Sunday, April 29, 2007

More about food

Today's post is quickie one about (surprise, surprise) food again.

For Polly, Achar Awak is a Nyonya dish, a Straits Chinese recipe. There are 3 variations of Nyonya cooking - Penang (which is influenced in part by Thailand), Malacca and Singapore (which are influenced in part by Indonesia). Achar Awak is a mixed vegetable pickle. The blended spice mixture of onions, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, galangal, chilli and tumeric is fried on low heat until fragrant. Then blanch some vegetables (carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, long beans) in water with vinegar and sugar. Mix the vegetables in the spice mixture with more sugar and vinegar. Stick them in bottles. Roast and pound peanuts and sesame seeds for sprinkling on the pickle when ready to eat. Here's what we had to eat last night - stir fried vegetables, chicken curry and achar. Yum!

I've also managed to finish some of my knitting projects. And just in time for SAM3. These are my first toe up socks. I made them for my little girl (although she hates the socks, she loves the yarn especially all that pink!). I used the generic toe up sock pattern from The yarn is Lana Grossa Meilenwet. I didn't even try to make them matching but they just turned up that way. I am really getting the hang of sock knitting. I'm going to have to try more complicated patterns.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Food cravings

There are tons of things about being pregnant that I've forgotten.

Tiredness - I don't remember ever being so tired. I'm pretty sure it's because I 'm running around after 2 kids already and I am getting older.
Being an emotional mess - I'm currently overreacting to everything.
Having an independent, moving entity in your tummy - pressing on the bladder (ugh!), dancing at 3 am, having what feels like hiccups.....
Feeling uncomfortable, having chronic backache, eating constantly (this one I'm not complaining about!), the list goes on...(some of it too yucky to mention)

One thing I can mention is that, I am having some food cravings, specifically spicy Malaysian food. They are kinda difficult to come by in London. Luckily, there is one pretty good Malaysian restaurant which I love and we went last week. That was good. I also had a real craving for achar ( spicy pickled vegetables) but I wasn't sure how to make it. I remember my grandmother making huge vats of the stuff for Chinese New Year and parties. A long distance call to my Mum and 10 minutes later. I have a recipe. One afternoon of chopping and cooking later, I have 2 huge jars of achar. Hurray!! And they taste so good, if a bit spicy ( I think too much chilli powder went in!) Actually, it would have taken half the time if the kids didn't decide to help as well. Here they are pounding the roasted peanuts for the topping. (I must take a picture of my cooking efforts before I finish eating all of it.)

We have been enjoying really beautiful weather. We've even managed to put up the outdoor toys for the kids in our tiny London garden (or more accurately, patch). I love this temperate , sunny weather. I don't like it when the temperature hits the 30's. I would be happy if it stayed like this for the rest of summer.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

How not to choose projects

Oh what a week. I've been working on a bunch of projects including trying to finish some WIPs. I have finally finished the baby blanket for my friend's goddaughter. I've knitted a few more squares for the mitred square blanket. I've started my April socks for Sock a month along. I've also started and finished a stripey tank for my godson whose birthday is coming up. What I've noticed is that most of these projects have literally hundreds of ends to sew in/tidy up. I hate sewing, really, really hate it. Arrrgghhh!! I guess I'll just have a few glasses of wine to dull the pain ...... oh damn, I can't drink at the moment. I'll just suffer in silence.

Here's close up of the stripey tank. My godson will be turning one and is rather big for his age. My own son is 4 and rather small for his age. I think it'll fit. There's room for some growth!

Pattern notes:
Pattern: Stripey tank from Zoe Mellor's Adorable Knits for tiny tots
Yarn: GGH Samoa in petrol blue, khaki, off white, turquoise, dark khaki and ice blue
Modifications: Added length to the tank due to slight issues with gauge and I knitted it in the round till the armhole shapings.
This was definitely a pretty quick and easy knit - knitting time 3 evenings. Sewing in the ends will probably take another 3 evenings!

I also wanted to show my new yarn cupboard. As you know, I've got the builders in at the moment. One of the things I'm having done is removing a bidet (who has these things anymore!) in the children's bathroom and putting in a cupboard. It's going to be a big cupboard - 2.5 feet in depth and 6 feet in height. Hubby thinks the cupboard is extra storage for his junk too, but there won't be space. It'll have kids toys/junk/extra clothing and my yarn! Here are the kids demonstrating how big this space is!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

New York City

It's been a week since my return from the wonderful New York City and I haven't had a moment to post on this poor neglected blog. Apart from the builders in the house, Aidan has also been very ill. He's been running a temperature of 38 to 40 degrees, has a very sore throat, poor appetite, and the worst bit, he's so whiney and clingy. Ugghhh. At least, he's feeling a bit better and I haven't had to wake up at least 20 times a night.

I hardly took any photos while I was in NYC. Yarn stores - nope. Sights - nope. Oh well, I'll just show some photos of my purchases later. I really love going to NYC, it's a bit like a second home to me. Kevin lived there for a while and I used to visit him lots. It's just so great to wander around and know exactly where everything is (kinda!)

Well, Kate and I had a fantastic time. Within 1 hour of arriving into our hotel, we were in Purl Soho, coveting and fondling all sorts of yarn. The yarn choice was amazing. But I was quite strict with myself (I still have about 300 balls of yarn to knit, remember!). So my total yarn purchase is detailed below. Some Cascade 220, 3 skeins of Euroflax linen and 5 skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca Silk. All for me!
We also stopped by a few doors away at the fabric store arm of Purl. All I can is WOW!! The fabric choice was astounding. They were unwrapping their new shipment from Japan. I couldn't walk away without buying anything. I have no project in mind, but I guess there's a baby quilt in there somewhere.

We also managed to hit a few other yarn stores like Knitty City and The Point. Kate carried on with the purchasing but I managed to restrain myself. It was so hard!!! We also found the mecca that is MJ trimming. Again - astounding choice available. After that, I was almost all yarned out and just had to carry on with normal shopping.