Friday, June 17, 2011

Another good day on the Aran sweater front. I like the way the whole thing is looking. I should get the second sleeve started this weekend, if all goes well.


Mary Lou, it’s not me – it’s my wonderful commentators.

Billi-Jean, please start blogging again.

I’ve got a Kilner jar ready to incarcerate the asafoetida when it arrives. Perhaps it is not coincidence that the word “foetid” is contained therein. I am now thoroughly intrigued.

Roobeedoo, I like the sound of those potato wedges, and will remember. Any particular sort of potato?

I found what sounds like a Moro-esque Good King Henry recipe at – GKH, dandelions, sorrel, mustard greens sweated together for a while before spinach is added, then balsamic vinegar. But I think we want young dandelions; it may be too late to try that one in 2011.

I made my little contribution to all this yesterday by buying fresh packets of the other, ordinary spices I’m going to need (besides hing and amchur). I’ve almost certainly got them in the kitchen in Strathardle, and if so they are very certainly elderly. This is the moment to start fresh.

Contemporary affairs

Greek Helen and her family used to have a wonderful house on Mt. Pelion. They got to the point in life when they felt they had taken on too much debt, and so sold it. Their distress was so great, and the locals so sorry to see them go, that they were directed to a ruin, not far away, the Blue House.

They bought it. This time, the idea was to evict the rats and repair the roof and then camp there until more could be afforded. That’s what has happened, and it’s coming along nicely. They were there last weekend.

I hope the Aran sweater will be big enough for Fergus, here standing on the half-landing above the rest of his family.

In the Before picture, I thought I detected graffiti with the repeated Greek word for Citizens! And the date, 1940. And there seems to be a pink stain in the modern picture, as if the graffiti have been retained. I vaguely feel that the Bad Guys, during the war -- the Italians first, then the Germans -- didn't have firm control of the mountain tops.

Alas for romance! I am told that the words mean, essentially, For Sale, and that the number is a telephone number. And the builders didn't bother to remove it.

Helen said, in an email yesterday, without further comment: “It feels very odd being in Greece at the moment. The sky is falling in.”


  1. That cable up the front is magnificent!
    Yes, not sure about Greece right now - but would love to visit it. Surely it still has enormous potential?

  2. AnnaLivia11:04 AM

    Hing/Heeng/Asafoetida can be lovely- but one piece of advice I have gotten with regard to its general pong (if you will) is that it always should be added to the hot fat at the beginning of the cooking process, as the resins are soluable in the lipids. There, I am told, occurs a lovely chemical reaction that transforms it into something tasty.

    The other piece of advice I have gotten is that you will need a heavy mortar and pestle if you procure the resin rather than the powered version.

  3. I had a laugh when I heard the news the other day about official Greek complaints re. a monument of Alexander the Great the Macedonians have erected. The sky is falling in and they are worried about a statue?

  4. I must say that I have wondered about Helen and her family these last few weeks. We are in Italy as you may remember and they are sailing merrily down the same road as Greece. I feel it is a bit like the Titanic. While I do think Italy is a bit more solvent than Greece ... that is like saying that our side of the ship seems to be sinking more slowly.LOL

  5. The Aran sweater looks beautiful. Almost too nice to let a young boy wear!

    Just like commenter Meg above me I have wondered about Greek Helen and her family over the past month or so. I fear the only end possible is for Greece to default. Who knows what that will look like on the other side. Hopefully they are prepared for such a circumstance.