I got a blogger award from Words That Can Only Be Your Own! A sunshine award no less!

As part of the award you have to answer some questions about yourself.

Favourite colour: Turquoise then yellow
Favourite animal: I have been thinking about this all morning – its such a hard question! I think the answer is Whale. Mainly Whale sharks, Narwhals and Beluga’s. But I don’t think I want one as a pet. Then sloths, orangutans, elephants, giraffes, dogs, cats, I could go on…
Favourite non alcoholic drink: Tea. Decaff please.
Facebook or twitter: Facebook. I cant be arsed bothered with twitter.
Getting or giving presents: Giving.
Favourite flower: Err yellow ones. I am not really a flower person.
Favourite pattern: Not something I have thought about really but I like 50’s atomic style patterns, Lucienne Day stuff and Sandersons Dandelion clocks. Oh and recently triangle patterns.
Passion: Music, films, baking, reading, long walks, green environmental stuff. The usual.
Favourite number: 21

Now I am new to blogging and when have seen these awards doing the rounds I understand you have to pass them on to five other bloggers, which is really sweet and a good way of connecting with other bloggers. It kind of reminds me of chain letters or chain texts from back in the day. I was a right party pooper then as I never bothered continuing them when I got sent one which meant that I got seven years bad luck or a puppy died in China or what ever the curse was for breaking the link!

So while I am chuffed to bits to receive this award I will give forwarding it a miss as I don’t know who has received it already, and I am a little bit shy about contacting bloggers I do not know. Is it possible to be shy online? Nevermind. I will show my appreciation to other bloggers by leaving comments or adding them to my reader.

Fellow bloggers keep doing what you are doing and keep doing it well! I say.

Tuesday Tune

Picture source google images.

This weeks tune which is on the continuing theme of female guitarists, is from Wild Flag who feature this weeks choice Carrie Brownstien. In 2006 she was the only woman to earn a spot in the Rolling Stone readers’ list of the 25 “Most Underrated Guitarists of All-Time.”

Now this is one cool lady who used to be in Sleater-Kinney and is a creator of Portlandia. I love the fact that she is so passionate about her art and does loads high kicks while strumming away! Their album is one of my recent faves so check them out on spotify if you so desire, or nick it from my iTunes if you are Rob.

The lunch hour we all dream of having.

P.S I put loads of links in this post to explain who, where, and what so I don’t have to type up loads.

P.P.S I have decided to add this live clip of Sleater-Kinney because its rude not to.

P.P.P.S Grit your teeth through the cheesey parts of this video and try to watch it!

What Would Nigella Do?


What would Nigella do? Is the question every girl or boy has to ask themselves daily at some point while cooking. Hang on you say, does this recipe really need all this sugar, cream, or butter? Well just think WWND? And there is your answer.

I think every kitchen needs one of these hanging on its wall and maybe should have a little shrine to worship the domestic goddess and all her wisdom.

It is also available in a Delia option for the women of a certain age (holla mum!) out there to spiritually guide them in their cooking endeavors. Or in a Jamie option if you like saying pukka and bruv a little too much. Or Martha if you are American.


A Few Random Things

  • Our kitchen is plastered and has a base coat of paint on it now! The flooring is coming next!
  • I broke our George Foreman lean, mean, grilling machine. Dammit, it is pretty much all my kitchen left at the moment! Sorry to Rob’s sister who kindly bought it for us as a xmas pressie a few years back!
  • I sometimes think my blog has no real theme to it. Is it a house renovation blog, a baking blog, a music blog, or a boring me-me blog? I don’t really want to put too much personal stuff on here, but its my blog and I can cry write if I want too.
  • Answer – it is a bit of all of the above. It will never be a fashion blog I can tell you this much. I hate clothes shopping.
  • Why am I wondering this? Do you also think most of the blogs you read are a bit samely? Sick of hearing about tea drinking, knitting (yeah I am jealous of other bloggers lovely projects – I have zero skills in the craft department!) and fox paraphernalia? Which blogger cliché fits you?
  • By the way, I thought that was the funniest thing I have read on the Internet in ages. I almost choked on my cup of tea laughing so much!
  • I am pleased Orbital have a new album out soon.
  • When my kitchen is finished and I have my new oven, I cant wait to do some baking. I really want to make some bread. I have been wanting to try my hand at no-knead bread for years now, but I never got round to it!
  • Maybe some sour dough bread, but I don’t want to run before I can walk.
  • One of my Internet ambitions is to have my cat Poppy featured in Desire to Inspire‘s “Pets on furniture” feature. Does that make me a pushy pet owner equivalent of these ladies?

Put a Bird On It

Disclaimer – please don’t roll your eyes and think “not another bloody Portlandia/PABOI post, Helen’s a bit late to come to the party” etc. This post is really for the benefit of all the oldies in my family who read my blog to explain why we say PABOI (shout out to my Mum!)

A year or so ago the internets were ablaze with the words “put a bird on it” thanks to this sketch from the American TV show Portlandia which makes fun of hipster types.

This show is to blame for Rob and I uttering the phrase every time we see something bird themed, which is a lot when you start to notice it!  Also this clip from the show is why we call every free-range/organic/expensive chicken out there Colin!

Getting to the point of my blog post – I love the Eames designs (so does Ice T) and I would love one of their birds to put on a mantel like Anna from Door Sixteen.  Just so I could say “put a bird on it” every time I walked past it.

Photo by Anna Dorfman, Door Sixteen

Eames birds a a little on the pricey side though, so I was happy to spot this wooden copy in BHS for £10.  I snapped it up on a 20% off special shopping event promotion day too!

Our “put a bird on it” knick-knack!

Unfortunately I do not have a mantelpiece over the fire in our lounge, as we decided it would look better without one.  So my “put a bird on it” lives on the TV stand next to a plant, much to our pet cat Poppy’s annoyance.  Seriously, she has tried to hunt this wooden bird twice now, bless her!

The bird that torments Poppy!

Tuesday Tune

Pic from ‘Oh its the 90’s’ tumblr. Of course.

Ahh remember the 90’s? When you had to put a little effort into finding new bands and buying music? Namely staying up late to listen to certain radio shows and trying to catch the names of the artists in your poor quality headphones plugged into your huge stereo, and trying to tape songs without the DJ’s rabble over it. Or watching obscure latenight TV shows or rubbish ones like The Chart Show or TOTP’s on the off chance there would be someone half decent on the show. And then physically going in to town to a shop to hunt for CD’s they might not stock!

Kids today have it so easy discovering new music in comparison! If they hear a song they like, they can stick their mobile up in the air and it will tell them the name of the artist etc apparently. And then a few clicks later they can own it (or steal it) or they can read blogs and be told who is cool etc instead of looking out for and waiting for the music magazines and fanzines. No effort at all hey?

Yeah I have just made myself sound really old in this post! But I am glad that I grew up in that era. Music is one of my biggest passions in life. Sadly as a thirty something woman I do not have the time to dedicate as much of my life to it as before. I can no longer spend the hours in my bedroom listening to it and reading about it as before, nor do I spend the hours dancing to it in clubs like I used to!

These days all I can do is blog about music from time to time in a rambling, non eloquent way. I have been lucky to have had the radio on in the background in the office in my old job for years (radio1 – slightly better than HeartFM) Now in (one) of my new jobs we have 6music or our iTunes playing. I still go to gigs and festivals when the funds will allow, although boring adult stuff like moving house and a new bathroom has stopped me for the last two summers though – boo.

Anyway after that long ramble about me, myself and I, here is this weeks tuesday tune. The choice is still on my theme of female guitarists and is another all female band. Their guitarist is Gabby Glaser. I have started to read this book which was recommended on this blog. In the introduction it mentioned Luscious Jackson who I had not listened to for years.

Don’t hate me but since I got an iPod and went digital, I only got as far as loading up the B’s in my CD collection onto my computer before I got bored and gave up! Now I just add new downloads to my iTunes, or only burn any newly purchased CD’s onto my hard drive (if they are cheaper). Yep I still buy my music and support the artists.

I loved Luscious Jackson’s album when I was in college and only can remember meeting one other person who had heard of them. Now I have the benefit of time I am not so sure why I liked the so much, and they do sound a little dated (which also makes me feel old!) But they are part of my history and some of their lyrics had a message to them which I liked about them as a teen!

Trex Cookery Book

I mentioned previously that I like vintage cookery books. This is the latest addition to my collection, the 1966 Trex Cookery book. I won it from eBay for the small fee of £2.19 including postage, and I am quiet pleased with it as it is pretty good condition.

Now Trex is nasty stuff in my opinion, I also previously mentioned that I have made a buttercream icing with no butter but I did not explain how. Well watch this video to see how the professionals in the cake decorating game make their frosting’s and try not to gag.

Proper retro!

In its defence it does make a pure white buttercream which you cannot get when making it with real butter or margarine and does not lose its shape or melt in the heat. You supposedly would not know what its made from because it has added butter flavouring. But surely your arteries would let you know you have eaten it at some point! Have I put you off buying any cupcakes from the supermarkets etc yet?

From my new book I learnt that in the sixties brownies did not seem to involve any chocolate and were classed as a biscuit. I think when my kitchen is finished and I have an oven again I am going to make these as an experiment in the name of food history! Rob can be my guinea pig!

Brownies but not as we know them! Excuse the shadow in this shot.


The Ultimate Classic Cookbook?

I love cookbooks, I own too many to be honest. But cooking and especially baking is one of my favourite pastimes, so I don’t feel too guilty if I accumulate more in my collection. They are for educational purposes OK.

In recent times I have started to pick up a few vintage cookbooks off eBay and from charity shops. I just love them! I find some of the recipes hilarious! Lots of lard, cottage cheese and spam! It can also be nostalgic for me, as some recipes can put me in mind of my grandparents food and what I ate growing up in the 80’s.

You know how the Silver Spoon claims it is the book that is in every Italian household, and it has been used for generations, and that I Know How To Cook claims to be France’s very own cookery bible? So I though hang on – just what is Britain’s much loved cookery book? A classic that mothers pass on to their children etc? Well I believe I can say it is the Dairy Book of Home Cookery as shown below (closely followed by Delia’s Complete Cookery Course.)

Picture from The 1978 revised version my mum owns.

Both my Mum and Rob’s mum own a well thumbed and stained copy of this book, they both bought or were gifted the book from someone who bought the book from their milkman, when they first got married, and it is still pretty much the only cook book that they both use regularly. This has a baking section that is pretty much of the equal eggs, butter and sugar formula throughout – proper old school! But lets face it as much as you try, you still cannot make a better Victoria sponge cake than your mum!

I found a modern reprinted version of the 90’s revised edition of this book in my local bargain book store for £3.99 and I bought it straight away. Because neither my mum or MIL will part with their books. I guess I am going to have to prize it from their cold dead hands! (Only joking mum!)

What is not to love about a book with a chapter on offal, and includes liver and marrow recipes? What modern cookery book can offer that? It has classic recipes such as cheese and peanut sandwich, chicken liver stir fry, party gammon, kidney turbigo and a carrot cake made from banana’s (which was yummy BTW). I kid you not!

buttered banana plaice anyone?

If you come across a copy of this book I urge you to snap it up. Cos yer mumma ain’t gonna part with hers!

erm yummers……a bacon and banana or  a stilton and banana sarnie anyone?