Month: July 2006 (page 1 of 9)

MenKnit Nice! Their tone is a little strident – and they definitely have some issues with Debbie Stoller – but I can’t fault what they’re trying to do. Whenever I get some guy scoffing as his girlfriend buys wool, I always bust out the “knitting used to be a manly art” history. (Mental note: Link to this in the next TC newsletter.)

I Made This

I Made This
I was at last able to pick up the Snook’s super-secret birthday surprise tonight – two beer mugs that I made him in my Ceramics class! (He didn’t mind that they were late; I couldn’t get them out of the kiln any sooner.) I had a lot of help from my tutor Peter. They have extruded handles and I finished them with a hand-painted pewter glaze. They turned out pretty much exactly as I’d hoped. They’re pleasantly heavy without being too chunky; they’re slightly wonky and obviously handmade; they look rather medieval and masculine. The photo makes the one on the left look chipped, but that’s actually water from where I’d just rinsed them out. Snookums only had them out of the wrapper for about two seconds before he’d filled the big one with beer!

And yes, that is a football-sized ball of Silk Garden. I pulled my cardigan apart. It’s a long story.

Beer mugs Cheers! Chicken Pot Pie

That last picture is my dinner creation for tonight – Chicken Pot Pie. Yes, I decorated it with a bird made from puff pastry. It was delicious! Read on for the recipe.Okay, this is just a slightly-modified version of the Chicken Pot Pie recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens New American Cookbook, which is my all-time number-one go-to cookbook for just about everything.

First, you’re gonna need some cooked chicken. (The recipe calls for three cups.) You can either pull it off a roast chicken, or you can poach your own. Poaching’s pretty easy so I go with that. Just whack a couple breasts in a skillet and fill it with water. Cover and simmer until they’re cooked through. Sometimes if they’re really thick I cut them in half so they cook faster in the middle. Once they’re done, fish out the chicken and set it aside to cool.

Now get out a pot and fry up a chopped onion in a quarter-cup of butter. (Mmmm.) When the onion is soft, you’re going to dump in one-third of a cup of all-purpose flour, half a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of dried thyme, and a good grind of pepper. Stir it around a bit so the flour soaks up the butter and cooks a little. (This is what makes the sauce thick.) Now you’re going to dump in two cups of chicken stock and three-quarters of a cup of milk. Stir it around and cook until thickened and bubbly. Now throw in your vegetables. Tonight I felt like using a lot so I put in carrots, potatoes, peas, broccoli, and green beans. While that’s cooking, go back to your now-cool chicken and tear it up into chunks. Add that to the pot. You’re nearly done!

All you have to do now is pour your mixture (basically a thick chicken stew) into a big Pyrex baking dish (or you can be fancy and put it in little individual dishes). Cover it up with some puff pastry (buy it frozen but let it thaw first) and cut a few slits to let the steam escape. If you’ve got some left over, you can go nuts with the decoration (a la my bird). Pop the whole thing in the oven on a fairly high heat (at least 180C if not more) and let it bake for 15 minutes or so, basically until the pastry goes flaky and golden. Pull out and eat!

Knit and Quit

The Knit and Quit juggernaut continues… I just did an interview for ABC Radio. She’s supposed to let me know before it goes to air.


The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach… so starve your mate!

Howard’s Running Again

Hooray! John Howard’s going to run for Prime Minister again! And here I was worried I wouldn’t get a chance to help vote the bastard out…

Folklore of Australia

Folklore of Australia. There’s some really weird stuff in there…

More Knit and Quit

Learn to knit and cast off smokingThe Sunday Sun-Herald is out and here I am in my second newspaper appearance of the week. This one is much better. The picture’s nice (though I admit it was a totally fake laugh moment) and the article is actually informative and accurate. I think we may actually get some more sign-ups out of this!

Later: Holy crap! I just checked the e-mail and there are, like, ten people wanting to sign up!

Happy 30th, Snookums

Happy 30th birthday to my best friend…

Happy Birthday, Snookums

Friday night was the first part of the celebration, with friends gathering at Una’s for copious amounts of beer and deep-fried camembert. After spending most of Saturday in recovery mode, we went out last night for the dignified portion of the festivities with dinner at Oscillate Wildly. I’d been eager to get a table there ever since Augustus Gloop’s favorable review, so I made the booking nearly a month in advance. (It was one of the last available though, so call early if you plan to go!) We were not disappointed. Snookums started with the “charcuterie” (cold cut platter) with chorizo, prosciutto, duck paté, and duck terrine. I had the “boudin blanc,” which was a skinless “sausage” made from minced prawn and snapper mousse, served with white bean cassoulet. Both entrees were excellent in completely different ways; the boudin blanc was soft, mild, and subtle, but I nevertheless kept stealing bites of the terrine with its hint of fennel and pepper. We’d brought red wine so we went with red meat for the mains: fillet of beef for Rodd, and a “chartreuse” of lamb for me. The beef was a great piece of meat cooked perfectly, and my lamb (cooked for eight hours, shredded, and packed into a terrine lined with eggplant) was moist and savoury. For dessert, Snookums had the cheese board while I couldn’t resist the chocolate creme brulee with salty caramel popcorn. Overall I’d say Oscillate Wildly definitely lives up to the hype. Nothing was too inventive or “cheffy”; this was simply good food cooked well for shockingly little money (only $50/head for three courses). It’s probably the best feed we’ve ever had in Newtown.

Knit-In Pictures

Inner City Guild Members and Adam SpencerKnit-In 2006 Pictures
Here’s a tip: When you’re requesting a photo opportunity with a busy celebrity you’ve never met before, it’s probably best not to address them by the nickname you use for them in your head. Nevertheless, I spotted the shaved head coming our way and blurted out, “Hey, Spence! D’ya mind taking a picture with the ladies of the Inner City branch of the New South Wales Knitting Guild?” Thankfully, he was happy to oblige. So here’s Fiona, Adam, Christiane, and me (along with some non-members we were sitting with). Adam is holding my knitting, and as you can see below my casein needles kinda weirded him out. Then there’s a picture of Christiane giving a knitting lesson to Tony Eastley, respected journalist and heartthrob. Many an older lady at the Knit-In was green-eyed with jealousy at Christiane’s position. Lastly is a group photo of the Guild girls, including Vicki (and her friend whose name I can’t remember). Special thanks to Amy for taking these awesome shots, along with many more

Me and Spence Christiane and Tony Guild Members

Babies are great marketing.

Babies are great marketing. Now I just need to get one for my sister’s sprog that says “Read my Aunty’s blog.”