New art giveaway

I did promise a giveaway this week, so here we go… winner gets this brand new painting I promised.  🙂

To enter, reply on this blog post or on my related Tweet with one of your favorite random Poirot quotes. The more obscure, the better! Let’s see if we can share and bring out some that aren’t heard as often.   🙂  Winner will be drawn randomly next Friday, the 21. (Also, how in the world is it already June 14???????)

Good luck!

New Poirot sketch

I am very bad– I managed to miss May altogether for the blog! Bad Kelly!

By way of apology, here’s a new little Poirot sketch in acrylics; 5″x7″ on canvas board. Want to win it? I’ll have a new giveaway for it next week here on the blog.  🙂

Dead Man’s Folly plot hole?

****SPOILERS as always****

With Hattie Stubbs missing, it seems likely a recent photograph of her would have been circulated in the papers and far and wide. Etienne de Sousa just had to catch a glimpse of one, and surely a lot of plot would have fallen apart.

The impetus for the shape of the disappearance of Hattie, as devised by the villains, was the fact that Etienne de Sousa had written to announce his imminent arrival. They knew that although it had been some years that Etienne had met Hattie, he would not have been deceived by an imposter– Poirot points out this motive in the final chapter. Hattie must disappear. Since the Tuckers are being nuisances as well, they devise murder and disappearance in a way that casts suspicion on De Sousa.

I just don’t see how they could have gotten round the “photograph in the paper” problem all too well…

‘Don’t bother about me,’ [Mrs Oliver] said to Poirot. ‘I’m just remembering if there’s anything I’ve forgotten.’

Sir George laughed heartily.

‘The fatal flaw, eh?’ he remarked.

‘That’s just it,’ said Mrs Oliver. ‘There always is one. Sometimes one doesn’t realize it until a book’s actually in print. And then it’s agony!’ Her face reflected this emotion. She sighed. ‘The curious thing is that most people never notice it. I say to myself, “But of course the cook would have been bound to notice that two cutlets hadn’t been eaten.” But nobody else thinks of it at all.’

Dead Man’s Folly

Valentine’s Day giveaway!!!

I’ve been meaning to do another art giveaway for ages, but life keeps getting in the way. In fact it’s been a month or so since I’ve posted here at all– January has been hectic with Candlewick Theatre, as we’ve been rushing to get Thorton Wilder’s play “The Matchmaker” together in less than a month. As well as showing at Morden’s Kenmor Theatre, it was our Valentine’s dinner theatre production this year, wrapping up on February 10. We’re all exhausted! (Here’s me in my character of Flora Van Huysen:)

BUT ANYWAY, you’re here for the Poirot giveaway.  🙂  Comment on this blog post and you’ll be entered to win this little 8″x10″ acrylic sketch on canvas board of Poirot, Hastings, and Japp! Image is taken from the episode The Affair at the Victory Ball. I will be drawing a winner one week from now, February 21. Good luck and happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Poirot Gourmet: Square crumpets with sirop de Liège!

This has to be one of the most Poirot things I’ve ever featured for Poirot Gourmet.  🙂  Readers with a good familiarity with the books will likely remember the detective’s appreciation for square crumpets. Combine them with this distinctive and characteristic fruit spread of Liège, and voilà! We have an English-Belgian fusion worthy of Poirot.

I used square silicone egg rings for my crumpets. Alas, I am not what the English would call a “dab hand” at crumpets. They turned out more like pikelets– either I killed the yeast with too-warm milk, or my baking soda was taking the day off. Also, like many egg rings used for crumpets, they lend themselves to a shallower product. At any rate, they’re still quite edible.  🙂  I also decided that they weren’t initially quite square enough. Here’s how they looked at first…

…So I gave them a good severe trim with my lasagna server.  🙂  Before I move on to the spread, here are some book references for you…

Order and method had been Hercule Poirot’s watchwords from many years ago. With George, his perfect manservant, and Miss Lemon, his perfect secretary, order and method ruled supreme in his life. Now that crumpets were baked square as well as round, he had nothing about which to complain.

…And in due course, the faithful George was instructed to provide a meal of square crumpets richly buttered, symmetrical sandwiches, and other suitable components of a lavish English afternoon tea.

…The resourceful George had on this occasion produced large cups, a pot of really strong Indian tea and, in addition to the hot and buttery square crumpets, bread and jam and a large square of rich plum cake.

All this for the delectation of Inspector Sharpe, who was leaning back contentedly sipping his third cup of tea.

-Hickory Dickory Dock

Hercule Poirot sat in a square chair in front of the square fireplace in the square room of his London flat…

…His eyes strayed from the jigsaw puzzle in front of him to the chair on the other side of the fireplace. There, not half an hour ago, Inspector Bland had sat consuming tea and crumpets (square crumpets) and talking sadly.

-Dead Man’s Folly

The spread I used is a Belgian import with a consistency rather like apple butter and dark and heavy like molasses. Sirop de Liège is made primarily with pears and apples, but also (to a lesser extent) dates, apricots, and prunes. Pear/apple syrups and spreads of this kind had been developed in the area for centuries, but this particular recipe was apparently nailed down around 1937 and trademarked after the war. You can read more about it here. It is VERY sweet and concentrated– there’s no need to add more sugar! Liège, of course, is the general vicinity in Belgium from which (we are given to understand) Poirot hails. We know that he likes anything sweet and sirop-y, so this spread is really a no-brainer for Poirot Gourmet. And it’s absolutely lovely with these little griddle cakes.