Archive for July, 2007

it’s alive!

Although I’ve been feeling movements since late in week 19, and they’ve been getting stronger every week, only last Saturday – 23 weeks exactly – did I SEE the movements. I was sitting outside after swimming about 20 lengths of a 25 metre pool, reading No Great Mischief, when I saw something move under my togs (bathing suit, for any foreigners reading). I guess that in general my gaze isn’t directed downwards and I’m rarely wearing skin-tight lycra, so the rest of the time I’m missing seeing the movement. It was very exciting and much more entertaining than my book.

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July 31, 2007 at 1:16 pm Leave a comment

edmonds anzac biscuits recipe

On Friday morning when I got up I realised that we really didn’t have anything tasty to have with our morning coffee. Since it was only about 8:30am and my Mr was still in bed, I decided I had time to bake a little something.

The butter supply was looking a bit paltry, and having received the Mr’s request for French toast the night before, I knew that I had to save the two eggs that were in the fridge. I started looking through the Edmonds cookbook, trying to find recipes calling for not too much butter and no eggs. I’m finding the Edmonds more and more useful lately – several times I’ve tried recipes from it for the first time, and the results are always perfect. The ingredients are basic, the methods are simple, the end-products are delicious.

The edition of the Edmonds cookbook that I have is from 1962, and I’m sure that the new editions are even better but except for the odd measurement (the whole ‘teacup’ thing is a bit archaic), it’s been serving me well.

The recipe for Anzac biscuits caught my eye, so that was what I made. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 oz flour
  • 3 oz sugar
  • 1 teacup coconut
  • 1 teacup rolled oats
  • 2 oz butter
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water

Preparation 

Mix together flour, sugar, coconut, and rolled oats. Melt butter and golden syrup.  Dissolve soda in the boiling water and add to butter and golden syrup. Make a well in the centre of the flour,
stir in the liquid. Place in spoonfuls on cold greased trays. Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 350F.

simmer down notes:

  • I couldn’t be bothered researching on the internet for exactly how much a teacup is in modern measuring language. There is a vaguely helpful comparison table at the beginning of the book that led me to the fairly logical conclusion that a teacup is basically a bit less than a regular cup. I guess I measured about four-fifths of a cup for the teacup measures.
  • I didn’t use proper rolled oats. We have quick-cooking oats in the cupboard, and they worked in the recipe.
  • The coconut I used was very dessicated, and sweetened. I think that was probably the right stuff.
  • Maybe because my oven isn’t calibrated correctly, these cooked very quickly. I heated the oven only to about 160-170 – it tends to get too hot – and they only took 10 minutes to get dark on the bottom, and crisp.

July 30, 2007 at 11:00 am 5 comments

a very delicious dinner

Yesterday, after talking with a colleague about Idi restaurant (http://www.idiseafood.co.il/), I was inspired to make their Dodo salad – the recipe for which is on their site and which is, by their own admission, served to your gratification from their kitchen.

I found time to get to the fruit and vegetable place down the road where I found everything I needed, including a fresh green chilli. I actually ended up buying the following for a modest total of NIS 38.60:

– Six tomatoes
– Five red potatoes
– Two onions
– One large punnet of grapes
– Four oranges
– One bunch of parsley
– One handful of green beans
– Four heads of garlic
– Two corn cobs
– One green chilli

Bargain basement vege prices rock my world!

Dodo Salad 

Ingredients

  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 hot green pepper, finely chopped
  • 30 gr. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • Parsley

Preparation

Chop tomatoes into small cubes. Add pepper, garlic, olive oil, salt and parsley and mix thoroughly. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving so that tomatoes absorb the flavors. Lemon or 5 quartered cherry tomatoes may be added before serving.

Corn on the Cob

Preparation

Husk corn. Boil water. Add corn to water. Cook corn for about 10 minutes. Drain. Add lots of butter and salt and pepper. Eat!

July 26, 2007 at 10:26 am Leave a comment

interim jeans success

Although I still haven’t cleared up my credit card issue with Old Navy to be able to order jeans online, I’ve had a couple of days worth of happiness with my wardrobe, now that I’ve started wearing my size 10 L32 TopShop jeans to work.

As explained in yesterday’s post, I do have to wear heels with them, but that hasn’t been a problem (yet). Yesterday was a success with my red Dr Scholl’s heels, and today I’m wearing some blue fabric platform shoes that I bought in the little clothing shop on Emek Refaim by Aroma, back in 2002, which I’ve never really worn before … if my Mr is reading this he’ll be quietly horrified but not entirely suprised by that admission.

The platforms are comfortable enough to drive in and don’t make any noise in the corridors (unlike the Dr Scholl’s, which have a bit of a slap-click to them). They also make me 8 centimetres taller! (That’s 3 inches for all you imperial-measurement-lovers.)

I’m wearing a blue singlet with a lacy bit on it that my mother-in-law sent (trusty Old Navy again) and in general I’m very happy with my new variations on some old aspects of my wardrobe.

Now, if I can just find some magic piece of clothing that will get rid of last night’s belly aches and this morning’s chest pains, I’ll really be happy. In the meantime, however, I’ll settle for looking tall and sneaking about in my stealth platforms.

July 23, 2007 at 10:24 am Leave a comment

dauphinoise potatoes recipe

The picture of raw ingredients is prettier than the final product, but the final product is infinitely more delicious than the raw ingredients.

Ingredients

  •  20g butter
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 cups hot milk (750 ml)
  • 160g Gruyere cheese, grated
  • pinch nutmeg

Method

Combine butter and garlic and use to grease a casserole dish. Place sliced ptoatoes in dish. Mix egg, milk, and cheese together, and pour over potatoes. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake in oven at 180 degrees C for 1 and 1/4 hours or until tender.

simmer down notes:

  • I’ve never used Gruyere cheese for this, I just use whatever cheese I have. Last time that was Emmenthal. I’m not sure that Emmenthal was the best choice – the cheese on top seemed a bit chewy and not so easy to cut through. Use your favourite. If I had real cheddar, that’s probably what I’d use. The amount of 160g isn’t really necessary, less will definitely do.
  • On the small plate in the picture above are two things, one of which will seriously enhance your dish, the other of which is an entirely optional extra. Fried onions are a fabulous addition. I fried these onions for quite a while – about 20 minutes, I guess, with about half a teaspoon of sugar. The other pile is olive paste – recipe posted on July 1st (photograph of initial stage of olive paste preparation right here). I add some onion and olive paste on top of every layer of potatoes.
  • The quantities can be changed here for a smaller or larger dish – as you can see, I used three potatoes. The amount of milk is generous and can be reduced a bit.

July 23, 2007 at 8:03 am Leave a comment

spinal kicks and repetitive dreams

In general, I’m not a paranoid sort of person, especially about physical stuff, and so far I haven’t been paranoid about pregnancy stuff either, but Saturday proved to be an exception.

22weeks1.jpgAfter going to bed on Friday night, I felt like the foetus was kicking at my spine; it felt like instead of lying cross-ways – like, hip to hip – or head up or down (like in the picture), it was lying with its head at my belly button and feet at my spine. It just didn’t feel right. Also, whereas I can usually feel the kicks somewhere below my belly button, these felt much deeper, and further back.

I got up and moved around and jumped up and down and did the twist to try to encourage it to return to a position that felt more normal, but it didn’t seem to help. The whole night my belly felt uncomfortable, in a way that it hadn’t before. I had a very disturbed sleep and a few of the (now usual) strange dreams.

(To digress for a second – my dreams are getting sort of obsessive-compulsive. I’ll dream the same thing over and over (in a night, not over a series of nights), or the same lyrics of a song and dream that I’m trying to understand them over and over, or imagine the same unsolvable problem and try to figure out how to deal with it … over and over. Maybe it’s my subconscious responding to the changes that are happening in my body and life, and the dreams are a way of reinstating some same-ness into my life. It’s just a theory. They’re frustrating dreams anyway, real Sisyphus stuff of toiling and toiling and not getting anywhere.)

Anyway, in the morning I was still quite uncomfortable, and I couldn’t remember having felt any recent kicks … and then I started worrying: if it dies, will I immediately start cramping and bleeding, or could it stay in there and I wouldn’t even realise until the next ultrasound? Was I irresponsible not to call a doctor when I felt the spinal kicks? Did it get wrapped up in the cord and asphyxiate? Is it stuck in a bad position and going to be maimed for life? What did I do wrong? Will I be able to get pregnant again?

As I was describing my discomfort and fears to my Mr, though, I felt a kick. Although I hadn’t yet descended into a total panic, I was very relieved to feel life inside again. Crisis averted! Or, rather: totally imagined crisis subsequently established as having no basis in reality. A relief anyway. And next time I feel my spine being kicked, I won’t worry that it’s a sign of death throes.

Right now I’m only at 22 weeks. I’m sure that in the coming months, the types of discomfort will change, and the levels will increase, and I guess I’m going to have to come to terms with the fact that my discomfort doesn’t necessarily translate to an actual problem, and that it’s just a fact of life during pregnancy.

July 22, 2007 at 10:20 am Leave a comment

prenancy fashion trauma

Recently, I bought some gorgeous (but expensive) maternity jeans from TopShop. They aren’t as dark as I like, but they’re a perfect shape and a nice texture denim. Like with many artificially faded jeans these days, the middle of the leg is more faded than the edges; the denim is a bit darker around the hips and at the very bottom of the leg. The only problem is the length – the leg is a good 10 centimetres too long for a shorty like me, and given that I don’t wear heels to work most of the time, they’re bordering on useless for day-to-day use.

These jeans look great with heels, but I figured that if I want to wear them with any frequency, I have to have them at a length that is suitable for flats. The problem with THAT is that it means cutting off the section of darker denim at the bottom of the leg. I wrote to Angie at www.youlookfab.com to ask if I have any choice – do I just have to hack off the bit I like best at the bottom? Angie wrote back that I was right; I had no choice but to shorten them.

The day after receiving her advice, I went to the seamstress to get the job done – only to find her closed. I took the jeans back home and decided to re-think my entire approach to the dilemma. I started rifling through my many drawers of shoes and eventually came up with about 10 pairs of shoes that I CAN wear with the jeans in their current, long-legged state (a selection is pictured here). Only about half of them are suitable for work, but I decided that would suffice. Today I’m wearing said jeans, with my red high-heeled Dr Scholl’s that my Mr bought me back in 2003!

I thought that I’d doubly solved my problem when I went to oldnavy.com and saw some lovely maternity jeans for sale at US$16.99. After finding a friend in the US who agreed to send them on to me, I placed an online order.

Misery of miseries, though – today I got an email from Old Navy that my order had been rejected because of the weird credit card I’m using – oh no, it’s INTERNATIONAL. I’ve emailed them back to explain that I’m using a foreign credit card that I have used in-store at Old Navy, and would they PLEASE reinstate my order? If I can get those jeans too, I’ll be set!

July 22, 2007 at 8:56 am 5 comments

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