Something fishy

I spotted this while walking on a back street in Cheltenham in the weekend.

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Speedy

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This picture gives a better clue as to where I was this weekend – I was at the Prescott Hill Climb. It’s a time trial up a hill for all kinds of cars, both vintage and new, and as you can see, motorbikes too!

It was rather loud but a lot of fun, especially since my young cousins were there too.

Here’s another more abstract one:

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Shiny

I’ve taken over 400 photos in the past week. Actually that’s a lie – there were over 400 photos on my camera, but my five year-old cousin Archie took some of them! Although my camera was quite big for his little fingers he learned how to handle it carefully, shoot pictures (on continuous mode too), and zoom.

While I sort all of those pictures out, here’s a little teaser shot:

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I took that one, but I fully intend to take credit for Archie’s shots later!

Penang Curry

I made this with some veg box leftovers – Swiss chard and cauliflower, as well as some organic ginger I got extra to my box, some cookalong leftovers (chillis, spring onions), and some capsicums that aren’t exactly local or organic – oops. I also used some soya chunks – those dried things you get at the health food shop and which most people seem to turn their noses up at. Reconstituted they have a spongy texture and are perfect for soaking up delicious sauces. I for one really like them! Penang curry is one of my favourite meals ever. Yum!

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Speaking of the cookalong I just realised I haven’t blogged it yet! Here’s my concoction:

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That picture is currently at the top of the Word of Mouth blog, so my food photography must be improving a little bit! It was a great cookalong, Allegra was lovely going to extra effort making a vegetarian version especially for me despite the fact she had a book deadline the following day. The recipe for spice-rubbed pork escalope with coconutty sweet potatoes (with vegetarian option) is up here. And many thanks also to Rebecca, who joined me in the kitchen!

Catchup

Well, I have been rather busy lately, hence the lack of blog posts! I don’t know if there’s anything all that bloggable, but I am sifting through my photos now and will see what I come up with…

Hmm, not much at all, as it turns out.

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This is a terrible self-portrait of me all dolled up to go out to last month’s Blitz party. It’s a monthly WWII-themed party, lots of fun and lots of scrummy men in uniform! I’m determined to go in uniform myself next time. Hopefully I will have had a hair cut by then – my hair is getting far too long!

Apart from that it’s all food:

Last week I was lucky enough to receive a “golden ticket” to the Guardian’s pre-Easter chocolate tasting. There was chocolate galore on offer, including some artisanal offerings I never would have been able to afford otherwise. We had to taste as much as we could (actually, harder than it sounds) and write scores and tasting notes. There were also plenty of drinks matched to the chocolate, like port, sherry, cognac and lovely tea from the Rare Tea Company. It was lots of fun. The best part was meeting people who I’ve done the cookalongs with in person for the first time – and hopefully not the last! Results of our tastings are on the Guardian food blog.

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Last weekend I went up to the Grand National steeplechase. An experience not to be repeated, for more reasons than one. I couldn’t really stomach watching the race – out of 40 starters, less than half finished. One year five horses died running the race. It was terrifying watching tiny jockeys come off and then a couple of dozen horses thundering over the top of them. Not nice.

Apart from that I have been in the kitchen, and managed to get enough sun to snap these photos:

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I made the cake to use up some of my veg box carrots. It is providing an excuse for tea break after tea break here. I did manage to stop eating it for long enough to cook this:

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Lovely simple spaghetti with Swiss chard. The chard was in my most recent veg box. Which reminds me, I have pics of that somewhere… best veg box yet! Now that we’re getting into spring, the contents of my box are slowly changing. No more parsnips for instance.

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Lovely portabello mushrooms on top (they disappeared almost instantly), and that’s the swiss chard in the back.

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And underneath we have leeks, shallots, beetroot, purple sprouting broccoli, and… more swede. A pretty good haul though all things considered!