Guardian Girl


Posted in Fashion, Recipes, The Measure by guardiangirl on October 9, 2009

This week has involved a certain degree of underachievement on the Guardian-worthiness front, which is often something of a relief to me as it reminds me I’m still aliiiive, not just an empty vessel into which the Guardian is poured each week. I wouldn’t want to take things too far and become a tabbouleh-eating version of Frankenstein’s monster, wheeling around the aisles of Whole Foods taking out young mums with my shoulder pads and scattering jewels in my eucalyptus-scented wake. Actually, now I get to talking about it that might be exactly what I want to become.

Tomorrow I will buy the Guardian and get back into the routine in a more disciplined fashion for the foreseeable future. In the meantime please find below a summary of the latter half of this week’s various successes and failures.

Success 1: Yotam Ottolenghi’s ricotta tart.

It’s another pie but it tasted damn, damn fine. It was possibly my favourite recipe of the whole experiment thus far. I cheated with pre-rolled pastry – an innovation of whose existence I was woefully unaware until I finally discovered a whole section of Sainsbury’s next to the butter where all the pastry has been kept for all these years. Ready-made pastry gets my full approval but the pre-rolled stuff is a bit silly – it broke off in unsatisfying strips like when you got new plasticine as a kid in those stuck-together sticks, and they are annoyingly difficult to squidge. I always squidge pastry into shape in the end anyway, even if I roll it first.

Back to the point: this is a great tart and you ought to bake it.

As usual my cooking equipment is limited to one rectangular baking tin in which I cook damn near everything.

Ricotta tart

Ricotta tart


Ricotta blart

Ricotta blart

I’m afraid it looks slightly unsavoury as the tin was too big and therefore the sundried tomato paste too scant to give good coverage.

Success 2: Friday’s outfit/pose

I’m not saying I look great today – in fact I feel a bit of a doofus in all my bulky swathes of black. But you gotta admit I got it a bit closer to the original template than I usually manage.

PS I discovered it’s OK to republish photos as long as it’s for the purposes of review, comment or criticism, which I believe is what I’m doing here.






Failure 1: Dan Lepard’s tapenade dinner rolls

They look delicious (without the anchovy, obviously) but I just couldn’t fit these into my life this week. I know they’re called dinner rolls but they don’t quite fit with my notion of dinner. I suppose I could’ve had them with some nice soup or stew or meat and a salad, or cheese, or anything really. In any case I didn’t bake them, sorry. I went out for fish and chips instead. Confession over.

Failure 2: pretty much the whole Measure

I wasn’t too sure what any of it meant this week, beyond the words ‘eucalyptus’, ‘Madonna and Janet Jackson’, ‘Plum Sykes’ and ‘scrunchies’.

I did a bit of research on the internet and discovered that most of it required little action to be taken.

I missed Streetcar at the Donmar, Small Island doesn’t appear to be on yet and my eyebrows won’t easily look like Ruth Wilson’s.

The homes mentioned in the decor porn paragraph turn out to be very lovely and very unrealistic, hence use of the word ‘porn’. I clicked on, I clicked off, I got on with something more relevant. Go figure.

Baptiste Giabiconi turns out to be a very handsome fellow indeed but I’ll leave him to Karl.

Andrew Castle is a newsreader and I don’t have a telly.

This week’s grand fail, however, was my attempt to drink a peppermint tea martini at the May Fair Hotel.

This isn’t just a joke you know – this is my life – and I really do these things. Last night I arranged to meet two good friends, Adam and Katy, outside the Royal Academy, and we walked along to the bar together. I’d never been before and I’m probably never going back. There was no peppermint tea martini on the menu – I suspect this was  a fashion week special – and the place was heaving with the types of people I have a dangerous tendency to secretly think of as  ‘them’. I am not ‘them’, that’s why I never have rich boyfriends or PR jobs. I don’t like their loud voices, their hair or their jackets, and I don’t very much like their conversations either. We left and went round to a cheapish boozer around the corner for a mulled cider and a packet of salt and vinegar crisps.

Success 3: by failing so much, I saved a lot of money

This week I managed to get away with spending a whole little of money. I went out for fish and chips, I topped up my oyster and phone, and I bought a few dinner ingredients ( no more than £50-worth) and some stuff that smelt of eucalyptus and wasn’t tested on animals. So if tomorrow’s magazine demands that I buy rivers of pearls and lakes of caviar, all my pocket money will be lying in wait.


  • The further I veer from the Guardian ideal, the cheaper life is.
  • The further I veer from the Guardian ideal, the more friends I see.
  • Tomorrow morning I will buy the Guardian and copy everything it says again.

One Response

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  1. Kate said, on October 11, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    I LOVE your blog – I sent it on to some mates last week, I think some of them are following you too. Looking forward to hearing the next installment…

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