Tuesday, October 27, 2009

9 months

I remember, back when I was drifting about in a sleepy, milk-scented fog and everything about being a mother was brand new (and daunting, to say the least!), 9 months seemed like it was eons away. And yet, here we are, with crawling and size 1 onesies (!) and mashed vegetables and two adorable little toothypegs, and it feels like no time has elapsed at all.

And, I forgot to mention, pulling herself up with every stick of furniture in the house, and ignoring toys and baby-safe items in favour of anything and everything that is not. Like my knitting needles. Gotta run!


Originally uploaded by fleur_delice
This bedspread is a recent op-shop gem - I've been vaguely admiring pretty gold and pink ones that seem to be popping up on 'interiors' blogs lately, so I was pretty darned excited to find this one in my favourite deep turquoise colour. Salvo's has gone back to the '$10 linen bag' deal, i.e. you can fill an enormous garbage bag with as much stuff from the linen corner as you want for no more than $10. Thank goodness, as they've started charging insanely high amounts for everything else (today I saw a lamp for $100 and a vintage dress for $80. Clearly Salvo's is having an identity crisis and thinks it's an upmarket retro boutique).

I feel like I've been such a lame blogger lately. Our computer conked out a few days ago, and the laptop Pat hooked up to my screen doesn't have any of my photos on file. However, I was able to work out (a mighty feat, for someone with my severe lack of computer dexterity) that I can actually blog from my Flickr account! I may never even go back to my old ways...

PS: more apologies, the awful title puns are continuing.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Beets me!

So. I've decided to start posting the worst titles for my posts that I can possibly think of. Life is short and puns are one of my favourite things ever. Dad joke-style puns are even better. You are most welcome to pipe up with your own suggestions, as mine are likely to range from fairly crap to downright awful (although I suppose that's the point).

Anyhoo, the beets that today's title pertains to that most delightful of vegetable, silverbeet. Also known as Swiss chard, spinach beet, seakale beet and mangold. They're currently in season, and although we have a good little crop growing in the backyard, I've also been buying massive bunches at the fruit market for 78c. Because I use that much of it (kinda like this guy).

Tonight I'm using it in a risotto - something I've taken the liberty of giving the exotic name of 'Risotto Primavera', la-dee-da. But as it is a work in progress and I haven't a photo, I'll post the recipe for my previous silverbeet adventure:

Palak Paneer:
(Serves 5-6)

1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander (these first two are optional - I've neglected to use them before and it's been fine)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons ghee or oil
2 large bunches of spinach, washed, trimmed, steamed, drained and finely chopped
4 tablespoons sour cream
fresh homemade curd cheese (paneer) made from 3 litres milk, cut into 1.25 cm cubes
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt

1) Combine the ginger and chili in a food processor or blender and process with a few spoons of cold water. Add the coriander, paprika, cumin, and turmeric and blend to form a smooth spice paste. Scrape the paste into a bowl.

2) Heat the ghee in a large saucepan over moderate heat. When the ghee is hot, add the spice paste, and fry it for 1 or 2 minutes or until very fragrant. Fold in the spinach, combining it with the spices.

3) Cook over moderate heat for about 5 more minutes, or until the spinach reduces a little more in volume. (The spinach can be blended with the sour cream, but I prefer it left this way. And I'm lazy.)

4) Fold in the sour cream; add the cubes of paneer, the garam masala, and the salt. Cook over low heat for an additional 5 minutes and serve hot, with basmati rice.

*n.b. I made some channa dahl to go with it the other night, when we had friends over for dinner, and we had rosewater-scented halva for dessert. Good mix.

(recipe adapted from Kurma Dasa's 'World Food')

Feeling a bit damp

Or rather I was feeling a bit damp, after more than two weeks of fairly solid rain. Not that I'm against rain (and it was most welcome after our recent monster dust storm), but I only like it for so long, and then I get a bit cagey, which in turn makes me cranky.

And I didn't want to be a big ol' cranky blogger. So here are some pretty pictures instead - it pretty much sums up what I do when trapped inside by the rain, baking and tea. And finding cute teapots at the op-shop ;-)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sweet holy mother of the thrift gods!

The laws of op-shopping have been confounding me lately. It seems that every time I am in the presence of a fellow thrifter and the conversation steers to our mutually-loved pastime, I bemoan the current lack of decent clothing (heck, I've even done it here!) and then get nostalgic for 'the good old days' where I could snatch up silk smoking jackets and geometric shift dresses for under $5, and where Miller's Fashion Club was a mere lurking presence rather than the evil behemoth we now know it to be.

However, it would appear that my laments have had the opposite effect to that which I would have expected. Instead of being brutally smote for my lack of faith, I am being rewarded with some sweet finds...

In town with my little bro T-Bone last week, we ducked into one of our preferred secondhand haunts so that he could look for shirts. Idly sifting through the dresses while he was in the change room, I realised that there was some potential on that thar rack. Several hurried clothing changes later, I emerged with these four dresses:

(Someone woke up mid-photo-shoot)

I nearly lost my lunch when I realised what a gem that last one is. It looks as though it's been handmade, and someone has done the most beautiful job of it, lining it and all.

And the print, my word, that print! Very Temple of the Sun (have I been making Baboushka watch Tintin so that I can watch it too? Yes. Yes I have). I think I have found my life's mission - to discover the maker of that fabric. If anyone knows how I could do this, I will be eternally grateful and (may even rustle up a present of some kind... if, you know, the thrift gods are feeling benevolent).


Sorry for the slack posting, my dears - it would appear that I've been two-timing my blog with Flickr. Oh, new and innovative ways to lure me to the computer ;-)

I'm going to attempt to juggle the two. Along with chasing after Baboushka - even though she hasn't yet mastered crawling, she gets around quite well. The other day I left the room and returned, only to discover that she'd manoeuvred herself backwards and under the sofa. Bad mummy.

She's also taken to making her way over to the bookcase and taking books out, and we had a bit of carnage yesterday. She ripped her first page out (a milestone?) of 'The Monster at the End of This Book', one of my own childhood favourites. Luckily this book managed to avoid the same fate: