Guardian Girl

Baking for instant gratification #3,766

Posted in Fashion, Recipes, The Measure by guardiangirl on February 11, 2010

I liked the idea of Dan Lepard’s How to Bake recipe this week, being an enthusiastic fan of cider and bread. Unfortunately though, I insist on having dinner on the table within a few hours of buying the ingredients. When it comes to food preparation, I don’t do overnighters.

Instead of trying to change my ways and learn the indubitable joys of properly risen bread from an expert, I took the decision to make this cider loaf my own way – the instant gratification way. I was willing to suffer the consequences, which turned out to be fairly minimal. Luckily I have a deep appreciation for the sort of airless, dense baked goods that wouldn’t make it past the car park of a church fête, so opening the oven door to what looked and felt like a wheaten quern stone didn’t faze me in the slightest. Liv was over and she enjoyed it too, straight from the stove with melting butter and posh raspberry jam. The best bit was the base, which I’d left stuck to the bottom of the tin when cutting the top, softer bit into slices. I managed to jemmy the base off the tin in one piece with a knife and we ate it like a giant cookie. It was pretty rad.

NB I couldn’t find pure rye flour so I used a wholemeal multigrain seeded bonanza I found down J Sains.

Cider rye

Cider rye

Slightly wry

Slightly wry

I didn’t do a good job of this aesthetically speaking, but I did enjoy the eating. Bravo.

I also ought to address the matter of Topshop trophy jumpers. I am still living on cash because of a banking problem. I forgot to put money from my stash into my purse yesterday morning as I was in a rush to adorn my wrists with gold cuffs. I realised this at 5.30pm as I contemplated setting off to Topshop. No Eiffel Tower sweater. Not enormously disappointed. Ends.

And on to today’s outfit, about which I have no complaints. Miraculous!

Spring

Spring

has sprung

has sprung

I guess every photo’s going to be pretty much identical for the rest of the week.

Conclusions:

  • Today’s post was brought to you by the Society for the Preservation of Overlooked Tools.
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Towelling it on

Posted in Fashion, Recipes by guardiangirl on February 3, 2010

Best Liv came over last night to help throw away some of my pathologically hoarded possessions (this sort of thing is why I call her Best Liv [I also call her Little Wrenny Bolokov, but that’s another story]). As some sort of recompense I force fed her a few mountain ranges of chorizo carbonara and many rivers of cold custard that were left over from Sunday’s cake-a-thon. I also made the mushroom part of Hugh’s polenta feast and we had a little taste of that (delicious) before I decided to palm the rest of all this food off on whichever pals come over for fondue tonight.

We then got to work sorting through my infinite boxes of tat, some representative examples of which included a collection of small shreds of plywood, a startling number of ribbons I have no recollection of ever receiving, a tiny bag containing a button and a 1p coin, an umbrella cover stuffed with a pedometer and a hairband, and a very disturbing veterinary receipt from last year when one of my beloved cats had kidney failure and I had to make the heartbreaking decision to have her put down:

“PRODUCT/SERVICE:       EUTHANASIA CAT ONLY

QUANTITY:                           ONE

PRICE:                                     £28.13 inc VAT”

It’s not exactly soothing, is it.

Also, what do they mean by “cat only”?

We were up so late sorting out my rubbish that Liv stayed over and was able to take my photo this morning. I was standing, perplexed, in front of her holding a grey double-breasted blazer in one hand and a brown leather jacket in the other, trying to work out which one was more similar to today’s required outfit, when she glanced over my shoulder and remarked that it was a shame I couldn’t wear the peach-coloured towel hanging on the back of my door, since it perfectly matched the model’s jacket. And hence, I bring you today’s pic. Looking outside I decided it was probably a bit chilly to go out in a towel so I plumped for both the jackets at once. What with the orange plimsolls being the closest non-heeled thing I own to the model’s gold shoes, I look a bit clownish today, but I’m well used to that by now.

The blazer

The blazer

The towel

The towel

Conclusions:

  • Happy tonight’s dinner is the last energy-rich recipe for 10 I have to cook, for obvious reasons related to waistbands.
  • I am now seeing my collection of c.1970s hand-me-down towels through new eyes.
  • William Eggleston exhibition looks well worth a visit but the opening hours tally not with my work duties.
  • A trip to NY to use the subway is not on the financial agenda.
  • Acne interiors: if you have bad skin, you don’t want to fill your house with Acne sofas any more than you want to walk around in Acne jeans, looking for all the world like you’re wearing your medical diagnosis proudly upon your denims. In fact, don’t tell anyone but it took me a year to get over moving to Hackney for the same reason.
  • What?!! It’s not my fault. Spots make you very self-conscious.

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.