for any stateside friends: the extremely cool and fun (I imagine, based purely on my own assessment of variousinterviews with them, as well as their label, blog, and now personal effects) ladies of Vena Cava are having a virtual garage sale*. Good news also, I suppose, for those of us over here in the Antipodes: I'm pretty sure we can't participate. Bad news for our bookshelves who would benefit greatly from the additions of 'Bad Dates', 'Balls' and 'Disgraced', but good news for our wallets in any case.
*what ever happened to 'virtual'? It was a really good and apt term for all this online stuff.
I'm in bed because I am sick. It is my Ma's birthday today, and last night my sisters came over to make a cake for her. But something went a bit wrong and I'm thinking about re-making it. Then I can eat the cake that went wierd.
I love this lookbook from lingerie label The Lake & Stars. I love the model's red hair, the forest setting and the cut-outs, back details, and flashes of chartreuse in the clothes. And I would like one of those zig zag body suits in the last picture.
Sorry to tirade you with posts about my life which only Lou will care about BUT look at this photo of my family's new kitten. His name is Chip! I wanted to call him Rudy but my sisters said no. This photo was taken around the time that he had the, err, snip? Apparently he wept a single tear, but afterwards was fine. Anyway, justLOOK AT HIS LITTLE FACE.
Our wonderful friend Bart has a car called Hohepa, and someone in Wellington pinched it. You may recall past blog posts about an amazing trip up north to a friend's house in the bush? Well, its Bart's house, and its his car, and it is full of things which are really important to him. Bart is actively hunting for Hohepa - he's been in the newspaper,all over facebook, and will be on the news tonight. If you see Hohepa, call the Wellington Police on 043812000 immediately!
Okay, Lou. This is a soup which my flat and I have made a few times now. It's based on a Nigel Slater recipe from Tender (surprise!)and is the perfect accompaniment for rainy nights spent watching the Wesley Snipes episodes of 30 Rock. I don't know if this qualifies as being "healthy" but it is totally vegetarian and requires the most mundane of ingredients (although I don't consider cauliflower and cabbage to be mundane at all).
So you get a head of cauliflower, chop it into wee florets and pop it in a pot with about 750mls of boiling water. Salt the water a bit, too. You want the cauliflower to get nice and soft (soft enough for a stick blender to decimate it). You could also add some slices of cabbage, which I enjoy because I think cabbage looks pretty while being boiled, kind of like the ghost of vegetables past.
While the veges are boiling away, chop up whatever onion-y things you feel like adding. As we are slaves to our vege-box, I tend to use whatever is in there, whether it be leeks, shallots, onions or garlic. I trust that you will trust your own tastes enough to figure out quantities. Pop them in a heavy bottomed, deep pot which has some butter and olive oil fizzing gently inside. Cook them til they are nice and translucent. Add a bay leaf or two at some point.
Once the cauliflower and onions are cooked to your liking, pour the cauliflower and its water into the onion mix. Bring to the boil, then cover, and simmer gently for about 15-20 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves, and get a stick blender out (or a masher...friends left their stick blender at our house after a dinner party so I can now attest to the blender working better)and gently puree the soup until it is a texture that appeals to you. I like to leave it a little chunky.
Now you get to pour in some cream and some grated cheese. I use Parmesan because it works well with the nutty flavours of the cauliflower. Nigel Slater would suggest a "hardy British cheddar". You could also add a spoonful of french mustard. Season it with salt and pepper, perhaps some nutmeg if you're so inclined, and some fresh herbs.
Serve the soup with some toasted crusty bread which has been lovingly slathered in butter.
Madewell has an online shop now! Lou - this spells trouble. They don't ship to NZ or Australia yet but there are certainly ways around that. I suspect that this development will be key to solving the mystery of where can I find 70s style flared jeans that aren't a bit wierd? Photos are from refinery 29's profile on Madwell's Gigi Guerra, who I officially think is pretty and cool and probably would be really nice in real life.
Here's a soup that I made for dinner the other night. It's hearty and comforting and I know that you will like it Han. It probably isn't something you'll want to make for at least 4-5 months if you're in the Northern hemisphere, however.
Leek, potato and fennel soup (adapted from regular leek and potato soup, which I don't have a recipe for because it's just one of those things you know how to make, isn't it?) Serves 4-6 or less with leftovers.
Ingredients 2 tablespoons butter 2 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only) 2 cups sliced fennel bulb (or whole bulb for more pronounced fennel flavour) 4 cups stock (chicken or vege) - I used about a cup of some frozen homemade chicken stock*, and then a few cups of hot water with powdered vege stock but of those tetra packs of stock from the supermarket would probably be perfect. 4 cups chopped red-skinned potatoes - I don't peel them but if you don't like the skins you can some tarragon (optional) - however much you want really, I threw a small handful in as an afterthought salt and pepper for seasoning
Method 1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add leek and fennel and sauté until leeks are translucent. 2. Add stock, tarragon (if you have any) and potatoes and bring to boil. Simmer on medium-low heat until potatoes are nice and tender. 3. Remove pot from heat and using a stick blender, purée soup in pot, or alternatively in batches in blender. If using a blender, return to pot and rewarm if necessary. I usually leave a few chunks of potato... 4. Season with salt and pepper. Ladel into bowls and garnish with reserved fennel leaves, yoghurt, or sharp cheese like pecorino or parmesan.
You're welcome. *it wasn't technically stock, but excess juices from a while ago when I made this roast chicken The picture's from bookshelf porn. It has nothing to do with this soup except that it could be a nice place to eat it.
Lou, that was inspired. I concur with all and would like to add:
1. Letting fruit rot away in bowls and doing nothing to stop it 2. Sausage roll for breakfast, pie for lunch 3. Eating a whole wedge of cheese at once, no crackers 4. Smelly socks 5. Picking at chipped nailpolish 6. Using up all my flat's bandwidth by watching the new 10 Things I Hate About You tv series which is for tweens anyway 7. Spending all my money when I'm drunk 8. Wearing shoes without heel caps
Ruby has just released their Summer 2010 look book, Bedrock. It makes me think of Elaine Robinson, or The Beatles video of "Another Girl" from Help. This is exactly what I want to wear in summer (indeed, what I want to wear right now). The collection also brings to mind early sixties beach party movies where everyone does the mashed potato in bikinis while The Monkees or Beach Boys or Wonders (not the on-e-dors) perform in sailor outfits. I tried to find pictures of this but it was suprisingly difficult.
I know that I often wax lyrical about Ruby. It's mostly because I think that with each new collection they have become more ambitious, while still remaining within the realm of affordability, which is a very important realm.
The last twenty four hours have been inspiring and incredibly moving. Now I feel (to quote Mr Emerson, my current hero from fiction) like I'm in a muddle. A very good one, though. The bottom image is from "Telematic Dreaming", a truly beautiful artwork and concept which has captivated me for years. The other is of the CAVE, a similarly fascinating art-invention. Furthermore, you should listen to Phoenix covering "Playground Love" on NPR's tiny desk concerts today. My word of the day is "winsome".
We found ourselves, along with about 60 others, in what seemed to be a dark clearing with a smokey haze hanging in the air. As our eyes adjusted, chairs became visible, clustered into groups of three, and low tables tables holding lanterns and tealights. To one side, a makeshift bar manned by a figure in a tuxedo filling a collection of glasses and jam jars. Across from the bar, a table piled high with shaved ice and oysters, floral linen napkins to accompany them. We ate three oysters and took a jar of gin, perched on one of the tables, we wondered when it would start, how would we know where to go, where to look, and then a stranger in a flannel shirt took my arm and asked us to follow her. She led us down a path marked with fairy lights and candles, past tents lit from within, and pulled back a curtain. We sat, just two of us, on chairs in this small space, while a beautiful girl with a big smile and false eyelashes performed a traditional Korean dance under a canopy of branches and twigs. She was done in only a few minutes, and we followed the sound of music and voices back to the clearing again, took another drink, and waited paitently for another flanneled guide.
I was led by myself to a van and asked to pick a number between one and four, three people danced in their seats beside me, staring straight ahead with blank faces, though they laughed at the end and thanked me for my solo applause. I was welcomed with a stranger into a large tent by two care bears, they danced and hugged and took off their clothes, the stranger and I laughed nervously and left quickly. I went alone into a small tent, I had to crawl to get in, and once comfortable I put on headphones and pressed play, and the screen in front of me lit up with a silly dance, in a park at night, ending with a soft serve ice cream.
Between each of these private shows, we were ushered back to the clearing, the sound from each tent and curtained space mingling with people's excited reviews. There's a gorilla, you have to see it. He dances with one of you while another watches in secret. A rocking horse, naked boobs, a red hood, and lots of short films. Hors d'oeurves were carried through the waiting crowd, spoons full of gnocchi in vanilla cream with truffle oil, quail eggs baked with green beans and 'african yoghurt cheese', while our jam jars were topped up with gin, fizz, and just a hint of passionfruit. On a cushion next to an older man a classical Indian dancer dabbed my forhead with red, her ankles weighed down with bells creating music with every movement. Bec and I were taken together to a red tent where a man with facial piercings and a naked torso bent and stretched, contorting himself until he was difficult to recognise as human. He sweated a lot.
Later, a little drunk, I sat with two women in the entry way of another large tent while behind the screen door a strobe flashed and a dancer shook against the walls, her movements swinging the light hanging from the ceiling and the smell of mint surrounding us.
Private Dances was a part of the Next Wave festival, it finished last night and all the shows were sold out. It was such an incredible experience, I would really strongly recommend keeping an eye out for anything else thought up by Natalie Cursio in the future. I'll also try to write more about Next Wave because there is so much happening that looks amazing, and a lot of it's free too.
I JUST WANT IT TO BE PAYDAY SO I CAN PICK UP MY BOOTS. ONCE I HAVE THESE BOOTS EVERYTHING WILL FALL INTO PLACE. THESE BOOTS WILL IMPROVE MY QUALITY OF LIFE. I WILL LOOK AFTER THE BOOTS WITH PROTECTOR SPRAY AND GET THEM RE-SOLED AND REPLACE THE HEEL CAPS AT THE SLIGHTEST SIGN OF WEAR. I WILL AVOID WEARING THEM IN THE RAIN. THIS TIME, THINGS WILL BE DIFFERENT.
ONCE I HAVE THE BOOTS I WILL START READING MODERN CLASSIC FICTION AGAIN AND WILL ATTEND MORE PLAYS AND CONCERTS. I WILL PURCHASE TICKETS TO MOVIES IN FILM FESTIVALS AND WILL START WATCHING "THE WIRE". I WILL INVITE PEOPLE OVER FOR DINNER AND WILL CLEAN THE BATHROOM MORE REGULARLY. I WILL UP MY STUDENT LOAN REPAYMENTS AND START THINKING "BIG PICTURE". I'M SORRY I'M SO SHALLOW.
I love looking at sketches and working drawings. I was given an amazing book of Klimt's drawings and water colours a few years ago which is full of beautiful things. And saucy things, too, because the sketches weren't really for sale, so he could draw what he liked. The top ones are by Scheile and the bottom ones are Klimt's.