does that star-spangled banner yet wave

First Valentine’s Day, then President’s Day; what next, Pancake Day? (Oh yeah, it is, tomorrow… I promise, this is not a food blog, I won’t post photos of my lovely scrummy proper pancake-day pancakes, they’ll be eaten too quickly)

newman chapel, on presidents day

So anyway, Pres’s Day, I got out  into this gorgeous Californian February weather (69 degrees and sunny; how’s that snow, everywhere else?) and cycled about a bit, slowly and aimlessly, before settling on the corner of C and 5th to sketch Newman Chapel (I have drawn it before, a few years ago). there was a flag, as there were on many of the streets, so I added it to the frame. It’s funny, I’m not into the whole flag-waving business, flag-fuelled patriotism, in whichever land, and yet I have always been obsessively interested in flags of all countries. Vexillology is one of my favourite subjects, I can’t get enough of it. That, and football shirts, so I’m already gearing up for the World Cup. Anyway, there I am below, giving the post-sketch analysis with Moley #5. David Devant was on my headphones, though I’d spent most of the sketch listening to Joni Mitchell, and I think it shows.

sketching on president's day

trifling matters

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays when you have to indulge in some chocolatey decadence. I made my first ever chocolate trifle, and oh yes it was decadent, my friend.

chocolate trifle

A layer of choc fudge brownies, decorated with maltesers (I cut most of them in half – a mistake in fact, as the honeycomb center evaporated), and a layer of creamy chocolate pudding, topped with cool-whip cream and some chocolate hearts. Below is how it looks inside. It was a winner (and I don’t mean a Michael), but so filling, so chocolatey, so over the top, I couldn’t have more than a single serving.

The same can’t be said for my real winner, my regular strawberry and banana trifle; I could eat a whole dish of it in one fell swoop – it’s that good. A British specialty (and my brother has the best recipe), I have made it several times over here, my best one being for my American in-law family, on no less an American holiday than the Fourth of July, and wow they all loved it! Which made me feel great, though it meant there were no leftovers for me to finish off…

pete's trifle

PS, despite my trifle obsession, this is still not a food blog, so you know…