Monday, 31 May 2010

This is not good...

My boiler has a fault and I have no hot water! Typically, this would have to happen on a Bank Holiday! Reading the manual, it seems like it needs repressuring, which is apparently an easy job - except that the instructions in the manual make no sense, and when I turn the one valve that doesn't look like it's connected to the gas, nothing happens!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Post-type geekery...

...from a trip to the British Postal Museum's store. It's all the way out in Debden (which we discovered is not a particularly nice place!) but it was definitely worth a visit - I loved the designs of all the old pillar boxes. And yes, they had Postman Pat's van!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Elephants on parade!

There are elephants all over London at the moment - it's an arty thing called Elephant Parade. I've spotted some in Green Park and Berkeley Square, and this particularly sparkly one was in Westfield!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Sun sun sun!

The weekend was roasting hot and today was no different - 30 degrees here! The hot weather isn't set to last, though, and while it has been lovely, I'm not too sad because I melt in anything above about 25C!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Why is a raven like a writing-desk?

Suze and I were on our way home from Westfield when we spotted this little beauty outside a house down the road, with a sign saying 'Free - please help yourself to this desk'. We gave it a quick once-over and it looked like it was in decent condition, so after we'd dumped our shopping at home, we went back and carted the desk up the road! I think it looks fab - and the drawers are going to provide lots of lovely places to hide clutter! I reckon I might try to find a French polishing kit and give it a nice polish next weekend.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Tea for two!

Gorgeous afternoon tea at Flemings - and they even came up with a fantastic (and massive) Suze-friendly tea! We ate our combined bodyweight in cake!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Middle-class woes...

I have a dilemma so middle-class it almost beats the discussion I had last year about the relative merits of Waitrose smoked salmon paté and smoked mackerel paté.

I'm looking for a new brand of tofu. Cauldron was always my tofu brand of choice, mainly because it's the only one most supermarkets stock. And that was fine, because it was perfectly acceptable tofu. And they did those gorgeous marinated tofu pieces. But they recently had a revamp, and now their tofu products are 'new and improved' and in different packaging. Except I don't think they're improved at all, I think they're horrible! The marinated pieces aren't the same at all, and the tofu is now a big (they made the pack size slightly bigger, and guess what, it now costs more) soggy mess. The old tofu was firm and easy to work with, but the new stuff is slimy and spongy and it's impossible to get enough water out of it to cook it properly. I tried my usual trick of pressing it between two plates, and I just ended up with a disintegrated mass under a nasty, rubbery skin. Yuck. It's annoying because tofu is one of my staple ingredients - I eat it at least twice a week.

I was in Waitrose last night and I picked up a pack of smoked tofu with almonds and sesame seeds - and it was absolutely gorgeous. Quite possibly the best tofu I've ever tasted! But the pack is tiny (only enough for one serving) and it was over £2, whereas Cauldron's two-serving pack is generally around £1.99.

So, does anyone have any suggestions for good, cheapish, readily available tofu? I have an organic supermarket nearby, but my local Tesco only stocks Cauldron. Or maybe my best bet would be to try the oriental shop near work?

Monday, 17 May 2010

Strictly speaking...

...this photo is from Tuesday. But it shows the award we (meaning the company I work for) won on Monday night!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Boat trip!

A few photos from my boat trip on the Regent's/Grand Union Canal, from Mile End to Ladbroke Grove.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Mmm, chocolate...

...lovely melted chocolate! I made a cake in honour of the fact that one of the other editors at work was leaving *sad face* and it had yummy chocolate drizzled over the top.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

What about celery?

As I mentioned before, I quite like celery when it's cooked, but I'm not too keen on eating it raw. But I ran out of ideas for cooked celery recipes, and every time I opened the fridge I got the Sesame Street celery song from my childhood stuck in my head, so I decided to do what the Celery Bunch do and try it with peanut butter.

It was quite nice - but I think it was quite nice mainly because the peanut butter obscured the taste of the celery!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Sunday night drinking... a great thing. Especially when your football team has just missed out on the Premier League title by one point.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Is that risotto on your windowsill?

Indeed it is. I had celery in my veg box this week, and I'm not a huge fan of celery, but I do like it as long as it's cooked in things. And I know it makes a really good risotto base. So I followed Jamie Oliver's risotto method - you cook up a risotto base with onions, celery, wine and stock, until the rice is just starting to soften. Then you spread the part-cooked rice very thinly on a tray and cool it quickly. That way, you can then transfer the rice into a container and keep it in the fridge, where it'll keep for a couple of days, and you can make risotto really quickly whenever you like just by cooking it up with a bit more stock and whatever other ingredients you want. I decided to use some of the asparagus and green beans that also came in the veg box - and I added a tiny bit of smoked cheese and put a poached egg on top. It was lovely, if I do say so myself!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


Is it goat's cheese or goats' cheese? Goats', I suppose, seeing as the milk most likely came from more than one goat...

Anyway, said cheese was baked with honey and rosemary and served with veg box salad and toasted walnuts.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

This lamp has a story...

It took me three attempts to get one of these gorgeous lamps home from IKEA - they're beautiful, but extremely delicate!

Monday, 3 May 2010

Beating the Bounds...

A very eccentrically British thing to do on a Bank Holiday! I went and 'beat the bounds' of Old Hanwell, which involved trekking round the old parish boundary (about 8 miles) whacking 200-year-old boundary stones with sticks!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

No football today...

I was meant to be Fourth Official today - the Sunday league I referee on has two cup competitions, and one of the finals was this morning. Except it chucked it down all night and was still chucking it down this morning, and the pitch was waterlogged and the match was called off. Rubbish!
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