza

Rainbow Cakes

Rainbow Cakes

The Great Comic Relief Bake Off recipes

The Great Comic Relief Bake Off recipes

Vanilla cupcakes

Vanilla cupcakes

White Chocolate Chip Cookies with Freeze Dried Raspberries Recipe

White Chocolate Chip Cookies with Freeze Dried Raspberries Recipe

Cherry Bakewell cupcakes

Cherry Bakewell cupcakes

Photo Booth Biscuits for Comic Relief

Photo Booth Biscuits for Comic Relief

Red Nose Day Ravioli

Red Nose Day Ravioli

Red Nose choux buns recipe

Red Nose choux buns recipe

Red nose cupcakes

Red nose cupcakes

Red Nose Day: chocolate raisin crispie cakes recipe

Red Nose Day: chocolate raisin crispie cakes recipe

Red Nose Day cocktail recipe

Red Nose Day cocktail recipe

Red Nose Day cookies

Red Nose Day cookies

Pink Whisk Miracle Upside-Down Chocolate Pudding

Last week baking blogger Ruth Clemens posted a recipe for a choc pud that you can whip up and have in the oven “in 10 minutes flat” which seemed like a challenge. More to the point, the idea of a “self-saucing” pudding sounded intriguingly miraculous so we had to give it a try.

The Pink Whisk's Self Saucing Miracle Chocolate Pudding 1

The pudding mixture didn’t look too good (although it always tastes amazing when licked off the whisk, doesn’t it?).

The Pink Whisk's Self Saucing Miracle Chocolate Pudding 2

And when the sauce was poured on top it looked very much like this 9″ diameter dish was not going to accommodate it…

The Pink Whisk's Self Saucing Miracle Chocolate Pudding 3

But amazingly, the sauce really does find its was from the top to the bottom while it’s cooking. And what you can’t see here is that when you pick up the dish, you discover that the pudding is actually floating on top of the liquid underneath. An extraordinary effect. Sorry this picture’s a bit blurry, but you get the general idea: it’s a chocolate pudding with chocolate chips.

The Pink Whisk's Self Saucing Miracle Chocolate Pudding 4

And most importantly, it tasted great and was very easy indeed, although possibly closer to a 20 minute preparation time for those of us not quite as nifty in the kitchen as young Ruth. Yes, the sauce is a bit lumpy as some of the pudding mixture seems to have dissolved into it. But honestly that didn’t detract from the overall effect.

Apparently if chocolate’s not your thing (what’s wrong with you?) you can do something similar with lemon. But this very easy chocolate pudding recipe will definitely be getting another outing soon. Well done, Ruth!

 

Chef and Sue by Ann Edwards

Ann Edwards is a British artist from Blackpool, now living in Oxfordshire, whose creations have appeared on tea towels, aprons and other kitchen linens by Ulster Weavers which you might have seen on the Heart to Home website, including the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer design.

Her Chef and Sue cartoons are updated regularly on Facebook so go along and “like” the page if you like these recent examples.

“Something to brighten a dull day”

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Ablutophobia – the fear of housework

Ablutophobia by Ann EdwardsHappy Families

Happy Families by Ann Edwards

Ergophobia – the Fear of Work

Ergophobia by Ann Edwards

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Why is the heart a symbol of love?

Why is the heart a symbol of love?

It occurred to me this week that I have no idea why the heart is a symbol of love. Without thinking why, I have always recognised the heart as an iconic representation of the nature of love – the two things are inextricably linked in my mind, as of course they are for most people in this country.

But this thought throws up several questions:

Why do we consider the heart as the source of love and other strong emotions?

Is this association universal, or is it just a connection that originates in the Western world?

When did people start to link the heart to the emotions?

When did we start to use the phrase “love heart” and the physiologically inaccurate “heart shape” that isn’t really the shape of a heart at all?

I’ve no idea of the answer to these questions but fortunately the internet provides a good few answers – although they’re not always in agreement.

When?

Wikipedia is obviously a good starting point.

Roman de la poire heart metaphor.jpgApparently there’s a symbol of a human heart as a metaphor for love in a mid-13th Century illuminated manuscript. So that gives us an idea of the answer to the question “When did the heart become a symbol of love?” but it certainly doesn’t tell us why. And nor is it by any means what we’d recognise as a “heart shape”. Indeed, the Wikipedia entry describes this particular heart as resembling “a pine-cone held upside-down, the point facing downward”.

The symbol itself apparently dates back far further than any written or even spoken language. According to The Heart in History, an article published by PBS (the US home of public radio and television), a symbol clearly recognisable as a heart was used by Cro-Magnon hunters in Europe, but of course we have no way of knowing “what meaning it held for them”.

Why?

A page in The Guardian newspaper’s Notes and Queries section poses a few suggestions as to why the heart is linked to emotion and therefore a symbol of love.  Allan from Wimbledon says that in the 2nd Century BC, Egyptian physicians studied the paths of the nerves in the human body and found that “the vast majority seemed to lead to the solar plexus in the chest. This gave rise to the theory that the heart was the seat of emotion and reason”.
Cyrenecoin.jpg
Sounds like a “common sense” answer, but elsewhere, an article by Keelin McDonell at slate.com proposes an alternative. An image resembling a heart can be seen on coins issued in the ancient Greek settlement Cyrene (in present-day Libya). But the symbol is not a representation of a human heart – it’s a seed pod from a now-extinct plant called silphium, a medicinal herb so valuable in its day that it was harvested to extinction. The rather grim truth is that siliphium was used as a birth control measure by inducing a miscarriage. “The theory goes,” says McDonell, “that the heart shape first became associated with sex, and eventually, with love.” So if that theory is correct, it means a “heart shape” isn’t a heart at all – it’s a seed pod.

Where?

So, is the heart symbol universally associated with love and emotion? Almost, according to cardiologist Professor Dr. Armin Dietz, who has written a book on the Cultural History of the Human Heart.

His website calls the heart “probably the most popular non-geometric symbol” in the world “besides the cross”. According to his studies, “the red card-game heart as symbol of spiritual and physical love” spread from Europe across the world thanks in large part to “the Sacred-Heart cult as a religious sign which the Jesuits spread across the world”.

“Interestingly,” he goes on, “in Buddhism the playing-card heart also developed – independently of the Western metamorphosis – from the fig tree (the bodhi tree) into the symbol not of love, but of enlightenment. It was under such a tree that the ascetic Gautama found liberating enlightenment through years of meditation and became the Buddha.”

But while much of China’s cultural foundation comes from Buddhism, there could be a link between love and hearts in Chinese tradition.

“Guess what?” asks to the charmingly ebullient copywriter for the website goodcharacters.com, “When you pay close attention to the Chinese character, or hanzi, for Love you will notice a heart right in the middle of it! Amazing, isn’t it?”

Of course, it’s the nature of symbols that people will see them wherever they look, as you’ll find if you visit the website thingswithfaces.com:

http://www.thingswithfaces.com/

It’s human nature to interpret the world in terms of stories and feelings and particular sights inspire drama and a sense of wonder and others, like this aerial view of a residential street in San Mateo County, California, just, well, warm your heart:

Bing Maps Bird’s Eye view: Heart-shaped neighborhood in San Bruno California


Who We Are…

If you are looking for a gift for a loved one or just something special for your own kitchen or dining room that’s a joy to own, we’d be most grateful of you’d visit our website or “like” us on Facebook.

Why is the heart a symbol of love?

Heart to Home Prize Giveaway in Association with Cakeyboi

Heart to Home prize giveaway in association with Cakeyboi

Heart to Home prize giveaway in association with Cakeyboi

We’re very pleased to be hooking up with talented triple-threat baker, blogger and cartoonist Cakeyboi to offer his readers and fans an opportunity to win an adorable Sophie Allport Chickens cup and saucer set with four matching cotton napkins.

Together this prize is worth £28 and all you have to do to be in with a chance of winning it is to leave a comment on Cakeyboi’s raffle prize giveaway page.

But that’s not all you’ll find there. We’ve also offered Cakeyboi’s readers a special, limited-time Heart to Home discount code. And we wouldn’t want you to miss out on that. So get along to Cakeyboi.com and find out how much you can save.

Good luck in the prize draw!