Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Even less time this morning – I have an early appt with a dental hygienist. We got the MOT all right, not without cost, and then I came home and applied for our tax disc from their wonderful website which is able to check for itself that the car is insured and MOT’d, all in an instant.

I am getting on fine with the first Aran sleeve, except that I wonder if I have calculated the increases correctly. I am increasing very fast, and don’t like the resulting shape (as I was afraid I wouldn’t). The sleeve is already about half its final length – the speed with which one whips around is delicious, after knitting the body. And I think, even wanting a fairly short sleeve, that there’s room to start again and slope it more gently. Also I’ve found a mistake.

Exotic cookery

The weed “Fat Hen” seems to be cooked all over the subcontinent, not just in Bangladesh. The word appears to be “bathua” in Hindi. There seems to be no doubt that that is indeed the weed – which appears to be an annual, unlike my Good King Henry. But the taste must be related, or so I hope.

I mean to try raita, which is at least a side dish so that people don’t have to eat it if it is disgusting, and if that is a success, move on to a potato dish. Both on this website. I will need to get in some heeng and some amchur. Mrs Hussein in my corner shop should be able to advise. (She is Edinburgh born and bred, but cooks Eastern. Her sons beg for macaroni cheese like the lunches they get at school.) And if not, I can order from somewhere in cyberspace. My hope is that spices will somehow combine with the bitterness of the leaves and lift them into another dimension.

I’d better go brush my teeth.


  1. Who was it who said that a weed is just a plant which grows where you do not want it to grow? (Is that really true of that terribly stick to you sort in our garden?)

  2. Fernie's Herbal Simples (1897) has this to say about Good King Henry:
    It bears small flowers of
    sepals only, and is grown by cottagers as a pot herb. The young
    shoots peeled and boiled may be eaten as asparagus, and are gently
    laxative. The leaves are often made into broth, being applied also
    externally by country folk to heal old ulcers; and the roots are given
    to sheep having a cough.

    Not sure how useful that will be, but I thought I'd pass it on ;)

    I also pulled out my copy of Mabey's Food for Free (in case you didn't have one, but it doesn't tell me anything you don't know) and got horribly sidetracked by all the local names Mabey gives for Fat Hen, which include Dirty Dick, Muck Hill Weed, Dung Weed and, rather incongruously, Confetti. Good King Henry on the other hand, if Mabey is to be believed, is universally known by that name alone.

  3. If you aren't happy with the sleeve, or if you think the judges won't be happy with your sleeve, then you should probably start over. But one thing to take into consideration is often the sleeves of children's sweaters have all the increases placed right after the ribbing. It seems to be acceptable for children's sleeves to have more of a ballooning than adult sleeves. Maybe this is because it is assumed children will need more room since they are more active??

  4. Ahh the dentist. I went to the dentist today so they could do a filling. They could not get me numb (I have nerve issues in my jaw) and after multiple injects he started to drill. I yowled and more injections. Even with all the anesthetic I could still feel him working on it although it did not hurt as bad. The numb hasn't worn off and already one half of my face is sore (from all the needles). Here's to wishing you a much better dentist visit.