Tonight’s dinner!

What do you do when you want fresh pesto but don’t have a mortar and pestle?

The basil plant in my bedroom has really outdone itself, and I need to figure out a way to use all of those leaves (apart from smelling them as I water it every day). However I don’t have a mortar and pestle in my rather basic central London kitchen.

Enter my new foodie invention: mix in your mouth pesto!

Cook some good fresh pasta, toss in a glug of good quality olive oil (you know, the kind that actually tastes of olives), grate over some parmesan cheese (or in my case “vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese” – those in NZ ignore that, you’re still allowed to call it parmesan there), top with a handful of pine nuts, a few torn up leaves of fresh basil, and some Maldon sea salt and pepper to taste.

Place in mouth, making sure you have a bit of each ingredient. Chew.

Don’t be stingy with any of the ingredients but do make sure everything you use is top-notch – free range egg pasta, fresh basil leaves, decent sea salt etc. The way they combine together is wonderful and far more fresh and flavoursome than pre-made pesto!


I finished Twiggy late last night:

I’m quite pleased with it!  Lots of mistakes in the pattern that aren’t detailed in the current errata – I have made a few notes on Ravelry.  If you’re not on Ravelry and contemplating knitting this, drop me a line.

The yarn looks exactly the same as the pattern yarn but is actually Sirdar Just Bamboo.  I adore bamboo and it was certainly a lot cheaper than Cruise.

The only disappointing thing is it’s definitely not sweater weather today!


Continuing my tradition of updating a week late…

Me and the cuz at the Globe (Merchant of Venice – it was awesome)

There was a Feast on the Southwark Bridge. Complete with Jack-o-Lanterns!

Part of the bridge had been turned into a beach.

And there was dancing!

Southwark Cathedral by night.

Hampton Court Palace

Youse guys in Kiwiland may be interested in this, given that The Tudors is currently screening there. Hampton Court was built by Cardinal Wolsey and later lived in by Henry VIII, and even later by William and Mary, after Wren did a bit of home improvement on it.

I went last Sunday with Jason and Vicky. I’d recommend learning your history beforehand, as they use those awful audioguides that seem to be so in vogue at tourist destinations these days. They talk so slowly on them that you don’t learn anything you didn’t know already. I’d much rather read a plaque. I think it also stops you from interacting with the people around you if you’ve all got headphones on.

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That’s me and Jason in one of the Tudor courtyards.
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Me and Vicky in the maze.

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The King’s Apartments, designed by Wren.

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Camden Market and an FO

On Saturday Jess and I went to the Camden market, which is actually several markets around Camden, all sort of merging into each other. The best are Camden Lock and Stables, at least until TopShop, M&S and co move into the Stables market and destroy its soul. I didn’t get that many pics of the market but I’m going back next weekend anyway!

This one’s for the animal lovers:
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Entering Camden Lock:

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And finally (I finished it several weeks ago!) the Dollar and a Half cardigan:

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Knitty – first impressions

There’s some nice stuff in the new Knitty!  And some stuff that seems to be more “miss” than “hit”, as usual.  I know there were some great patterns that were rejected, which was a shame, but then I also understand the need to have a range of patterns (sweaters, bags, kids knits, socks, hats, novelty) to appeal to a range of people.

Those are my first thoughts, anyway.  Later in the day I think I’ll be doing a bit of adding to my Ravelry queue!

Later –

Like very much and want to knit: Henry, Cherie Amour

Like and may knit: Roam, Neiman (love it in fact, just a bit nervous that I’m rather more top-heavy than the model – who should probably be wearing a bra in the photo all the same – so may wait to see how it turns out on others first.  But it actually reminds me of a recent Interweave pattern, so I may just knit that instead), Urchin, Cinderella (Mum’s been angling for some more slipper socks, maybe I’ll get them done for next winter!  Also two needles, no seams – how? Must find out!)

Like but not totally my style: Mr Greenjeans, Muir, Tussie Mussie, ppr (what with it being a man’s sweater and all)

The totally cute award: Woodins

Leek quiche

A workmate just asked for this recipe, and since I was typing it up I figured I’d post it here too.  It’s a bit slap-dash like all of my recipes, alter to suit you!  There’s a good pastry recipe over on my old food blog, I may eventually transfer all of my recipes over here.

1 packet shortcrust pastry

3-4 eggs

1/2 C sour cream/cream/milk

1/2 C – 1 C cheese

2 leeks (or desired filling)

Butter/olive oil

spoonful or so of wholegrain mustard (or whatever will go with the filling you choose)


Line a quiche dish with the pastry and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.  Slice the leeks and saute in the butter or oil for a few minutes, then reduce the heat, add some water and cook until the leeks are soft.  Whisk the eggs together with the sour cream, add 1/2 C cheese (optional), mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.  Put the cooked leeks into the pastry shell and pour the filling over.  Top with more cheese.  Cook at 200 degrees for about 35-40 minutes until a knife comes out clean when inserted.  You can grill it for a few more minutes to brown the top if desired.

Tastes good cold – I would recommend eating cold rather than heating in the microwave as microwaves tend to make pastry a little chewy.

Come on, Brittany!

I know many of the knitbloggers out there have had a really positive experience receiving their replacement needles from Brittany.  Unfortunately, that has not been the case for me.  You will remember that over a month ago I snapped a Brittany dpn on the day I bought it, as I was casting on!  Or maybe you won’t, it’s not even on the front page of my blog any more!  That very day I emailed them to take advantage of their 5-year guarantee.  I didn’t expect to hear from them straight away as apparently they only check their email once a week.  So I waited for four weeks (to allow for international postage as well) and emailed them again.  I still haven’t heard back, and there’s no sign of a replacement needle.

Now I am sad.  But now that I have posted this, maybe I will go home and find it sticking through my mail slot.  At any rate, I’m sticking to bamboo from now on.