Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Birthday Girl...

The morning of my sis' birthday arrived with much fanfare and an end to the two month countdown, exagerrated this year by the fact of her living with me for the summer...

Her presents were plentiful - Nigella Bites cookbook to ease her into a kitchen for her first year of grownup living, two rather blinding nail varnishes in Canary Yellow and Bright Orange, and a journal I made from a junk-shop find, some brown paper and a beautiful ribbon length I got from the East London Design Fair last Christmas...

Champagne and cake anyone?

My beautiful sister

Domestic Goddess in Training

I have had a rather productive few days...

The garden jungle is slowly (s l o w l y) taking shape, *blighted* only by an extremely productive but rather overreaching blackberry bramble along one side of the garden.

I have so far made a summer pudding, blackberry and apple crumble and this rather spectacular victoria sponge with blackberry and apple and mascarpone filling. I have taken inspiration from the Highest of Highest Domestic Goddess, Nigella, and been making various victoria sponges with more interesting fillings than plain ol' tesco's value jam.

This sponge was made in honour of my best friend's boyfriend's birthday last Friday, and though he couldn't make the dinner (for the reason of an overdue laying of carpet...!) he arrived in time for the tea and cake dessert course and it went down a treat.

Then last night, I attempted my second ever only meringue in my life with blinding success. So succesful, in fact, that it swelled to the ceiling of the oven!! This was the fabulously named 'Blueberry Boy-Bait' from How to be a Domestic Goddess and bait the boy it did. He was very impressed and it went down a treat for the break in the sewing lesson I was giving to two of my lovely girls last night.

This is the meringue before baking:

And this in all its splendour:

Proud is simply not the word!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Flip Out

Flip Words
Flip Words

Create words from the letter grid to solve the puzzles!

Play this free game now!!

I am obsessed. It's so frustrating. More so than Sudoku, cos at least then you have a grid with nicely filled in numbers to show off. This is just as addictive, just as timeconsuming and even more ridiculously pointless.

Comes from having a job that doesn't keep you very busy and yet you have to look busy at your computer all day. They literally don't care if you surf the internet all day looking at junk, but heaven forbid you read your book at your desk if there's no work to do!

I never can find anyone to sympathise with me for my internet exhaustion. Oh to be sitting here working on my new project - a needlepoint Kaffe Fasset cushion cover. My first needlepoint since I did crossstich as a kid. It's very satisfying but surprisingly difficult to make look good and neat. It's only August but the weather looks like October and I feel in need of a hearth and a cup of tea to have with my wool.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The wondrousness of the NHS

Had to go the doc's this morning for a quick check up... Turns out I'm overdue for my contraceptive jab so I need 'protection' for the next seven days.

All well and good.

Nurse Mandy, who is fabulous, by the way, offers me some freebies.

Ooh, don't mind if I do, Yes please.

Flavoured or plain? (with not a hint of smile or smirk)


Chuffing NHS is spending my wages on giving cheap strumpets who won't buy their own condoms the choice between plain or flavoured?!?!??!!??!?!?!??!?

I got plain.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

To jam or not to jam

I am a novice at jam making. What that actually means is that I have made jam twice. It was a very good rhubarb and cinnamon jam which I can't recommend highly enough as it's so damned easy and everyone thinks you are Delia Smith (or Martha Stewart, depending on which side of the pond you reside)... I can't be faffed with muslin bags, or pectin, or testing for setting temperatures. Wack it in a pot and cook until mushy.

I have since found a recipe for rose petal jam which looks equally easy and sounds suitably exotic to create similar coos to the rhubarb spectacular.

The only problem is that I love roses.

When our block of flats was built in its post-war frenzy, someone planted alot of rose bushes throughout the estate. We have at least four different varieties in our garden alone. The photo I took last night has mysteriously disappeared from my computer, so this one is filched from the web, but the ones in our garden must be the fourth or fifth blooming this summer.

So what's the problem? I just can't bring myself to cut the heads off in full bloom and pull the petals to shreds. I can't. I can cut them off, bring them inside and throw them in (ie place them artfully so it looks thrown in) an old jug. I can leave them to wither and die of their own free will.

But I can't destroy their astonishingly plump heads, so full of scent and decadence to wack in a pot and cook until mushy...

What do you think?

Would the rose approve of its sacrifice for the greater good?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Herbologist...

I long for a herb garden...

I want to be in my kitchen, knocking up a dinner requiring sage, rosemary, lemon thyme and lavender (which happens oh so frequently) and *pop* out my back door with some scissors and a basket to collect the requisite stems.

My last effort at a herb garden ended up like this...

Now, admittedly the pots are tiny. And the herbs I bought from Columbia Road flower market were too large to fit in them. And the roots that I removed to make the herbs fit in the pots certainly constituted more than half of the root ball. And there were no drainage holes in the bottom of the pots.

This was never going to be an easy road for the plants. Or, for that matter, me.

I decided I could do better.

So this weekend it started again.

I now have a basil on my windowsill in the kitchen

and a trough of Purple Sage, Rosemary and Lemon Thyme by my back door:

I can but keep my fingers crossed...

Sunrise Over London (or A blog is born) ...

Well... After a year working in the City, meandering through hundreds of blogs around the world, I have decided to start my own.
I am on something of a precipice at the moment, waiting to start an MA, finishing the soulless PA city work, living with my boyfriend in our roomy but rather plain flat, waiting to find my path and looking for satisfaction in the day to day hum drum of saving my pennies and living in London. I want to create something that lasts. I want to chart my return to student life. And I want to have something to write in the Name:/ Website: section of all the other blogs that I leave comments on.

So here goes! Welcome me to blogland, let's follow the yellow brick road together...!!