Friday, October 15, 2010

I spent a virtuous hour or so yesterday cleaning out a shelf of what might be called my larder. The shelf is deep and awkwardly shaped, and the cupboard is awkward to get at, so a certain number of impulse buys tend to congregate at the back until they are past their sell-by dates. The glow of virtue when the job is done doesn’t entirely make up for the fact that nothing much else got done yesterday morning.

That's the "after" picture, perhaps I should add. The tins of Green Giant corn are my snack-of-desperation, when I can stand the pangs of hunger no longer. Today I’ll have to do the upper shelf.

The Amedro shawl trots on. No more disasters. I’ve started the sixth pattern repeat and – major event – turned another page in Amedro’s book.

Phyllis, I am intrigued at what you say about knitting-back-backwards. I’m sure I’ve tried and failed – or at least, not enjoyed it. But I never before heard it compared to tinking, which of course I do all the time (and rather enjoy). I do turn the work around when the tinking gets tough, as when a K2tog has to be undone. Is there a good on-line source? (Jean, try Google.) It seems silly to buy a whole entrelac book just for that.


Alltangledup, I envy you those chillies. Where are you? They would be impossible here.

Alexander is a serious cook, and he used to have his brother James bring specified dried chillies back from China. Not only would Alexander cook with them, he also planted the seeds, with great success. That was when he lived in London and had a little conservatory on the back of his house near Clapham Common. No chillies on Loch Fyne.

WoollyBits, I am sure you have made a fundamental point about the history of vegetable-growing when you say that there is usually a good reason why some vegetables are grown and others not. Good King Henry, I understand, went out as a cottage garden plant when true spinach (delicious!) came in.

I grew it when I first started my current vegetable plot, ten or twelve years ago. I had so little success with making it palatable that I dug it all up. Then a couple of years ago I bought another plant from a nice herb-growing woman at the Blairgowrie Farmers’ Market (in the Wellmeadow, 4th Saturday of every month). I’ve divided it twice now, in successive springs. Maybe next year, as well as the planned soup and omelette, I’ll try adding a few leaves to a dish of perpetual spinach.

And, Woollybits, I like that skull. I think I’d better seek out that pattern from Lion Brand and earmark it for the little boys on Loch Fyne next year. (They will still be the “little boys” in our family when they are 23 and 21.)

There’s a problem, which I’m cross about. Yesterday I was trying to print a recipe and got a silly message telling me to take both ink cartridges out of the printer and put them back again. In my exasperation, I snapped off a piece of plastic from the black ink holder. Am I going to have to buy a whole new printer – as I had to get a whole new food processor when I snapped the little plastic lip off the bowl? I’ll try super glue first.


  1. I don't know about in Scotland, but here in Canada you can buy a new printer for not much more than the cost of a new ink cartridge. Hopefully you can find a good deal, but I am not sure that will make up for the annoyance factor of having to make what would have otherwise been an unnecessary purchase.

  2. my father grows kale and other greens all winter long (in So. California where it never freezes)- what I envy him so much is the fig tree. When I was a child he planted a fig tree- the kind that gives huge purple figs (nothing like the kind you see at the store- I am talking huge and squishy) which grow like gangbusters. Every year my family gives figs away to the whole neighborhood, my mom makes jam and little pies and its fig central. In the summer I long for those figs... but my dad told me that they only grow well in mild climates- thus the searing heat of south Texas would not work.

    However, I have neighbors that grow chilis in pots. They grow wonderfully here- so I guess perhaps the searing heat does work for some things :) (Even though it is late fall it is still in the mid 80s F here...)

  3. What is up with these new plastic lips everywhere - they are a joke and an expensive one for that. My fairly new oven must now be opened with a knife, or I have to pay 150 pounds for the repair. (Yes it is so cleverly attached that they have to open the whole front of the oven.) My radio had the plastic lip suddenly come loose so it cannot be battery operated anymore. They are everywhere, on every item and without them the oven, radio, computer, hover etc. will not work. I want the name of the inventor of this hellish thing.