Or Greener On The Other Hand

Monday, May 31, 2010

I'm not normally a huge fan of green, but there is a particular and highly indescribable shade of seafoam / mint / celadon that I love. It looks fresh and interesting without being overly bright (which makes it a change from my current palette which seems to feature a lot of red, blue, purple and metallics... although not all at once). And it seems to suit so many things. I'm just not quite sure whether nail varnish is one of those things...

Picture: style.com

I love the look of it in the bottle, but am a little concerned that it might convey shades of sloth if it was worn...

Picture: Paradise Panama on Flickr

Although with a sloth as cute as this one*, that might not be such a bad thing...

* Sorry, gratuitous fluffy and marginally obscure animal photo. Another one.


Greener On The Other Side

Sunday, May 30, 2010

When I first had my own apartment, once of the odd little things I enjoyed doing on visits to my mum and dad’s place was to look in the fridge (and / or the pantry) and marvel at all the interesting things and the sheer volume of Stuff. And my mum has always had one of those pantries where there are multiples of things, and everything is neatly arranged and labelled (in a way that makes all the contents look tasty, appealing and full of possibilities to cook with, rather than in a scary over-organised way. Mostly).

Picture: Sadie Higs Photography

Living alone meant that I only needed the variety of something that I wanted to eat – one type of breakfast cereal, for instance; if I wanted a change, I got something different the next time I went to the supermarket. And, having not had my own place that long meant less time to accumulate strange ingredients bought for particular recipes*. And the appealing-ness of a pantry requires a kitchen large enough to have a pantry, rather than just several cupboards of awkwardly arranged things.

I was reflecting on this the last time I visited my folks (even though there are two of them in their house, and two of us in mine, I am still amazed at the contents of their pantry**). And was very surprised when my mum said that she had the same thoughts when she looked in my fridge***. After I got over my surprise that that was even possible in a fridge as small as my one****, I realised that a lot of it is attributable to the quiet novelty of the way other people do things. And perhaps the knowledge she’d raised somebody who’d grown up to have a fridge of interesting bits and pieces of their own.

* This was especially so given that my work habits at the time resulted in dinner largely consisting of said breakfast cereal. Or cheese on toast. While I still love cheese on toast (and occasionally, cereal for dinner), it’s good to be reminded that not everything in life was better when I was younger, after some of my recent nostalgia. Work, especially.
** I have finally learned that, to some extent, this is due to stocking up on promising food before half-starved time-poor daughter arrives (such is the perception, if rarely the reality... at least on the first part). Also partly to retirement prompting a desire to eat whatever the hell you want, within reasonable bounds. Although I blame the trifle-eating cat, who I suspect could be the justification for quite a lot of things...
*** Yes, we are a family of pootlers-in-cupboards...
**** I will never, ever understand how my mum managed with what I think of as a bar-fridge for many years.


Sensing A Theme

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Picture: Bill Hogan / Chicago Tribune via Seattle Times

Last week, I went browsing through some recipes I’d collected*, in search of interesting things to bake. It was soon clear that a few common elements are developing... This is quite like my wardrobe, which tends to contain large numbers of black tops with elbow length sleeves**.

The first thing is ginger. Lots and lots of recipes using ginger. Which can be less than helpful, given that the other penguin (who is the main recipient of my sporadic baking efforts) is not a ginger fan (substitute chocolate, caramel or vanilla for ginger, and it’s a big improvement in that quarter – no complaints from me on any of those three, but they can’t hold back the tide of ginger recipes that leap out at me***). Anything containing golden syrup seems to end up on the list as well. Also, cinnamon, honey and (yum) dark brown sugar. Anything that combines all of these ingredients is likely to result in unseemly gluttony. More so if it also involves icing.

Picture: The English Kitchen

The now-not-so-recent foray down south involved a visit to Oaklands, a nearby garden centre / antique place / café. Websites don’t seem quite as ubiquitous down there (given the availability of internet access, this isn’t a huge surprise. While I couldn’t survive without it for long, an occasional weekend of falling off the connected world can be a good break), but if you’re interested, there are some details of it hereOaklands also has flying pigs, and camels (the camels, as far as I know, don’t fly).

Picture: me, at Oaklands

The café has all sorts of promising options for lunch and morning and afternoon snack-ish things. I began with a special of a salmon and dill frittata, which was light, tasty, and reminded me that I really would like to try making frittata at home.

The cafe also does, rather randomly, croque monsieur (and madame). I’m not sure I ever met a croque madame I didn’t like, but after being spoiled with so many good options closer to home, it wouldn’t be my first choice from the menu. However, for those without a wide selection of local croques, it adequately fills the need.

The frittata was followed by triple ginger cake, shared with my mum. We were told this was their most popular menu item, and it was not at all hard to see why. The cake was spongy and treacly, with a rich ginger flavour. It came with rhubarb and apple compote, which matched beautifully with the sticky cake, and would also be great on porridge, muesli, with custard, or just in a large bowl with a spoon.

I had intended to take some photos of the beautiful and delicious cake. Unfortunately, this was as close as it got – a very empty plate with a lonely dollop of cream (having forgotten to order it without)...

So now, as well as the assorted ginger recipes that catch my eye, I’m on the lookout for something like the triple ginger cake, to see if it can be replicated at home.

* Google Reader is a wonderful thing for gathering recipes... For people that only like cookbooks with beautiful photos of what it ought to look like (which have the dual benefit of providing much greater motivation to cook something than happens with just a description, and also a yardstick of whether it turned out ok – much as taste is the main thing, if it doesn’t look like the photo, that tends to mean something went awry...), it’s very useful (and also fun) to look at what other people are cooking. And they’re normally more interesting and personal than the average cookbook. OK, this is way too long to be a note at the end!
** It also appears to be gaining momentum in gathering metallic tops, stripy things and interesting coloured ballet flats. Out loud, that sounds like I should never have a what-on-earth-do-I-wear?! day again. The reality, however, does not bear this out...
*** A leaping tide. Wow, there really are some badly mixed metaphors going on today.


Surprise And Delight The Family...

Friday, May 28, 2010

... By bringing home a panda. This could be an interesting way to tackle Sydney’s childcare problems...

Picture: Miller Sye on Etsy

I wonder if she sings as well?


One Pig... So Many Options

Thursday, May 27, 2010

After several interesting possibilities for unexpected cooking with pig, a reference to bacon jam caught my attention recently... I wondered what exactly it was, and all sorts of interesting ideas sprang up.

Given the US tendency to combine sweet and savory flavours, I had assumed it was a literal description. French toast with maple syrup and bacon has always struck me as especially odd, but that might just come from having been brought up with the only acceptable accompaniment to French toast being tomato ketchup... and that gets quite enough funny looks of its own...

Picture: Skillet Street Food

As it turns out, bacon jam is a bit more like a sauce or relish sort of thing. Entirely savory-sounding, and no links to preserves (other than the potential for it to be good on toast). I think these interesting pig recipes might be starting to wear me down... oink!


Little Boxes

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I know it’s not the first Monet-inspired item of clothing that’s caught my eye, but I do like this t-shirt...

Picture: Alice X. Zhang on Threadless

The block pattern design looks a little like polaroids, and also reminds me of a picture my mum and dad have, which is split into quadrants, with a different one for each season.

Normally I’m not all that keen on seeing artists’ designs reproduced all over the place – it tends to feel a little museum-gift-shop-ish, but perhaps both a benefit and a pitfall of impressionism is its capacity to be used to inspire designs, rather than just being replicated.

The mix of colours means it would go with lots of different clothes and accessories. I think I would wear it with jeans, and a scarf and ballet flats that pick up a couple of the colours in the pictures. Maybe something like this...

Picture: shoes and scarf both from Sambag


A Long And Complex Tail

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Some things are never straightforward. You might wish they were, but it isn’t going to happen. And sometimes, if you start trying to explain those things, the next convoluted thing has started by the time you finish explaining what had happened*.

This situation happened to a friend recently**, and was paraphrased as “a long and complex tale”... which I tend to view as the opening of a very long parenthesis, where you find out eventually, but not until you’ve forgotten what it was about, forgotten you didn’t know, re-remembered both of those bits, and finally got to the bottom of it all.

When faced with words that sound the same but have different meanings, my mind seems to automatically fill in whichever option provides the most entertaining mental picture. It knows what it’s supposed to be, but just seems to like to amuse itself along the way. Consequently I had images of impossible animals with very complicated tails. A bit like toves. But maybe longer and more labyrinthine***. And with less cheese.

And then I came across snow leopards. It’s not as though they’re a new invention or anything. But what I hadn’t realised until very recently was that they use their tails as scarves when they’re especially cold. Of course, there is very perversely no photographic evidence of this that I can find, so it could be yet another mysterious hoax. Or maybe they’re shy about it. Or, more practically, kept in zoos that don’t get cold enough for the need to arise. But if you were going to have a long and complex tail, it would be quite handy for it to also serve as additional warmth, and potentially a fashion accessory.

Picture: BBC

* This has the potential to be as frustrating as when you can remember the punchline, but not the actual joke. Gah!
** Really. It isn’t only me with long and convoluted thoughts. Oh, no.
*** The very thought of a labyrinthine tail is an intriguing one...


Be Careful What You Wish For

Monday, May 24, 2010

Picture: Cartolina Cards from Modern Paper Goods

Somewhere in a parallel universe, the amount of time spent thinking and worrying about something would actually make an immediate and productive improvement in that thing.

And in an even more distant parallel universe, imagine if thinking of things could actually create them. Or maybe, and perhaps better, create the realistic possibility of finding them (or of making them, if that’s your particular bowl of penguins). Because just having things immediately appear would take away the satisfaction of going hunting for something. But imagining, say, a gored spotted skirt or a marble topped table and knowing that, having thought of it, it would be out there somewhere, would take away the frustration of something seemingly obvious just doesn’t appear to exist. It’s not the effort that I’m averse to. It’s the endless hunting for things that aren’t.

Knowing my luck, if the universe changes to do this, it will only make these wondrous thought-of-things available from places that don’t ship to Australia.

Picture: Bien Manger, recently discovered via David Lebovitz

I suspect that the indictment to be careful what you wish for would apply in spades to these thoughts. But given the likelihood of the actually eventuating, I figure it’s safe to dream...


Too Hard Basket

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sometimes, baking is the solution to all of life's stressful situations. And sometimes, only cereal for dinner will do...

 Yes, it feels a little like that kind of week!

Pictures: The Fox And The Polar Bear


Four Letter Words

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Picture: Wanderlustmind

There are many four letter words that can come in handy at opportune moments. One such time, in particular, is in response to my dad's customary response when hearing a loud crash from another room. "DROPPED IT!"... When you're frantically trying to retrieve whatever it was that you dropped, this is categorically not the thing you want to hear. Depending on what was dropped, it can either be laughed at (as intended), or can prompt an outburst of expletives, muttered or otherwise.

The other thing that frequently prompts enthusiastic cursing is my oven. Capricious doesn't begin to cover it... oh, no - this oven is always difficult. It slopes, so things come out with a list to starboard. It cooks unevenly, no matter how many times things are turned. It has prompted that conclusion that it doesn't matter how beautiful some of their products can be (and I really do have a thing about some of their fridges), Smeg is a four letter word with good reason.

Picture: Apartment Therapy

Grim satisfaction can be gleaned from thinking of what Smeg ought to stand for...
Systematic Mangling of Edible Goods?
Stifled Muttering at Errant Grill?


The Cat In The Hat

Friday, May 21, 2010

Picture: Made590

This cat mug is from the same place that sells jackalopes... clearly they have a line in interesting animals, and so keep catching my attention.

I think this turns the mug-with-lid into something greater than the sum of its parts. Mostly, that’s because the lid gives such a French look to the cat. It’s the sort of thing that would go so well with a café au lait and an almond croissant.

Cats in general have an inimitable line in insouciance. But French cats seem able to take this to a whole other level. Jealous? Moi?

Picture: Venere

I just love the look of this Paris hotel styled after the vintage poster...


Mac The Knife

Thursday, May 20, 2010

There has to be a culinary equivalent of jumping the shark. Although, given issues with sustainable fishing, perhaps the shark is still appropriate...

Picture: The Food Fairy

I just read that McDonald’s in France sells macarons (what would you call them? McMacs?! Options too scary to contemplate). Surely this is the beginning of the end. And yet, other places are still contemplating the start of this trend. And if some of us are proprietorial about cupcakes, macarons inspire whole other levels of emotion (reasonably so - I imagine a bad macaron might be a far greater travesty than a dodgy cupcake).

These are surely what McDonald's macarons ought to look like (although I may be being overly kind to McDonald's in saying so). The actuality is a little too much like a borrowed version of the Hungry Jack's advertisement.

Picture: Baking 911

Along similar lines, I spotted somebody on the bus a few nights ago reading the new issue* of Real Living. And caught sight of a page** which showed the Keep Calm poster, and asked if this was the new trend. Surely now that the internet is quite so pervasive, there isn’t any justification for Australia to be 12 months behind the rest of the world? Still, we have had transport scrolls for a while now, though... maybe we’re just post-modern...

* Well, I think it was the new issue. It didn’t look dog-eared enough to be from a year ago or so...
** Really. Just a glimpse. Was not reading over shoulders (that spoils the fun of yet-to-be-read magazines. Even if I’m thinking of reading them in Borders (have got to cut back on the magazine gluttony).


Duck For Cover

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I think I'm over all this winter business already. The wet, blustery part of it, at least.

Definition of a perverse creature... sombody who spends all summer waiting for it to cool down, and then all winter shivering miserable. There must be at least 10 minutes twice a year that the weather makes sense?

Picture: Lulu Guinness via Hovering Cat

On the other hand, an umbrella like this might be a reason to enjoy the rain. At least for a little while. Maybe with wellingtons. I don't care if they're too popular... sometimes I just want to have warm, dry feet.


Monsieur Camembert

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

When I was a teenager, there was a restaurant called Death By Chocolate (it must have been that era of themed restaurants – I remember a lot of ranch-style places as well... maybe there still are and it’s an age-related thing...?). It probably overdid things in a slightly over-enthusiastic way – much like those of us that went there! Max Brenner it was not (there is regretting too much chocolate, and then there is regretting too much chocolate with a smug, overstuffed feeling that it was worth it...).

It is definitely still about chocolate but, far more than was the case back then, it is also about cheese (among, possibly, numerous other things)…

Picture: The Joy of Cooking

I don’t know that I’m ever going to get to a stage of having miniature alphabet pastry cutters, so although these would lose some of their impact if they were just normal cracker-shaped, they would taste the same. Another thing to add to the ever-lengthening baking pile...

But crunchy and cheesy is only one of so many possibilities...

... fluffy and cheesy is especially good...

Picture: Raspberri Cupcakes (soufflé from Tabou)*

... fried and cheesy is asking for trouble, but very tasty...

Picture: Raspberri Cupcakes** (deep fried camembert from Una's)***

... squishy and cheesy is another option...

Picture: Eat Show And Tell (croque madame from La Gerbe d'Or****)

... or gloopy and cheesy...

Picture: Grab Your Fork (cheese fondue from JPB Restaurant, Swissôtel)

... but perhaps the simplest, and certainly the easiest, is toasted and cheesy...

Picture: The Stone Soup

The only sort of cheesy that doesn’t appeal is the cottage variety. Further proof that healthy cheese is about as much fun as sugar free chocolate.

* I can well and truly vouch for this soufflé being fabulous...
** Who, in addition to a great blog, seems to have rather similar tastes in food to me!
*** Can also be vouched for, but should not be tackled lightly...
**** Looks tasty, but would have a job to live up to Sel Et Poivre


Best Imitation Of Myself

Monday, May 17, 2010

Picture: Paula Bird Parent on Flickr*

I went looking for the source of the idea that everything that can be done / thought of / invented, already has been. For something so frequently referred to, it has proven astonishingly hard to find, variously being attributed as a truism or (gah!) "someone once said"**.

This was as close as I got:
"Utter originality is, of course, out of the question." (Ezra Pound)

This was where it might have got started:
"Originality is nothing but judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed from one another. The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all." (Voltaire)

And these variously distracted me along the way by putting it especially well:
"Originality is the fine art of remembering what you hear but forgetting where you heard it." (Dr. Laurence J. Peter)
"Originality is merely an illusion." (M.C. Escher)***
"All cases are unique and very similar to others." (T. S. Eliot)****

After much galumphing in circles, this was the conclusion of the hunt:
"Originality does not consist in saying what no one has ever said before, but in saying exactly what you think yourself." (James Stephens)

I didn't find what I went looking for, but I found a whole bucket of peanuts full of Other Things. Ah, pootling. Still, the point that I'd been trying, fruitlessly but interestingly, to find some substantiation for, was to lead to the idea that, even if you don't have something original, or even creatively perfect, you can spend endless amounts of time and enjoyment mucking about with things that other people have already gone and done. The 'take an idea and make it silly' principle was probably what finally prompted me to put thought to keyboard and venture out there. Out here, I mean. I guess what I'm trying to do is find a place to put down all the quiet little thoughts that sneak across your mind when you're already thinking about something else, which promptly disappear as soon as you give them proper attention (a bit like floaters in your eyes, or remembering dreams).

Picture: Allan K Crain on Flickr

* Because every penguin deserves their 15 minutes of fame, even if Warhol never extended his thinking quite that far. I am also intrigued as to the name of the photographer... is it her actual name, or does she have a lot of birds? (Ah, nominative determinism)
** the only place for which is in high school speeches, and probably not even there.
*** Well, he would say that really - Escher probably thought even his breakfast was an illusion...
**** Love a paradox. Nothing like a paradox. Especially on a wintry evening.


When Shall We Three Meet Again?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Picture: Florida PFE on Flickr

They don't just sing, those lemurs dance as well. Or are they doing aerobics? Or voodoo? Voodoo Lemur - now, there's a name for a band... They make me think of the witches from Macbeth.

Thought this was an opportune photo for a day spent mostly at (yet another) dance competition.


Penguin Classics

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Pictures: Tim Bjorn via Desire To Inspire

These orange striped curtains really remind me of the cover of a Penguin Classics paperback. The temptation to take a black marker to them would really be almost overwhelming!

Picture: Me (on iPhone, spotted in Berkelouw)


Rock (Cake) On!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Last weekend, there was a visit from the trifle-eating cat's dad. This prompted rather a flurry of activity before his arrival, including giving me a good excuse to do some long-overdue baking. He is a fan of rock cakes (as am I), and I hadn't ever tried making my own.

I tried a recipe from an Australian Women's Weekly cookbook that I've recently bought, and was amazed at how quick and easy it was. They don't even need a mixer*.

These are the rock cakes before they went into the oven...

The mixture tasted pretty good, too. That tends to be half the reason I bake.

This was how they turned out...

They came out looking almost exactly like the ones in the recipe book photo - I was quite chuffed with them, easy as they had been to make. Especially given the powers of the evil oven in my apartment.

This is the recipe:

2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
90g butter, chopped
1 cup (160g) sultanas
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
1 tablespoon caster sugar, extra (I think more than this is needed, if you want lovely crunchy tops on your rock cakes)

Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Grease oven trays**.
Sift flour, cinnamon and sugar into medium bowl; rub in butter with fingertips. Stir in sultanas, egg and milk. Do not over-mix.
Drop rounded tablespoons of mixture about 5cm apart onto trays. Sprinkle with extra sugar.
Bake cakes around 15 minutes***; cool on trays.

The trifle-eating cat's dad (and, later in the weekend, his mum, too) voted the rock cakes a great success. And proceeded to test several at regular intervals to make sure they were consistent. He did initially wonder whether they would be better made a bit larger, but on balance, preferred them the size they were, as it gave a good ratio of crunchy outside to inner cake.

I was very happy with them, and would definitely make them again. They had a good crumbly texture, without being at all dry. And they were so easy to make that I might never need to go back to bought rock cakes again.

* Typical - before I had a mixer, there never seemed to be any good recipes that didn't need one...
** Or use greaseproof paper, with no greasing required at all, and no rock cakes getting stuck. Woo hoo!
*** I did mine for exactly 15 minutes (in a fan-forced oven), and when making them again, I might shorten this by 1-2 minutes.


Very Like A Whale

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Last weekend involved running about like a mad loon at just about every turn (or tern*). There was cleaning. And stocking up on groceries. And baking (more on that tomorrow). And dancing. All before lunch time. Somewhere in all that chaos, time was found to venture over to the Finders Keepers market at Carriageworks.

I was interested to see what Carriageworks would be like, having seen it on TV and in magazines as a venue for all sorts of things. It felt a lot less cavernous than I had expected, but I suspect there must be quite a lot of other sections to it – it was a bit of a rabbit warren. The exterior is the most striking part of the place; inside is similar to a lot of other studios and warehouses.

And the growers market was also on, so it was a bit of a hive of activity (in a good way – I’d actually expected it to be swamped and overcrowded, so finding it just usual Sydney-on-a-Saturday busy was a pleasant surprise). I would have loved more time to have a look round the growers market, but this wasn’t going to be the weekend for it. Instead, there was a quick reconnoitre to establish that the place I really had wanted to check out wasn’t there that month, and then on to Finders Keepers.

Finders Keepers was a lot like the good bits of a usual market collected into one spot. Interesting jewellery without all the mass produced sparkly tat. Papers and cards with unusual pictures and intriguing wording. Hand-sewn and knitted items that didn’t look like you were paying your nanna by the yard. And almost everybody seemed to have intriguing business names (A Skulk Of Foxes might have taken that prize out, as far as I was concerned).

Lots of things jumped out. Angus & Celeste had porcelain bangles with silver spots on, and hand-painted milk bottle vases. Ginny and Jude had silk skirts in interesting patters. Made 590 had dresses with printed silhouettes (and they had jackalopes, too – brilliant!).

My purchase for the day was a pair of Paper Boat Press earrings. I came across PBP online last year (great quotes and wording, and all sorts of interesting things). Up close, they have a mix of fragility and resilience that I liked. And they had earrings in the shape of clouds. All of them, just like real clouds, were slightly different. Unusual, but not hit-you-between-the-eyes unusual. Just quietly whimsical.

Clouds can have so many different sorts of associations. The small neat fluffy sort (whether white or grey) remind me of Winnie The Pooh. They feel like you should be able to tie a ribbon to them and take them around above you. The larger ones that move into ever evolving shapes remind me of Hamlet. As you do.

* Sorry, just had to go there. Should know better than to start a post with a bad pun by now!


Custom Order

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

So, if you cross a red cattle dog with a blue cattle dog...

Do you end up with a purple cattle dog?


Same But Different

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

While visiting the trifle-eating timeshare cat and his family recently, there was eating. Much eating. Some might even say gluttony (and very accurate they would be, too). The trifle eating cat's mum* is a wonderful cook. She also has a love of gelato which, while maybe not as extreme as my own, makes her a great partner in crime**.

Over the past year (time moves in strange ways down the coast, meaning I'm never entirely sure exactly when things happened, but anyway, relatively recently) a new ice cream place opened in the town centre. There were already two ice cream places, so arguably a third might be stretching the friendship. However, this one is a highly welcome addition, which makes its own gelato and also its own chocolates. It was paid a visit on the recent trip***.

It is an old source of amusement to my mum and me that we often choose the same things on a menu, usually discovered when one orders and the other one either replicates the entire thing, or tries hastily to change their mind in the interests of variety, originality, or something else to try around the table****. This time, however, something slightly different happened.

This was my mum's gelato...

And this was mine...

The same? Visually, very nearly. The taste, though, was very different.

On the one hand, there was bubble gum and licorice. On the other, there was cherry and crème caramel. I had been a little dubious about the bubble gum, and even more so about the licorice***** - to my surprise, both were delicious. The bubble gum was up there with the mint green concoctions I fondly remember from childhood, but with a little more subtlety. Although it would take a lot to displace cherry from its position as my favourite gelato du jour (despite this being a hotly contested role, with pistachio and cassata always in the background, and all sorts of other distracting flavours from time to time...).

A little more locally, there may be a need for a visit to Gelato Messina, which is the main source of those other distracting flavours. Roast almond and amarena cherry might be the best one I've heard of lately (and have yet to try). Also burnt caramel and ginger (yum). Although peanut butter and chocolate sounds intriguing. And the recent suggestion of bread and butter pudding flavour is just inspired!

* Also my mum, although I would stop short of calling the trifle eating cat my brother (this may be disputed by the rest of the family, who might argue that I don't know my place. I suspect the place is quite likely to be lower on the list than the said cat, and that would be entirely reasonable...).
** In gelato, and in many other things besides.
*** Only one visit. By coastal standards, this was positively restrained.
***** This sometimes works. The rest of the time, it leads to food envy on the part of the person who changed their mind (oh, for the vindication of food envy on the part of whichever one of us didn't change our minds, though!).
***** Which is odd, really, given my love of most things licorice related. Perhaps it's just suspicion on my part about the ability to translate an unexpected and very specific flavour into gelato. And after the apple pie gelato at Gelatissimo, I should be over that... (it appears to have vanished from their website though, which is a worry).


Spot The Difference

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pictures: Leona Edmiston - here and here

So, I have a bit of a thing about Leona Edmiston's frocks*. And, maybe, a bit of a collection as well. They always seem to be the answer to those "Gah! Feel like a hedgehog and don't know what to wear" days. And lots of other, better, days as well.

The two above are from the current diffusion collection, and are currently calling my name. Both of them. Not sure which one is preferable, though (and while buying things in every colour has its reasons, buying two minutely different dresses in the same print will lead to one that gets lived in, and one that is just not quite as good as the other one. And a bigger hole in the bank balance).

While I'm quite used to various items of clothing calling (occasionally whispering, every so often positively shrieking) my name, I'm a little less accustomed to two pieces competing with one another for my affections**. It makes me think of those cartoons where there is an angel on one of the character's shoulders, and a devil on the other one. Except with dresses. Perhaps I should prepare for the inevitable, and start going round with a wardrobe on each shoulder. Heavy and inconvenient, certainly, but it would do wonders for posture...

Update: Of course, occasionally waiting for a vaguely reasonable justification before buying new frocks leads to shopping karma. Otherwise known as, if-it-was-meant-to-be-it-would-still-be-available. Harrumph.

* Leona always has frocks, rather than dresses. Not sure why, but it's one of those Unquestioned Things.
** There are, of course, two pretty simple solutions to this dilemma - willpower, or a changing room. Usually it takes the form of the former, followed eventually by the latter...


I Know Mices Come In Different Sizes

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Panda: Fred Flare via She's Dreaming

I had sworn that I wasn’t going to have a blog where I posted things that I’d seen on other blogs (ha! Surely that is part of the point of having a blog, as I am finding out...). But then, I came across this. And for somebody with a bit of a thing about (a) homewares and (secondly) animals, this was just too good to resist...

It reminds me of tare panda, which I also think is ridiculously cute. Like a cross between a panda and a drop scone...
Picture: Eru Or Loron on Flickr

I love the look on tare panda's face - a sort of perplexed resignation. "Well, I'm in a heap. Not much doing about that, now."


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