Guardian Girl

Bye bye basin

Posted in Fashion, Recipes by guardiangirl on February 9, 2010

I boiled the last in the suet pudding series last night, and savoured every bite. Served as suggested with double cream, it was a) sublime and b) a step towards morbid obesity that I would prefer not to have taken. Tonight it’s roast veg (and more lemon pud out of the fridge), tomorrow a rye loaf, and then I get a couple of days off to eat spinach leaves and contemplate my retreating navel.

It’s so boring going on about stodge and calories all the time – I’m yawning as I type – but it’d be a pointless experiment if I didn’t honestly share my concerns. And I think most people would be vaguely concerned about their health on their fourth consecutive day of suet eating. I am sorry though. I’d love to be able to transcend such drossful subject matter and, once I’m back in my trainers next week (when the broken foot is officially allowed to get some proper exercise again), I hope to set aside my Supersize Me cholesterol fears and chill the hell out.

There’s no photo of the lemon pudding but it is etched forever into the window frames of my mind, for it was truly one of the best desserts I’ve ever made.

Moving on, here’s a photo of me hunched in a loo.

Life's a peach

Life's a peach

You can guess this one

You can guess this one

Conclusions:

  • American football player in drag
  • Tara Palmer-Tomkinson three weeks after being fished out of a canal
  • Office girl on opium
  • All of the above

Also, you probably didn’t even (care to) notice but instead of wearing a small, white watch I don’t have, I wrapped my headphones around my wrist instead, creating an attractive yet functional accessory for the modern woman. And also, I quite like the way my terrible magazine photography makes the model look like a Victorian ancestor (although certainly not one of mine).

Now, enough with the parentheses: I’m off to Sainsbury’s.

A farl cry from Hugh’s recipe

Posted in Fashion, Recipes, The Measure by guardiangirl on November 19, 2009

I’m getting well into the warm fracture booty now but it doesn’t half take ages to get everywhere. Last night I damn near broke my neck and wasted years of my life transporting flour and potatoes to Phoebe’s house for a wee dinner party with Nin and Liv. Not that it was a waste of time to go – it was lovely. I’m just used to racing everywhere in a huff rather than taking time to admire the empty fried chicken boxes and soggening leaf mulch of London’s streets.

I cooked us all a fry-up, which was supposed to incorporate Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s potato farls but ended up starring gluey mash instead.  The bonus was that mashed potato is bigged up in the Measure this week, so I was inadvertently succeeding at one of this week’s to-dos while failing at another.

I don’t know if I mixed in too little flour or what but hell, I think mash goes with pretty well anything and I was more than delighted to eat it with fried eggs, sausages, bacon, beans and toast.

I forgot to ask the girls to take my photo before I was dropped home by kind Phoebe and there was no Guardian farl snap for the day anyway, so this post is sadly unillustrated. Therefore I’m going to keep it short and sweet.

Tomorrow you can expect: booty (not that kind), omelette skyscraper, cake and possibly a home improvement feature ­– but let’s not set our goals too high. I have to do a mammoth cook tonight to get my tasks done before I head to Antwerp tomorrow.

Conclusions:

  • Consistency is key but when it comes to fry-ups you just have to be grateful for what you’ve got.
  • There’s arguably little point in walking around in an unflattering outfit all day in the name of the blog if I then forget to photograph it, but I can tell you it’s still quite pleasant being told what to wear of a morning. I missed that during my recent break and pretty much went around in little black dresses every day. It was boring.

Labneh with olives and pistachios

Posted in Recipes by guardiangirl on October 16, 2009

Dinner: Yotam Ottolenghi’s labneh.

I didn’t strain my own yoghurt to make cheese.

I did this sort of thing with goat’s milk when I was inhabiting an iron age hill fort for a few months and I tell you what, it was foul. I also find that everything you need to know about straining is contained within its name. Leaving something to drip might not require much effort but it’s all those clean cloths and string and thinking about things 24 hours in advance that I find so offensive. I was out for dinner the night before I wanted to eat the labneh so I didn’t even have time to get the ingredients and begin the process.

I might have started off on the wrong foot but I ended on a right one, of sorts. I got a pot of natural yoghurt and a whorl of soft goat’s cheese and mixed them together in a big bowl, then I stirred in most of the other ingredients, including some sunblush tomatoes but excluding lemon zest (I looked at some lemons for a good five minutes, thought about the pile of washing up in front of the cupboard door where I keep my grater, and concluded I couldn’t be bothered), fresh oregano (where do you get this? Paxos?) and chilli flakes (I’d now reached a state of total unmotivation).

Anyway it made this surprisingly tasty dip. I got two crusty loaves – one granary and one white – and tried a bit of each with it. Really quite nice and the whole thing took me about ten minutes.

Labneh with olives, pistachios and oregano

Labneh with olives, pistachios and oregano

 

Lavvy with olives and pistachios

Lavvy with olives and pistachios

I’m sorry about the unimpressive presentation – it looks like an unappetising mess and I hope this does not bring too much shame upon me and my household.

Tomorrow I will not only buy the paper as usual and plan out my next week, but I will also become 30. Expect a new, epic and entirely appropriate level of commitment to perfection.

Conclusions:

  • My bastardisation of this recipe makes a big, tasty dip to share with people. I’m going to have the remainder with Liv tonight before cooking banana caramel pie à la Dan Lepard.
  • With dips, you’re supposed to pay attention to the presentation to avoid that “waste product” effect. Another thing to add to the list of lessons learned from the Guardian: the importance of garnish. I’ll put some herbs on the leftovers for Liv’s benefit.
  • You’d perhaps have thought that yoghurt mixed with goat’s cheese would be a bit bleurghy but I thought it was pretty nice.
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