24 June 2011

eating in...beans plus some very lovely gifts

last week my friend C came round for our usual beans but this time we splashed out on eggy bread rather than just toast, and very nice it was too. i don't know why we tend to only eat beans when we go round to each others' houses for tea but we do and we like it.

anyway, the most exciting bit about the evening outside of catching up with C on system thinking, big society, work, showing off my vintage finds from my last trip to america (another outstanding post) and a tour around the garden, was that C brought me some delightful gifts that she'd picked up while rummaging around in charity shops and flea markets (i'm guessing). she gave me a lovely pink slip, a small leather purse/bag with a strap (it also has a loop on the back so would work on a belt too, if you were that way inclined), a small fabric bag with touchy-feely green velvet lining and a lipstick (a new one!).

23 June 2011

eating out...eat! 2011

this year's eat! festival could not have come at a worse time for me as this is the week i've managed to develop heartburn and very painful it is too.

anyway, eat! is newcastle's 'festival of adventures in food' and is fab for someone like me who loves food. this last weekend was the opening weekend and featured tasting markets, cooking schools and demos, several mini festivals - chocolate, chilli and beer, wine, whiskey, walking tours, and a street food market...all happening when i'm feeling rubbish and sorry for myself and trying to be careful about what i eat (woe is me, etc, etc).

i did get out on sunday with my friends, their older son and their three-week old baby (who is having her very own festival of breast milk just now) to the famous street-food festival, which brought together some of the best speciality local restaurants - barn asia and bangkok cafe for south east asian, paradiso for morrocan, the feathers inn and settle down cafe for british food, sachins for indian, heavenly manna for caribbean and south african and gospoda for polish. sorry the photos are a bit ropey but it was very overcast for a june day.

it all worked by buying five tokens for £10 (i love the typography and simplicity of the token design) from the box office and then choosing from lots of dishes from each stall. i gorged myself on a fabulous fresh, zesty chicken curry and rice from barn asia; salt cod stew from heavenly manna; lamb meatballs and couscous from paradiso; vanilla ice cream and strawberry sauce from the feathers inn; and, a coffee cream dessert again from barn asia. it was all delicious and perfect for me as i love to try different things and so am rubbish at choosing what to order from a menu, as my friends can testify.

eat! continues with artisan house parties, 15 hush-hush paladares, found food events to help get a free lunch, eat-a-long movies and cakebook north, cakes made in the shape of north east and yorkshire pieces of heritage and displayed on a giant map.

21 June 2011

out in the garden...when caterpillars attack

imagine my horror when, on a tour around the estate (aka my small back garden) this morning, i noticed that my beautiful cabbage with its purple-red veined leaves often sparkling with jewels of water droplets had some visitors...

i didn't especially fancy touching them so i used the funny little plastic foot i found to kick them off (i knew it would come in useful one day) and counted 15 of the black and yellow hairy little buggers!

once i had a saucer full of caterpillars i was a bit of a loss of what to do next so left it in the middle of the lawn to let them do their own thing...bon voyage! adios! i hope it's a one way trip!