Archive for April, 2010

Just Keep Knitting

Apologies for the lack of knitting at the moment (maybe I’m more apologizing to myself). I am knitting, I promise! I just haven’t managed to finish anything yet. But I thought I’d let you know that I haven’t forgotten about it, and hopefully in a week or two I’ll have something finished to show you. In the meantime, here’s an insight to my knitting routine at the moment. Watching Gossip Girl with a cup of tea and a biscuit and my knitting. I’m only admitting this to you, no one else. At least I wasn’t in my jammies today!

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Great British Classics

I’ve lived in the UK for almost a decade now (yipes!) and there are still some classic British meals whose appeal alludes me. While there are pies (apple, rhubarb, fish and best of all steak) that I love, and teas that I will never be able to wean myself off and promotional campaigns that I’m thinking of starting regarding the consumption of haggis, there are one or two things that I just don’t get. It’s not that I’m repulsed by these things, it’s just that I’m not bothered one way or the other.

Apple crumble is one of those things. Yes I like apples and I would eat some apple crumble if someone very kindly made me some, however, if I’m going to go to the effort of making something with apples I’m going to make a pie every time.

Recently though, I came home to an untouched fruit bowl, heavily featuring yummy apples which are starting to look a little sad. Perfect timing for an baking intervention. I feel bad sometimes that I only ever cook what I like so for once I set about trying to create crumble with my leftovers for my English boy at home.

I took note of a recipe from April’s Olive magazine and the apple crumble recipe from the Restaurant Canteen. My apples were Pink Ladies rather than cooking apples though. And so as not to send the consumer into a diabetic coma I left out the 175g of golden caster sugar to take the edge off the Bramley apples. Everything else I left the exact same.

After removing it from the oven, I realized removing the extra sugar have a knock on effect of keeping the crumble a little dry but once you pour on some double cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream it was absolutely irresistible! I would definitely make it again, and probably with the Pink Ladies, because by using the sweeter apples you can remove the sugar and lower the calorie count. And as it’s coming up to Summer strip off days, this household needs to be on the lookout for cut backs!

If you don’t have a crumble recipe or April’s Olive, this Good Food Recipe looks delicious too!

Don’t Go Changin’

I have alot of inherited objects around my apartment. I think this is natural as I change from a student renter to a professional home owner. These things have mostly been donated by family and friends of family and I’m extremely grateful for their help in setting me up in those initial years away from home, it’s just that some things just aren’t me. But it’s not that there is anything wrong with them so I can’t bring myself to through them out. One of the things that has irked me most has been a blue cast iron trivet that sits on my kitchen counter beside the stove. It’s really useful but aged, and a bit ugly really due to its condition.

So I resolved to change it into a loved thing. I like the pattern and think it could be really cute if it was just shown a lick of metal paint. I had envisioned it a lovely pastel blue or green but apparently the metal paint manufacturers are of limited imagination and so you can only get in it dark dreary colours. I had to settle for a (slightly) chirpy spring green. So I scrubbed my sad old trivet with steel wool and set about giving it three coats of metal paint. And now I’m the owner of a much more respectable and happy trivet which I would not be ashamed to place on the dining table. However I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for those elusive pastel paints!

The Ultimate Pudding

I was a guest at a dinner the New Year where I had this cake served to me. I’m not generally a fan of baked cheesecakes as I find them bland after a few mouthfuls but this is an exception. This Sticky Toffee Cheesecake is one of my ultimate desserts, you know the kind of absolutely sinful cakes that you would love to eat all yourself if you were in a world without consequences. But that would be if you managed to steal it away from everyone else because this cake is a big winner with friends and family. So in order to preserve my waistline I can gift slices and improve my karma instead!

The cake is very simple to make, although I didn’t follow the recipe completely. I doubled the amount of shortbread recommended (8 biscuits is very measily) and had to add another 20 minutes to the baking time. But otherwise it turned out perfectly.

Planes (or not), Trains and Automobiles

I’m finally home! And it certainly was an adventure getting back but it was an experience. Five countries in four hectic days. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. And the bad news is that it cost me so much trying to get home over land that I’m unexpectedly very low on funds and therefore some crafting cutbacks will have to be made. Hopefully I can find enough odds and ends of projects around the flat to keep me busy though until I’m out of the red. Fingers crossed. My thoughts are with all those who managed to claw their way back home and those still waiting. Not long now I hope.

Above is a picture taken from our rickety sleeper train window looking out into Spain and the Pyrenees Mountains. Probably the only blissful second in the whole journey home. Glad I can share it though.

Porto in Review

I’m still here (and may be for sometime if all the airports remain shut, but thats another rant) and I’ve been on a mission to explore nothern Portugal. The past two weeks have been great fun, but now it’s really time to be moving on (preferably home!)

But here are some photos of typical Porto and the main things that have struck me. I’ve really enjoyed spending time here and its nothing like Spain or southern Portugal. Firstly the area is suffering financially. It was a large industrial hub but as time has moved on so have the industries. Therefore alot of areas have a feeling of abandonment. But even with that, the people are lovely and only too eager to help.

Ceramics play a huge part in their built environment. As the country bounds the Atlantic, they get battered with huge amounts of rain and waterproofing their built environment is of great importance. They clad their building envelopes with beautiful, decorative ceramic tiles. Therefore there is a big craft based industry and it is fascinating to compare all the different facades.

I have a real soft spot for manifestations of the 20th Century. In the UK we have a severe lack of anything reminders of the era. But due to Portugal’s lack of involvement in Wars, and bombings, and their poor economy these buildings and signs are everywhere and I love it! Enjoy these examples of signage and shopfronts.

Ironmongery is another notable thing. The most beautiful of all are the ‘hand’ knockers. I’m sure there must be symbology involved. They are stunning and I would love to buy one to take home.

Leca Swimming Pools

I managed to get in a visit to Alvaro Siza’s Leca Swimming Pools in Leixoes this weekend and aren’t they grand? I don’t have much knowledge or experience of Siza but I now want to know and see more.

The swimming pools were built in 1966 (at the same time as the Boa Nova Tea House which is just a few more metres up the coast) and it would make for a great case study or precedent for any architecture student. The building delicately sits in the landscape and comprises of a serious of sunken planes to make changing rooms and a cafe. You enter by decending a ramp, at this point the landscape is hidden from you and all you can hear is the Atlantic. You then enter the changing cubicule and leave through a door on the opposite site of the entry door and everything is revealed. Breath-taking.


About Knit1Slip1

Knit1Slip1 is the creation of Emma and documents all kinds of crafting and arty adventures. From knitting and sewing to DIY and design. Anything that strikes Emma's fancy really. Stay and have a look around. Enjoy free tutorials and browse through past adventures

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