Call us  44 (0)20 7824 7157

20 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0DH, UK

  • French-spiration (Weekly blog, 11 August 2019)

    Posted on August 11, 2019
    A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General

    French wrench

    This weekend, we came back to England from our lovely French holiday.  What a wrench!  I’ve had a blissful 2 1/2 weeks away.  And as foreshadowed in my earlier blog, I’ve barely given INTO a second thought.  This is because my wonderful Deputy, Alexander Lamont-Bishop, has been very capably holding the fort!

    So, what to report in my blog?  Well, I could tell you about the amazing French countryside we explored.  The slightly treacherous paths up mountains that revealed breathtaking views across the Alps. The incredible flora and fauna.  A tourist offer built upon history, culture and landscape.

    But that all feels a bit too much like work and I haven’t got back into the swing of it yet.  So I’ll just show you some lovely pictures.  And share three different hacks – for home and work – which I hope you’ll enjoy!

    Three tips – the B key

    The first tip I picked up on a training course just before heading off to France.  When giving a presentation with PowerPoint, it’s sometimes good to hide your slides so that people can concentrate on the speaker.  You can do this very simply by pressing the “B” key.  Your screen will just go B-lank.  Then press any other key for the slides to return.  Thank you, Tracey Hales, for that tip!

    Three tips – car petrol gauge

    Are you like me and always forgetting which side of your car the fuel cap is?  Sticking your head out of the window to check whilst simultaneously trying not to hit a petrol pump, car, other customer?  Well, panic no more!  Some cars have a little arrow pointing either left or right next to the petrol pump icon on the dashboard.  And this arrow shows which side the fuel cap is on.  Ta-da!

    Three tips – how to make a yoghurt cake

    Our French home is halfway up a mountain and the altitude plays havoc with traditional cake recipes. But there is one basic recipe which works every time.  (And which we have used many, many times for our ski guests.)  And it’s so delicious and simple that I would recommend trying it even at sea level!

    French yoghurt cake

    Empty one pot of natural yoghurt into a mixing bowl.   Then fill the yoghurt pot with vegetable oil and add that.  Next refill the pot with sugar.  And then three pots of flour.  (Self-raising or plain but don’t forget to add some raising agent if using the latter!)  Lastly, some vanilla, two eggs and beat everything together.

    This is the basic batter. You can add whatever you like. Chocolate – melted, chips or cocoa – lemon, blueberries, currants, banana, subsitute flavoured yoghurt … The possibilities are endless.   Throw it into 12 muffin cases, a loaf or cake tin and pop in the oven for around 30 minutes. Ta-da!  (I like to make a big one – 10 inch tin – and cut in half lengthwise to fill with jam.  Delicious when served still slightly warm.)

    Enjoy these hacks (you can thank me later!) and I promise to write about something more INTO-esque next time …

Translate »