Guardian Girl

Tuesday 28 July

Posted in Fashion, Recipes by guardiangirl on July 29, 2009

Tuesday marked the beginning of the grey fashion shoot, which I knew was going to be simple enough for me to copy given the many grey clothes I own. I felt like a bit of a raincloud but a couple of people said they liked my outfit. I didn’t really wear the cardie tied around my shoulders as it would have been cumbersome and I’m not sure about the sartorial wisdom of tying a jumper around a jacket. But maybe I’ll change my mind, in the manner of scarf-tucked-into-beltgate. The hairdo came out looking a little Sandra Dee on me, although by the time I got home  and had this picture taken I was glowing like a pig and my fringe looked nothing like wot it had at 7.30am.







 I was supposed to buy a Ted Baker jumpsuit after work but I checked it out online first and, luckily for my bank balance, it wasn’t in the shops yet. So after a few quick drinks with designer Jonny during which we saw Meg Ryan walk past (bad highlights, proper trout pout, still a legend though isn’t she), I had time to rush home to cook parcels of food for my friends Liv and Dan.

I made three parcels out of baking parchment and one of foil, and here’s a list of their ingredients based on what i could find of Hugh’s suggestions.

I froze all my apples, which were meant to replace pears in one of the options because I can’t stand those grainy horrors, so i just served greek yoghurt with honey and nutmeg and some chocolate ice cream as slightly unconventional starters. Nice things to share though – three spoons and a coffee table are all you need really.

1) A couple of fillets of sea bass with butter, chunky-sliced fennel, vermouth and big hunks of lemon rind.

Pretty close to Hugh’s suggestion but for the typically lazy chopping, and it tasted delicious. The fish was really tender and all the flavours very subtle. Could probably have done with a bit of seasoning though. Couldn’t find any other more unusual fish in the supermarket and fishmongers are shut by the time I finish work.

2) Ginger, garlic, spring onion and soy, plus two chicken breasts and two duck legs.

Forgot to buy chillies and decided to bung the whole lot in one parcel rather than doing separate ones. I left it to cook for longer than the other parcels and removed the chicken first, then put the open parcel back in for the duck to finish cooking and brown a bit. This was really delicious. It’s a lovely way to cook chicken as it keeps it very tender, and the spring onions, which i don’t usually like that much, went lovely and soft and sweet.

3) A packet of ready-cooked and shelled mussels with white wine, butter, chopped garlic and thyme.

Mussels are another thing I’m not usually dead keen on but these’uns were very, very nice. The butter, garlic and thyme stopped them tasting too fishy. They were easily shared as we all stuck our forks in and ate them like party nibbles. What with the mussels being ready prepared, this is a super-easy idea and very much recommended.

4) Two bananas, a bit of white rum and a big Toblerone (minus a few triangles we ate on the way home from the shop).

Yum. Odd how bananas taste less like themselves and more like banana-flavoured stuff when you cook them. Also odd how difficult I find it to type the word banana. I left this parcel in a bit long cos it was puddingy and i didn’t want to serve it first (despite having already dished up chocolate ice cream and yoghurt for starters. ) The toblerone burned a little bit but this was nice as it made a layer of Dime Bar stuff on the bottom of the foil, which we picked off when it cooled.

Liv and Dan were suitably impressed by this papery feast and we had plenty between three of us.


  • Parcel cooking is the bomb. Easy, quick, low maintenance, versatile. This is a cooking tip I’m genuinely pleased to have picked up and practised enough to do it in future. It appeals to my George’s Marvellous Medicine sensibilities as you can throw in any old ingredient and see what happens.
  • I think I might be getting quite good at cooking now, which is great. A very satisfactory result of the project.

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  1. Wednesday 29 July « Guardian Girl said, on July 30, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    […] who had yet to discover that in return for a few bits of fried cheese and two-thirds of a bottle of leftover vermouth, they’d be helping me highlight my hair in order to join the blonette […]

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