Tag Archives: food

Domestic Goddess

So, we decided to give up dairy for Lent. Apart from one day last week when I was so caught up with not buying something with cheese in it for lunch that I bought a yoghurt for afters and didn’t realise till an hour after I’d eaten it what I’d done (whoops!) I’ve done pretty well, on the whole. I had in my head though that we had agreed to give up milk-related dairy produce, and eggs didn’t count. The reason I had this in my head was because I had asked HD if it was still OK to eat bread, and he said it was. I honestly had in my head that bread was made with eggs (and butter for that matter). So I bought some eggs yesterday. So HD had to educate me on the content of bread (it now appears I was confusing it with cake, easy mistake to make). You can tell how often I bake anything at all! (practically never, unsurprisingly)


Sad news

One of our favourite places to eat in Glasgow was Tchai Ovna in Shawlands, so much so that we decided that we would go there last night for a meal to celebrate our anniversary.  It’s a tea place, but also does vegetarian and vegan food, and we would sometimes go there for Sunday lunch after church – it was a great Sunday lunch sort of place.  Unfortunately, as we got close we could see a massive “Shop to Let” sign above it, and sure enough once we’d got there it was in darkness and was clearly not serving anyone.

I’ve just taken a look on its website and can’t find anything mentioned about a closure, but have found a facebook group which mentions it was due to close just before Christmas. It looks like the West End Tchai Ovna is still going strong (or at least still going), but, well, here’s another recession victim that I for one am really sad about.

We ended up going to the Indian restaurant round the corner for a cheap and cheerful curry instead. Don’t get me wrong, we had a lovely meal and it was a nice way to celebrate, but I’m still very sad about Tchai Ovna 🙁

[And an even sadder update: I’ve just read on the Brockley Central blog that Moonbow Jakes is closing. This is terrible news!]

Haggis hunting

As well as the annual procrastination-fest that is the Scotsman haggis hunt, today also saw me hunting down the vegetarian variety, for Christmas dinner. Our local Somerfield did two for the price of one this time last year which is why we ended up having one for Christmas and one for Burns Night, and that is how we discovered that veggie haggis and roast veg is a very very very nice combination indeed, and so we decided to do the same this year. Unfortunately this year for some reason Somerfield don’t seem to be getting them in until closer to Burns Night this time round, and the middle-class fruit-n-veg shop near uni weren’t expecting any till tomorrow (when I wouldn’t be there). I was a bit worried our Christmas dinner would end up as veggie sausages and baked beans, but fortunately on the way to the fairtrade shop to buy the Christmas pudding I passed the posh deli and thought I’d try my luck. There was one (count ’em!) left! Clearly this meal is divinely instituted. Mind you it was over twice the price it would have been in Somerfield, so not without cost, but the satisfaction of the hunt was worth it 🙂 (as will be the satisfaction of eating it).

Of mystery ingredients

Today was my last tutorial of the year (hoorays all round, except that this heralds the imminent arrival of the essays, so never fear there’s still plenty to whinge about).

This evening I had a meal with some friends from church, who are lending me a guidebook for when I go away to the conference next week (it seemed a bit pointless buying one when I’ve only got an afternoon or so free to look round, but I wanted a bit of guidance as to what was worth seeing in that short time). I. is an amazing cook and made a stunning vegetable chilli, which afterwards she revealed contained a mystery secret ingredient: chocolate! I’d never have realised it contained chocolate, it certainly didn’t taste of it, but there was definitely something about it that made it a cut above the usual chilli (and several cuts above the chillis I cook). Good job it wasn’t Lent!

In other news it is COLD here! (or, as Smudgie and Smudgelet would have it, it’s chilly chilly chilly chilly chilly). Main roads have been gritted but side roads (including mine) haven’t been so both road and pavement are covered in black ice. Coming home from my friends’ place this evening I was literally clinging onto walls to avoid falling over – without having consumed a single drop of alcohol! It left me very relieved that I’m not elderly – it is really dangerous out there and was really quite scary. [As an aside, if anyone wants to pray for a safe journey for HD, who is driving up here tomorrow evening, I’d be grateful. I have already nagged him to drive slowly (despite the only one of us to ever get a speeding ticket being, er, me) but I won’t stop worrying till he arrives in one piece]

Wiblog entry for 01/10/2008

Yesterday, as part of my ploy not to get too thin, Auntie Doris and I went for a curry. What a fab evening – gorgeous company, chatter about all sorts of stuff, excellent food (at £10 a head!!) – I think it’s working, I still have a big bum this morning. That’s alright then 🙂

Thesis-wise, I am meant to be working on the methodology chapter at the moment. This is where I write about what I did and why, ethical concerns, barriers to doing research, all that sort of thing. I don’t know how I’m going to stick to the limit – I’m trying to restrict myself to 10K words a chapter, as I really mustn’t go over the overall limit, but goodness knows it’s not going to be easy. The methodology chapter, after all, can be boiled down much easier than the others into “it’s all about me” – I can’t possibly restrict that to a mere 10K words!!

Blue screen of death

I’m very relieved that the blue screen of death that appeared on my PC turned out to have been caused by a dodgily-formatted CD (upon which I was copying my photos, as said PC, rather like its owner, is starting to slow down considerably), rather than being a signal of impending PC death. I’m still going to copy my photos, just in case, but will sort myself out a memory stick. I’d be more upset at losing the photos than I would about losing any actual work I’ve done on the PC.

After church we went to our favourite tea house, Tchai Ovna for lunch. Although specialising in teas (hundreds of different varieties – today I had a very nice one called Golden Nepal) it also does vegetarian and vegan food, and very delicious it is too. I should have known better though – I had what looked like a small slice of cake for afters, but it was so rich I still can hardly move, 2 hours later. The diet starts (again) tomorrow.

New Taste Sensation

(Sorry, this isn’t going to be a very riveting blog post, have lost a bit of the old blogging mojo, I think).

I just have to record that garlic and rosemary Ryvita is stunning! And (though I had my doubts about this particular combination before trying it) combined with marmite it is the food of the gods.

Somehow I doubt Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall et al will be too worried about me taking over as taste guru to the nation. But try it – it was delicious!

Hen night

I’m back – delighted to report I didn’t fall into the Thames. I had a fab time – started with Friday night in Moonbow Jakes with my friend S who I’ve not seen for months, then a lie-in yesterday morning (bliss!), a quick shopping trip to Greenwich, and then the main fun began. First of all, my bridesmaid and I headed on over to Brockley’s finest and classiest beauty emporium (who needs the Sanctuary?):


There are pictures of me inside having a pedicure (which was amazing, I’d never had one before – though watching my feet being grated like parmesan was a bit gross!). I will give you two choices as to why I’m not making these photos public. Is it:

a. because I looked so glamorous that anybody seeing them would feel totally inadequate? or
b. because they made me look like I was gestating a baby elephant?

Here is the end result of the pedicure:


After this a group of friends gathered at L’s (bridesmaid’s) house and we had wine and nibbles and a couple of presents (including the lovely Tim and Beverly LaHaye’s “The Act of Marriage”, which is being passed round not dissimilarly to the bottles of Blue Nun that get taken to parties, never opened and just taken to the next party so they can be got rid of. Needless to say, having briefly flicked through it, it is not exactly full of things I agree with, though thankfully that was why I was given it, and it wasn’t actually a serious present!). After that we headed on up to Las Iguanas, a Latin American restaurant on the South Bank by the Royal Festival Hall. We started off rather sedately:


but soon I was being informed that I had to go to the toilet. Suspecting some plotting afoot, but needing a wee, I eventually did go, and on my return was confronted with proof that far too many of my friends are former or current primary school teachers – everybody was wearing home-made party hats with particularly lovely photos of me from my past. However, more presents started appearing, so that was good 🙂 :


My tiara was particularly lovely – it even had flashing lights 😀 :


After this, even more classy presents arrived:


(thankfully there are no photos of the beautiful knickers on my camera. You can all be thankful for this too).

The food was great, as were the capirinhas, and the company just right. Thanks to all who came, I had a brilliant night, and really enjoyed myself. These, and more, photos will appear on facebook at some point – probably tomorrow evening.


Thank you Ian, I am definitely not undead. At least, I wasn’t last time I looked.

Dracula’s birthplace (aka Sighisoara) was fantastic, it hadn’t been McDonaldised (being a UNESCO World Heritage Site probably helped in that regard) though it had been somewhat taken over by cheap souvenir sellers all over the place. I got some good photos, but forgot to bring my memory stick to the internet cafe tonight, so I’ll have to put them on the blog tomorrow.

After getting back on Sunday HD was going to cook, but most of the veg was either uninspiring, mouldy or both, so we ate out instead at my favourite restaurant here. Oh well, such is life – it’s tough but someone has to do it.

Then Monday we got the bus to Bucharest, where it was very very very hot. Bleurgh. I did say to him I’m really looking forward to Greenbelt, I’m not expecting temperatures in the high 30s there so it means we will be able to have a cuddle without sticking to each other (I know, it’s a lovely image – probably best not to dwell on it). When there we went to a wonderful Lebanese restaurant not far from the hotel – I really don’t like Bucharest much, but one thing it really has got much more sussed than anywhere else in Romania is eating out. Apart from this Lebanese meal, we’ve basically had either pizza or pasta (but mostly pizza) every time we’ve eaten out anywhere else, and I’d say that was pretty typical for just about every town and city I know here.

Yesterday we had a quick walk round Herastrau Park (probably my favourite place in Bucharest – much calmer and greener than the rest of it), including an amusing incident near the Arc de Triomf (yes Bucharest has one too – it’s smaller than Paris’s but bigger than Chisinau’s) where some passing Roma tried to ask HD about his camera. We’d had a bit of attention from Roma in Sighisoara too, and I think it was mainly because of his hat (which is somewhat like the hats that Roma men wear, and nothing like the hats Romanian men wear), plus as he pointed out pretty much the only men with any facial hair here are Roma, most men are clean-shaven, so I’m pretty sure they thought he was Roma. The Roma in Sighisoara looked at us as we passed and made a comment about “gadji” which I’m pretty sure is the Roma word for “non-gypsy” – I think they were commenting on me (far too blonde to be Roma) holding hands with this hairy hatted guy (I mean he’s hairy and had a hat, not that he had a hairy hat).

Anyway, after that, we got on a (very very very very very hot) bus and went to the airport, where I only cried a little bit (unlike when I left in May when I howled), and then he flew off to Wales (which according to the TV was 20 degrees cooler than Bucharest yesterday) and I caught the bus (with less than 10 minutes to spare!) back to Sibiu. It feels very strange not having him here – I did often go out to do interviews or observations or whatnot and leave him in the flat (he had work with him too, he wasn’t just twiddling his thumbs), and it was great that he was here to come back to. Fortunately I’ve had a very very busy day today, including a good interview with an even Bigger Cheese than the last Big Cheese, so at least I’ve had things to distract me. And it’s still boiling here. Tomorrow, according to the paper, temperatures in Transylvania will be hitting 39. Oh joy (but at least the washing will dry).

Photos to follow (of Sighisoara, not of washing!).

I can’t believe I only have a week left in Sibiu! It’s gone so quickly. After that I have 3 nights back in Cluj, and then I’m off to Moldova for 2 months (with a Greenbelt break in the middle). The adventure continues. Eek.

Wiblog entry for 23/06/2007

I’m feeling a wee bit sorry for myself today. I think I’m just very tired, and needing a holiday. HD is at a friend’s wedding today, and I’m really sad I couldn’t be there too – going to the supermarket and then eating burnt offerings (my fault – I’m usually a better cook than I was today) just wasn’t the same somehow. I’ve come to the internet cafe this evening as there’s nothing going on in town that I can make out, and even if there was there are times when going to yet another thing by yourself just gets really wearing. At least this way I can connect a little bit with the rest of the world … I presume somebody else is out there somewhere?

5 sleeps to go. And happy wedding day to J&L!